John Zorn: Masada Book 3 at the Town Hall, March 19, 2014
The New York Times, March 21, 2014
The biggest surprise about this particular concert was the fact that I was there; I'd originally been scheduled to cover a different event, but a sick colleague prompted a last-minute shuffle, and here we are. Because of a last-minute space crunch, a few things were excised from the review without my knowledge. I reckon that at least a few people might be interested in the bits that were lost.
First, the paragraph about Masada numerology originally ended with an interesting announcement.
The reason? 215 plus 306 plus 92 equals 613, the number of commandments that Jews are obliged to observe, according to the Torah. A 614th commandment introduced after World War II, he added, will prompt a final, long-form Masada composition that he intends to write next year.
Keen-eyed Zornithologists will note that the first two numbers are actually 205 plus 316, a point we quickly corrected. My original draft as submitted and edited also identified the trio of Steve Lehman, Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey by their collective name, Fieldwork.
Finally, lost entirely in the cut was my final paragraph. While there's no way that I could have cited all the worthy performers who participated in Zorn's shuffle-concert, I did in fact name more than saw print. These things happen all the time, and no hard feelings – but for those who might be curious, here's the original ending.
Many Arms, a Philadelphia trio, read “Panim” in a manner that recalled the Nels Cline Trio in its punk-jazz-vinyl salad days. The guitarist Gyan Riley and the art-rock band Secret Chiefs 3 wrested adrenalized fusion from their respective selections. The singer Sofia Rei brought out a throaty romantic sway in “Setumah.” And Zion80, a joyous ensemble that usually patches Shlomo Carlebach’s songs into Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat template, found “Hod” amenable to its positively Zornian hybrid approach.