Under the moniker Masada, composer/musician John Zorn has been writing, and assembling musicians to play, music that fuses traditional Jewish forms with improvisational jazz, often with an avant-garde flair. THE BOOK OF ANGELS, a series of recordings showcasing Zorn’s new Masada material, expands this ongoing catalogue. On ZAEBOS, VOL. 11, Zorn recruits the downtown jazz-funk trio Medeski, Martin, & Wood to carry the torch.
The music resembles other Masada work in its balance of grooves, frenetic soloing, and swirling melodies derived from klezmer, the Middle East, and Eastern European traditions. But keyboardist John Medeski, bassist Chris Wood, and drummer Billy Martin bring their unique, groove-saturated stamp to Zorn’s experimentation, resulting in an overall accessible performance that overflows with technical mastery.