Spy vs. Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman

John Zorn

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Spy vs. Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman Review

by Scott Yanow

John Zorn teams up with fellow altoist Tim Berne, bassist Mark Dresser and both Joey Baron and Michael Vatcher on drums to perform 17 Ornette Coleman tunes which range chronologically from 1958's "Disguise" to four selections from 1987's In All Languages. The performances are concise with all but four songs being under three minutes and seven under two, but the interpretations are unremittingly violent. The lack of variety in either mood or routine quickly wears one out. After about ten minutes, boredom sets in, although, when taken in short doses, the performances have the potential of shocking (or at least annoying) most listeners.

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