John Zorn: The James Bond Theme


The James Bond Theme


John Zorn (alto sax)


Naked City (Elektra/Nonesuch 79238-2)

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John Zorn (alto sax), Bill Frisell (guitar), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Fred Frith (bass), Joey Baron (drums).

Recorded: 1989


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Jazz, surf, rockabilly, jump blues, punk – all served up in one blistering take on this classic spy movie theme. Zorn's penchant for the musical equivalent of Burroughs' “jump cut” style is perfectly illustrated by this whirlwind tour of genres. As the introductory theme is laid out by Frisell's barely contained guitar, Zorn unleashes short squalls that are only a diversion: the main theme is actually well-behaved and swings like mad. Ah, but that diversion foreshadowed a free play section where the entire band does, well, whatever it wants...only to drop back perfectly into the head. An exhilarating display of both athletic thought and performance.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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