1989 Elektra Musician imprint release.

Fast, Loud, Faster

Spy vs. Spy is the title of this freeish hardcore jazz outing by saxaphonists John Zorn and Tim Berne. Their goal, apparently, was to play Ornette Coleman standards extremely fast and hard. The chaos was possibly inspired by the antagonism of the classic paranoia comic described above.

The melodic players are joined by Mark Dresser on bass, and Joey Baron plus Michael Vatcher whackin' the drums. Let's crank it up.

Using an old seventies-style stereo trick, there is one sax player in each ear and the drumsets are slightly separated from the center. In the frenetic pace of these covers, this trick leads to the sense of being inside the jam session. Inside your head.

My only beef with this album is that it seems to fly by in no time due to the superlative speed.

Even when the pace slows a tad on Feet Music and Broadway Blues -- and the themes actually take enough time walking across the stage to be recognized -- it's still speedy. Fer example, they state the main Zig Zag theme entirely twice in twenty seconds.

I'm not sure how they manage to mess with tempo as much as they do with two drummers. It's insanity, basically. Pure and delicious insanity.

  1. WRU from Ornette! 1961
  2. Chronology from The Shape of Jazz to Come 1959
  3. Word for Bird from In All Languages 1967
  4. Good Old Days from The Empty Fox Hole 1966
  5. The Disguise from Something Else! 1958
  6. Enfant from Ornette on Tenor 1961
  7. Rejoicing from Tomorrow is the Question! 1959
  8. Blues Connotation from This Is Our Music 1960
  9. C&D from Ornette! 1961
  10. Chippie from Something Else! 1958
  11. Peace Warriors from In All Languages 1987
  12. Ecars from Ornette on Tenor 1961
  13. Feet Music from In All Languages 1987
  14. Broadway Blues from New York is Now! 1967
  15. Space Church from In All Languages 1987
  16. Zig Zag from The Empty Fox Hole 1966
  17. Mob Job from Song X 1986

edited 10/02/2001