As prolific as alto saxophonist / composer / all-around madman John Zorn is in the studio—he’s played on over 400 recordings—he really doesn’t play live on the West Coast that much. In 1999, his Masada Quartet played Yoshi’s in Oakland, and it was another ten long years before he returned for a week-long residency last year in San Francisco. Like Ron Burgundy might say, it was kind of a big deal. The first show I saw was unbelievable; the second one was like something from outer space. He returns next month to Yoshi’s for another run, and like last year, it’s a different band for each show. Unlike last year, tickets are not $50 but a little cheaper at $25-$35, owing to Zorn’s use this time of West Coast musicians instead of flying all his NYC bros to California with him.
Here’s the dates and the individual lineups:
Thursday, Aug. 26
8pm: Terry Riley and John Zorn duo
10pm: Fred Frith, Mike Patton, John Zorn trio
Friday, Aug. 27
8pm: John Zorn’s ‘Alhambra Love Songs’ with Rob Burger, Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen
10pm: Aleph Trio with John Zorn, Trevor Dunn, Kenny Wollesen and films by Wallace Berman
Saturday, Aug. 28
8pm: John Zorn with the Rova Sax Quartet
10pm: John Zorn’s Cobra
I can’t stress how much you should try to see at least one of these shows—especially Saturday’s Cobra performance, which features 15 guys including Mike Patton, Fred Frith, Trey Spruance, Trevor Dunn and lots more, all conducted by the esoteric hand gestures of Zorn at the podium. It’s truly a sight to behold. All show info. and ticket sales over at Yoshi’s site.