Spillane (album)

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Studio album by John Zorn





Label (s) Nonesuch / Icon, Tzadik

Format (s)


Genre (s)


running time


  • Harp : Carol Emanuel


John Zorn / Robert Hurwitz

Studio (s)

New York City , San Francisco

The Big Gundown
Spillane Spy Va Spy
Template: Info box music album / maintenance / parameter error

Spillane is an avant-garde album by John Zorn that was recorded for Nonesuch Records from June to August 1986 , compiled and released in 1987.

The album

Like its previous album The Big Gundown , which contained radical cover versions of Ennio Morricone's film music, Spillane is a concept album: It pays homage to crime writer Mickey Spillane . The title track Spillane is a sound collage that, like radio play , comes closer to Spillane's heroes in terms of research: from biographical set pieces, newspaper articles, films, TV shows, records he gains ideas, fleeting associations, which he scrupulously notes on index cards. This creates impressions that can then be condensed into musical ciphers: “A scream at the beginning. Then the intro to Route 66 played on a hi-hat . John Lurie then recites Mike Hammer , Spillane's detective character. Later a bar piano , strings and harp appear. Zorn constructs huge organisms out of such miniatures. ”The title track is based on a text by Arto Lindsay , which also makes linguistic references to film noir .

The second track, Two-Lane Highway, is a feature for blues guitarist Albert Collins , followed by Forbidden Fruit , a composition for voice, string quartet and record player played by the Kronos Quartet , with which Zorn pays tribute to Japanese film star Yujiro Ishihara . The composition Godard , which was written before Spillane , is included in the new edition of the album; it is a tribute to the French film director Jean-Luc Godard , whose " jump-cut " technique is close to Zorn's compositional approach. She first appeared on the French tribute album The Godard Fans: Godard ça Vous chante? in 1986.

His method when working on concept albums like Spillane describes anger as " index cards -compositions" (file-card Compositions), a method of combining composition and improvisation , with the anger of a description is of how he shapes his music and arranged. Zorn's “index card” method of organizing sound blocks into a superordinate structure also includes the selection of musicians he needs for the respective projects, as well as the way in which they interpret his notes, which Zorn had previously written on cards as well their personal relationship with anger. He says of himself: “I don't usually sit in some ivory tower and give my instructions to the other players from there. I work with them, and that is also the reason why I started playing the saxophone; that's how I meet the musicians. I believe that I have to gain the trust of the musicians before they can play my music. I want my musicians to say at the end of the day, this was fun - it was a lot of fucking work; and it was one of the hardest things I've ever played, but it was worth the effort. "

Edition history

On the 1999 record Godard / Spillane , the title track was re-released on Zorn's Tzadik label, coupled with the composition Godard .

The titles and the cast

John anger

1 - Spillane (25:12)

Two-Lane Highway (18:16)
2 - Preacher Man / White Line Fever / Nacogdoches Gumbo / East Texas Freezeout / San Angelo Release / Rollin 'to Killeen / Blowout / Devil's Highway / Midnight Standoff / Marchin' for Abilene (13:30 )
3 - Hico Killer / Long Mile to Houston (4:46)

Recorded in June 1987 and mixed in August 1987 by Don Hünerberg at Radio City Studios , New York City .

4 - Forbidden Fruit (Variations for Voice, String Quartet and Turntables) (10:20)

Recorded by Howard Johnston at Russian Hill Recording , San Francisco , and Ono Seigen at Metal Box Studio , Tokyo, in September 1987 . mixed in September 1987 by Ono Seigen at CBS Roppongi Studios , Tokyo.

  • Spillane and Forbidden Fruit were produced by John Zorn ; Two-Lane Highway by John Zorn and David Breskin.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cit. after the sound cannibal . In: The time . No. 31/1997.
  2. ^ R. Cook, B. Morton: The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP and Cassette . Penguin Books, 1992, ISBN 0-14-015364-0 . Zorn wrote: “I write in moments, in disparate sound blocks, so I find it convenient to store these events on filing cards so they can be sorted and ordered with minimum effort… I worked 10 to 12 hours a day for a week, just orchestrating these file cards. It was an intense process - one I don't want to go through again. "
  3. quoted / translated from Shuffle and cut. In: The Guardian. March 7, 2003 (Interview with John Zorn about his way of working)