No, I haven’t sampled all of the Book of Angels CDs in John Zorn’s Masada series. Haven’t even come close.
So, despite the players’ pedigrees, I hadn’t yet heard the Masada String Trio.
Then this popped up. Posted to YouTube just last month, it appears to be a French TV broadcast of a live String Trio performance. Greg Cohen on bass, Erik Friedlander on cello, Mark Feldman on violin, and Zorn doing the conducting and grinning ear to ear. There’s some brilliant playing here.
This combination seems dear to Zorn’s heart, because Masada String Trio was granted two entries in the Book of Angels series (wherein each band in succession got to pick from Zorn’s “Masada Book Two” compositions). They also recorded the inaugural CD in Tzadik’s series celebrating Zorn’s 50th birthday in 2003. All of those discs are concerts recorded at the late, lamented Tonic.
Well, why not? Three downtown NYC veterans playing good music at a beyond-expert level — who wouldn’t be game for that? Glad I finally took the time to listen.