John Zorn

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John Zorn (born 2 September 1953 in New York City) is an American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. He owns the Tzadik record label and has worked with a large number of experimental musicians, particularly in improvised music, incorporating modern classical music, jazz and even death metal and grindcore as well as having produced music to include most styles.

As a child, he played piano, guitar and flute. He went to college in St. Louis, Missouri at Webster College (now Webster University) where he discovered free jazz, before dropping out and moving to Manhattan. There he gave concerts in his small apartment, playing a variety of reeds, duck calls, tapes, etc; almost anything (sometimes he played "musical optics" which involved no instruments or sounds at all, but rather the arrangement of lights and objects in a dark room). In the mid 1980s he signed to the Elektra-Nonesuch label. Since then, Zorn has been quite prolific, usually putting out several new records each year. His breakthrough recording was perhaps 1985's The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone, wherein Zorn offered a number of often radical arrangements of Morricone's famed songs from various movies. The Big Gundown was endorsed by Morricone, and incorporated elements of traditional Japanese music, soul jazz, and other diverse musical genres.

In 2006, John Zorn was awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, which honors a wide variety of individuals who have achieved an extreme level of excellence in their respective fields. It provides winners with 500,000 dollars over a five year period. Zorn was awarded this grant due to his progressive exploration of radical Jewish music.

Naked City - Snagglepuss

John Zorn / Moonchild - Possession


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