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John Zorn

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Biography

Born: September 2, 1953; New York, NY  
John Zorn is a multitalented composer, arranger, and saxophonist whose music has often been classed as avant-garde. Yet it is difficult to classify his style, since his works are so wildly eclectic, touching on jazz, punk jazz, rock and classical, Middle Eastern-flavored styles including Klezmer, pop underground styles that include so-called trash and speed metal, and various aleatoric styles of composition he has dubbed "game pieces" and "file Read more card pieces," both of which afford much leeway to the performer. Zorn has been indefatigable in the creation of new forms of expression and is unafraid to show the influence of others on him, from the works of Ives, Cage, Anthony Braxton, and Derek Bailey to the film music of Ennio Morricone and cartoon music of Carl Stalling. As a saxophonist, Zorn is a virtuoso and has performed with various groups over the years, including the several he has founded: Naked City, Painkiller, and Moonchild Trio. Zorn's works have appeared on more than 400 recordings and he has recorded for a variety of labels, including Elektra/Nonesuch, Avant, Parachute, and his own enterprise Tzadik.

John Zorn was born in Queens, NY, on September 2, 1953. As a child he studied piano, flute, and guitar, and attended the United Nations School, where Leonardo Balada instructed him in composition. Zorn soon took up the saxophone and began playing in bands. He had further advanced studies at Webster College, where Oliver Lake was among his teachers.

From about 1974 Zorn performed regularly on the Lower East Side of New York while turning out his first important compositions. Baseball (1976), Lacrosse (1976), Golf (1977), Hockey (1978), and others were part of his so-called game pieces.

Zorn's most important early recording was the 1985 The Big Gundown, which featured imaginative arrangements, often radical in nature, of music from Morricone film scores. In about 1990 Zorn founded the aforementioned Naked City group and its first album, Naked City, was released that year with great success.

Zorn first began writing film scores in 1986, but was especially active in the genre in the 1990s and first decade of the new century with efforts like The Golden Boat (1990), the underground movie Latin Boys Go to Hell (1997), the documentary Port of Last Resort (1998), and Invitation to a Suicide (2002). Among his later works was the score for the 2008 documentary film Sholem Aleichem. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 68 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    John Zorn: Myth And Mythopoeia
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8318 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Sarah Maria Sun,  Chris Otto,  Jay Campbell,  Jeff Zeigler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Talea Ensemble
    CD: $18.49
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  • 2.
    Alastor: The Book Of Angels, Vol. 21
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8316 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Shahzad Ismaily,  Tor Dietrichson,  Emma Ashbrook,  Jacob [Double Bass] Yackshaw  ... 
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  • 3.
    John Zorn: On The Torment Of Saints, The Casting Of Spells And The Evocation Of Spirits
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 9003 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Jay Campbell,  David Fulmer,  Chris Otto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fifth House Ensemble,  International Contemporary Ensemble
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  • 4.
    A Playlist Without Borders / Yo-yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371092 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vijay Iyer,  Wu Man,  Shane Shanahan,  Ahmed Adnan Saygun  ... 
    Performer:  Wu Man,  Mark Suter,  Shane Shanahan,  Sandeep Das  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 5.
    A Playlist Without Borders / Yo-yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble [CD & DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 375715 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Vijay Iyer,  Wu Man,  Shane Shanahan,  Ahmed Adnan Saygun  ... 
    Performer:  Wu Man,  Mark Suter,  Shane Shanahan,  Sandeep Das  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Zorn: Tap - The Book Of Angels Vol. 20 / Pat Metheny
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8307 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn,  Pat Metheny
    Performer:  Pat Metheny
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  • 7.
    John Zorn: Lemma
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8095 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Christopher Otto,  David Fulmer,  Pauline Kim
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  • 8.
    Filmworks Xxv: City Of Slaughter/Schmatta/Beyond The Infinite
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8305 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Omri Mor,  John Zorn,  Rob Burger
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  • 9.
    Zorn:  The Concealed
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8304 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  John Zorn
    CD: $18.49
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  • 10.
    Coloratura / Anu Komsi, Sakari Oramo, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1962 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reinhold Gliere,  Ambroise Thomas,  Léo Delibes,  Alexander Alyabyev  ... 
    Performer:  Anu Komsi
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 11.
    John Zorn: Music And Its Double
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8092 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Jennifer Choi,  Tara Helen O'Connor,  Fred Sherry,  Alexander Lipowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Bradley Lubman,  Sakari Oramo
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  • 12.
    Zorn: Rimbaud
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8301 Release Date: 08/28/2012  
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Ikue Mori
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  • 13.
    The Hermetic Organ
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7399 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  John Zorn
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  • 14.
    Zorn: Nosferatu
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7397 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Bill Laswell,  Rob Burger,  Kevin Norton,  John Zorn
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  • 15.
    Zorn: Mount Analogue
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7394 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Kenny Wollesen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Banquet of the Spirits
    CD: $18.49
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  • 16.
    Emergency Music - Guy Klucevsek - Manhattan Cascade
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 626 Release Date: 11/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John King,  Aaron Jay Kernis,  Rolf Groesbeck,  Mary Ellen Childs  ... 
    Performer:  Guy Klucevsek,  Christian Marclay
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Jon Zorn: A Dreamers Christmas - Limited Edition Vinyl LP
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 6002 Release Date: 10/11/2011  
    Composer:  Mel Torme,  John Zorn
    Performer:  Marc Ribot,  Jamie Saft,  Mike Patton,  Cyro Baptista  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Dreamers
    CD: $37.99
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  • 18.
    Label: Buda Records   Catalog: 860202 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Serge Kaufmann,  Jean-François Zygel,  Samuel David,  Graciane Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Zaoui,  Philippe Cuper,  Serge Kaufmann,  Martine Bailly  ... 
    Conductor:  Itai Daniel,  Brenda L. Di Torrero
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  • 19.
    John Zorn: The Satyr's Play; Cerberus
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7390 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Cyro Baptista,  Kenny Wollesen,  Peter Evans,  David Taylor  ... 
    Conductor:  John Zorn
    CD: $18.49
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  • 20.
    S'il Vous Plait / Mie Miki
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1804 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Domenico Scarlatti,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Mie Miki
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    CD: $21.49
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  • 21.
    John Zorn: What Thou Wilt
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 8076 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  John Zorn,  Stephen Drury,  Stephanie Nussbaum,  Mike Nicolas  ... 
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  • 22.
    John Zorn: Femina
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7377 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Ikue Mori,  Shayna Dunkelman,  Carol Emanuel,  Sylvie Courvoisier  ... 
    Conductor:  John Zorn
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  • 23.
    Rhapsodic Musings - Carter, Salonen, Zorn, Et Al / Jennifer Koh
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 113 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Elliott Carter,  Augusta Read Thomas,  John Zorn
    Performer:  Jennifer Koh
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  • 24.
    Zorn: Book Of Angels Vol 8 / Friedlander
    Label: Tzadik   Catalog: 7363 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn
    Performer:  Erik Friedlander
    CD: $15.99
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  • 25.
    Milken Archive - Deluxe 50 CD Boxed Set
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 51 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Joseph Rumshinsky,  David Schiff,  Raymond Goldstein,  Hugo Chaim Adler  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Bloch,  Nell Snaidas,  Simon Spiro,  Zhou Jin  ... 
    Conductor:  Elli Jaffe,  Neil Levin,  Timothy Koch,  Rodney Winther  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Coro Hebraeico,  Carolina Chamber Chorale  ... 
    On sale! $349.99
    CD: $299.99
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