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  • At the Mountain of Madness: Live in Europe
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At the Mountain of Madness: Live in Europe


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Audio CD, November 22, 2005
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Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Lilin16:14Album Only
listen  2. Mental Tov 5:35Album Only
listen  3. Karaim16:15Album Only
listen  4. Hath-arob 5:17Album Only
listen  5. Abidan 8:09Album Only
listen  6. Idalah-abal 6:33Album Only
listen  7. Kedem15:41Album Only
listen  8. Yatzar 6:05Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Tekufah17:59Album Only
listen  2. Hath-arob 6:55Album Only
listen  3. Abidan 9:59Album Only
listen  4. Metal Tov 5:52Album Only
listen  5. Karaim15:15Album Only
listen  6. Idalah-abal 6:08Album Only
listen  7. Kedem14:47Album Only


Frequently Bought Together

At the Mountain of Madness: Live in Europe + Live in Sevilla 2000 + The Circle Maker [2-CD Set]
Price for all three: $54.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 22, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tzadik
  • ASIN: B000BJNTZ8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
I just want them to stay fresh and continue making music for 30 years!
J. D. Hastings
Bottom line-- this is just as fantastic as that release was-- music this powerful is so rarely performed, the opportunity to hear it on record is extraordinary.
Michael Stack
While I am not a Zorn expert by any means, I think this is one of his best recordings since the original Naked City albums.
V. G. Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on November 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
John Zorn's Electric Masada project is one of those bands that carries enormous weight with it-- indeed the label website states that "Electric Masada combines the raw power and manic speed of Naked City, the improvisational edge of Cobra and the spiritual lyricism of the Masada songbook"-- certainly a lofty bill to live up to. As-yet unrecorded in the studio, "At the Mountains of Madness" is the second live release by the band, recorded during two dates on the end of a European tour last year. Like the previous release ("50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4", recorded in September of 2003), this one remarkably lives up to all the hyperbole that the label's description can come up with.

For those who haven't seen this band live (and you really should if you get the opportunity-- the records really only capture a fraction of the power live), a bit about the performance environment. Zorn sits in the middle of the band, part performer, part conductor, indicating solos, moments, noises and so on, encourages solos he enjoys, shifting directions in those he does not, and so on. This leaves a fierceness and edginess reminiscent of the Game Pieces, although with the framework of the piece setting up the "rules", it translates better on album than the Game Pieces did. Zorn assembled for this tour what seems to be his preferred cast for Electric Masada-- the leader on alto sax, Marc Ribot on guitar, Ikue Mori on laptop electronics, Jamie Saft on keyboards, Trevor Dunn on bass, Joey Baron and Kenny Wolleson on drums and Cyro Baptista on percussion.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bresinger on February 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In its original accoustic incarnation, John Zorn's Masada explored more or less standard bebop (with elements of free jazz) using the compositional techniques of "Jewish" music (i.e. Klezmer) as a starting point. This seemed to represent a kind of coservatism for Zorn, who is renowned for his obsessive, fragmented po-mo sensibility. His (and his band's) work under the name Naked City reveled in throwing together as many different styles as possible, sometimes within a single song. So Masada could be seen as Zorn's longing for the "simpler" ways of tradition. With Electric Masada, Zorn seems to have once again decided to let his id run loose and transform his heritage into music that sounds like nothing less (and even a lot more) than a 21st century update of Miles Davis' electric period. I only wish they'd been around about a century ago when I had my Bar Mitzvah; if these guys had played during the reception, I might not have abandoned religion altogether!

I can picture it now: Zorn acting as a conducter/participant with a band including Marc Ribot on electric guitar, Trevor Dunn on bass and Ikue Mori on laptop electronics. They blast full force into the stormy seas of "Lilin" and instantly the dance floor erupts into a moshing mass of marauding Jews, except for my racist great aunt (c'mon, admit it--every family has one) that nobody really likes, who has a conniption and shrivels into an unconscious ball. The drumming of Joey Baron and Kenny Wollesen is as frenzied as the best hardcore punk even as they trade complex rhythmic patterns, which only eggs on the rest of the band. Zorn's signature saxophone playing, with its rapid high-pitched squealing, causes even more damage, shattering wine glasses all over the hall as waiters are trampled underfoot in their efforts to clean up.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Hastings on December 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is as good, if not better, than the 50th Birthday recording.

The boys are even tighter and most of the improvisation unfolds with a newfound ease. Don't worry, there is still plenty of insanity when the percussion gets going. Musically it is as if these guys are pounding on the gates of heaven, demanding a dialoge with G-d.

John Coltrane approached improvisation from a spiritual level - - THIS BAND DOES THE SAME!

My only criticism is the minimal amount of new material. Don't get me wrong, I could listen to them play the same song five times in a row. It's just that the songs off the last album had a rawness that it lost once the musicians get truly comfortable with the piece. Even so, they do amazing things once they are comfortable so I can't fault the material. I just want them to stay fresh and continue making music for 30 years!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rallymoore on February 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
John Zorn's work is always experimental, but this album plunges head-first into the avant garde, even bordering at times on noise rock. It thoroughly lives up to its name (I have to admit I haven't read its namesake, but I mean just the name itself) in the sense that the experience of listening to the album can be likened to the iconic journey to meet (or confront) the spirit of the mountain (cf. Jodorowski's "The Holy Mountain"). In the midst of the musical wilderness of "At the Mountain of Madness," one can identify the lofty, austere, wind-swept landscape; the doubts and determination of the journey itself; the treacherous peaks; the overwhelming, challenging, and chaotic influence of the mountain spirit; and the ultimate exultant serenity of the trek (though not necessarily in this linear chronology). Like the journey to the mountain, this album is an all-consuming experience which calls one into the vulnerable spaces outside of oneself, but also like the mountain journey, the experience promises great reward.

It is a sad-but-true observation that experimental artists' true genius can never really get captured in recording ... this album is (very nearly, at least) a counterexample to that trend. Taking Zorn's trademark Hasidic jazz repertory to the very edge of sanity and beyond (as the name suggests) for an unrelenting two-and-a-half-hour eruption of exquisite and enthralling madness, this album creates a smoldering, evolving spectacle you have to see (i.e., with your ears) to believe. Don't think avant garde / experimental jazz can sustain its appeal for that long? Try it ... it'll kick your ass.
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