Bar Kokhba

Lucifer: The Book of Angels, Vol. 10

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Over the years, John Zorn has offered up more projects than one can easily keep track of and you can find both passionate advocates and passionate detractors for almost every one of them. Every one, except perhaps Bar Kokhba. It's the Masada String Trio (Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander, and Greg Cohen) augmented by Marc Ribot (guitar), Joey Baron (drums), and Cyro Baptista (percussion). Their albums have all been exquisite and their release in the Zorn 50th Birthday series was perhaps the best of that series. Here they are with their first studio recording in over a decade, and their first of Zorn's Masada: Book Two material. Honestly, with this material and these players, you just can't go wrong. There are highlights aplenty, starting with Ribot and Baptistsa on the opening track. Friedlander and Feldman shine on both "Dalquiel" and "Quelamia." Joey Baron tears it up on "Gediel" and does some great brushwork on "Azbugah." The playing all the way around is just fantastic. You could even play this album for your grandmother, something you can't say about much of the rest of the Zorn catalog. Whether you like all his projects or not, John Zorn's output has been of a consistently high quality. Lucifer: Book of Angels, Vol. 10 is among the finest offerings in his discography, and a very accessible one at that.

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