It’s simultaneously fascinating and difficult to be following John Zorn for the 70-years-old multi-instrumentalist’s discography is immense and rather labyrinthine, yet it’s also often can be compartmentalized into series – such as one that he recorded with a loose conglomerate of kindred spirits named MASADA, “Alhambra” and “Incerto” – which includes “The Hermetic Organ” running from 2012 into the present. The latest in the last-mentioned string of albums, the series’ 11th volume, feels very special, being a tribute to the American master’s mentor Terry Riley.
The two composers performed together quite a few times by now, and some of Zorn-directed records had Gyan Riley, Terry’s son, on them, and September 2023, saw John celebrate his anniversary by presenting a recital titled “For Terry Riley” at San Francisco’s “Grace Cathedral” – as part of the birthday concerts presented by Fred Barnes at the Great American Music Hall – to the audience that comprised many of the Tzadik visionary’s friends, so it was a spiritual and intimate experience. Preserved for posterity, the recording of it will be released on January 19th and issued as two pieces:
1. A New Door Opens
2. Elissa’s Tears
A unique thing, this should not be ignored by any serious music lover.