John Zorn

Just saw the documentary on John Zorn entitled “A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky,” and I thought it was a very fine explanation of Zorn’s work and his process.  This all comes about primarily through the filmmaker’s interviews with Zorn, which reveal the composer to be very articulate about his process and his goals as an artist.

The film suffers most when the filmmaker injects her own narrative into the process of making the film.  The narrative trajectories prove very sophomoric and uninteresting in comparison with Zorn’s own discussion of his 20-30 years as an artist.  Beyond all this, there is ample live and studio footage of Zorn with a host of players who have worked with him over the years: Marc Ribot, Joey Baron, Greg Cohen, Dave Douglas, Yamatzuka Eye, Bill Frisell, Mike Patton, etc.  Well worth viewing for either the seasoned Zorn listener or one coming new to his work.

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