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The Free Zen Society

The Free Zen SocietyAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Price: $15.81 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2007 $7.92  
Audio CD, 2007 $15.81  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Lightly DroppingFree Zen Society 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Thought FreeFree Zen Society 5:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. SurrenderFree Zen Society 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dream EscapesFree Zen Society 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. MajesticalFree Zen Society 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. GlisteningFree Zen Society 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Streaming ThroughFree Zen Society 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Clocking SpaceFree Zen Society 5:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 20, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,730 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Free Zen Society rose out of the ashes of a somewhat mystical recording session at the appropriately named studio, Sorcerer Sound. Under the direction of Peter Gordon, founder of Thirsty Ear and executive producer of the Blue Series, three highly combustible new music players gathered to generate source material with nothing more than a few graphic indicators that had been discussed between Peter Gordon and Matthew Shipp. However, what was not typical was the turn of events which de-rooted the normally multifaceted players. Fire and brimstone was replaced by passion and composure. Melodies sprinkled through the air with effortless waves of expression. That was the year 2003. The recording sat for two years before anyone had a sense of what to do with it.

Re-enter Peter Gordon. Slowly over a period of two years, he shaped, cajoled, and messaged what was captured that day into a larger atmospheric soundscape. Using a multitude of keyboards, effects and razor sharp editing skills, Gordon completed the unknown mission Shipp/Parker/Parkins were embarking on. It was about the formation of the Free Zen Society, a project were nothingness is everythingness. It is within the willingness to cease being us, we become one.


"Some stunning work and instantly a personal favorite" --Todd Zachritz- Godsend

Free Zen Society is an imaginative and pleasantly surprising addition to the Blue Series --The Daily Copper

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Avant-jarre February 20, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Remember Jean-Michel Jarre, hawker of New-Agey, synth-drenched, nineties mush-music? Well, what if he linked up with some outish, NY downtown dudes (and dudette)?

You'd get The Free Zen Society.

After trying my best to struggle through the syrupy soundscape purveyed by Peter Gordon (I thought his music worked better as Peter and Gordon, part of the sixties British Invasion), I finally came to the conclusion that said Mr. Gordon, founder of Thirsty Ear and executive producer of the Blue Series, must be largely responsible for the debacle that's descended on this once-fine enterprise.

Apparently, the musical mush contained herein sat in the vaults for two years, sadly achieving no mystical maturation, as will a fine Belgian beer.

It should have been left there.

But the ever-intrepid Mr. Gordon saw fit to exhume the fitful ruminations contained herein and overlay them, albeit ineptly, with his own fevered synth washes and other electronic exotica.

Me, I've just about given up on Thirsty Ear, what with the string of sad recordings recently released, such as the clunker by Scotty Hard. I'll give 'em one more chance, but they'd better get their act together soon and stop fleecing consumers with musical refuse, or they'll lose whatever creds they've garnered over the last half-decade or so.

By the way. I seem to have encountered a hiccup in my once-sunny dispositioned reviewing approach: more negative reviews than positive in my last handful. But, hopefully, all that will change and I'll return to my more typical slavishly cheerful mien in the next batch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a "deep listen" ... October 5, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The enemy of all real music is expectation. By "real music" I mean created music, not re-created music, written by someone other than the performer(s). This CD is a true surprise, even for those accustomed to "deep listening." This is because those who are familiar with the past works of these musicians would naturally expect something quite different (listen to Matthew Shipp's new "Piano Vortex" for example). "The Free Zen Society" is comprised of pianist Matthew Shipp, harpist Zeena Parkins, bassist William Parker, and producer Peter Gordon, who edited and reworked the tracks electronically. Their music attests to the broad, unrestrained creativity of these artists and their keen ability to listen to one another. "The Free Zen Society" is mellow and perhaps meandering, exploring territories rather than stating facts, and this may bother those who want something familiar to grab hold of. Perhaps the music will not stick on first listen, because one could listen to it almost the way one hears Brian Eno's "wallpaper" music ("Ambient 3: Day of Radiance") or some of Harold Budd's piano works ("The Pavilion of Dreams"). Nonetheless, I suggest giving it a "deep listen" for the certain rewards that follow.

Here's what one reviewer (blog critic Mark Saleski) had to say about his CD:

"Not all "Free Zen Society" compositions are shared affairs (though all do have some level of added electronics). Shipp's piano stands alone on "Dream Escapes" while Parker builds a fine and introspective bowed bass suite during "Surrender.
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