Recorded in 1993, Kristallnacht is Zorn's most powerful and unforgettable composition. This premiere work of Radical Jewish Culture features a virtuoso ensemble of creative Jewish musicians. Seven movements tell the story of the Jewish experience, survival through the Holocaust, the building of a Jewish state, diaspora Jewry and its attraction and resistance to assimilation, the rise of Jewish nationalism and the ultimate problems of fanatical religious fundamentalism. Seemlessly combining 12 tone classical composition, improvisation, noise and klezmer, this is a work not to be missed by anyone interested in new trends in modern music.
For Morning Glory, John Surman sets aside his signature baritone saxophone in favor of soprano sax, bass clarinet, and synthesizer – the result is a record as radiant and beautiful as its title portends, comprised of four epic tracks that despite their scope represent his most mainstream work to date. The skill and dexterity of the improvisations here are astounding. Surman and sidemen Terje Rypdal (guitar), Chris Laurence (bass), John Taylor (electric piano), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), and John Marshall (drums) connect on an almost telepathic level. But for all its experimental approaches and ingenious ad-libbing, Morning Glory is a remarkably generous album, inviting and approachable like few avant-jazz dates before it. So much of Surman's brilliance hinges on his refusal to alienate listeners regardless of their personal leanings and expectations, while at the same remaining true to his singular muse.