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Naked City

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Album Review

The violent cover photo (which shows a man after he was shot dead) sets the stage for the rather passionate music on this John Zorn set. With guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, bassist Fred Frith, drummer Joey Baron, and guest vocalist Yamatsuka Eye making intense contributions, altoist Zorn performs his unpredictable originals, abstract versions of some movie themes (including "A Shot in the Dark," "I Want to Live," "Chinatown," and "The James Bond Theme"), plus Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." The stimulating music rewards repeated listenings by more open-minded listeners.

Customer Reviews


Is there seriously only one review for this masterpiece??? Wow, I guess this generation really is the MTV generation, one that has forgotten what good music sounds like. Well, to everyone, listen to this album to refresh your minds. This, my friends, is good music. Or better yet, amazing music. Music that is not restrained by genre boundaries or verse-chorus structures. Creative music. Or rather not even music at all, but art. This is on another level, and although it may sound like noise the first few listens, give it a chance and it will change your perception of what music is, and possibly even your life.

A stone-cold-classic

This work of art from the expansive mind of John Zorn is literally one of the greatest experiments ever in music. It was enough to change my entire outlook on music as a whole and pushed me to re-examine sonic boundaries. You could write a very long essay on this album solely for how absolutely original it is; I can assure you you've NEVER heard cover songs like these before. Overall a very good introduction to legendary composer John Zorn and his more experimental side. This album also proves to be, yes: Unclassifiable. Avant-Garde would be the closest label you could slap on something this radical. I assure you that you have never hear the standard mix of the minimal elements of drums,bass,guitar,sax, and keyboard like is presented here. There is so much here you will likely need to play the album several times to attempt to grasp it. Open your mind, get the headphones, turn them to 11, and brace yourself.

Naked City

Words can not do this album justice. An unparalleled masterpiece.


Born: September 2, 1953 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is "prolific," in the strictest sense of the definition. Though he didn't begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn...
Full Bio