Naked City

Grand Guignol

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Naked City's follow up to their self-titled album is a departure from the New York noir that they had perfected. Here, after a 17 minute, moody title piece, all low rumbling punctuated by drum thrashes and distorted screams, is a very straight transcription of Debussy's "Cathedrale Engloutie" featuring some very lovely, watery guitar work from Bill Frisell. Other modern pieces follow, with works by Scriabin, Ives, Messian, and Di Lassus. And then for something completely different: 32 thrash'n'burn numbers lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to a whopping 1:14, most with humorous titles (some favorites: "Jazz Snob: Eat Shit," "Perfume of a Critic's Burning Flesh," "Pigfucker"). Forget the subtlety of the first half -- this is thrash jazz! Yamatsuka Eye of the Boredoms provides vocals. As they say, there's screaming, and then there's Yamatsuka Eye. Whether or not such eclecticism makes for awkward listening is apparently the last thing on Zorn's list, and it probably shouldn't be a concern anyway. A rewarding album.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 17:40
2 6:24
3 1:17
4 1:42
5 0:48
6 1:46
7 2:00
8 7:07
9 1:00
10 0:45
11 0:31
12 0:51
13 0:33
14 1:14
15 0:29
16 0:24
17 0:24
18 0:43
19 0:26
20 0:39
21 0:35
22 0:23
23 0:31
24 0:10
25 0:43
26 0:53
27 1:14
28 0:40
29 0:50
30 0:45
31 0:10
32 0:20
33 0:48
34 0:41
35 0:14
36 0:23
37 0:22
38 0:54
39 0:19
40 0:35
41 0:18
blue highlight denotes track pick