Thursday, June 21, 2007

John Zorn - Naked City

New York photographer Weegee's "Murder Victim" from 1940 is a shocking image. The victim's blood shines on the pavement, his face melds with the concrete, and his fashionable appearance sharply contrasts with his gruesome death. A gun lies just out of the victim's reach; perhaps it's the murder weapon or maybe it's the dead man's pistol. This is the city, in all of its naked glory. John Zorn borrowed the title of Weegee's 1945 book for this album. Like the photo, the music is difficult and beautiful at the same time.

(Next week: Another album cover successfully uses a famous Weegee photo with a completely different mood.)

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Blogger bob_vinyl said...

This is a great cover for a great album. I think your point about both the picture and the music being difficult and beautiful at the same time is true. The beauty is strange, but definitely there. John Zorn might be the most worthwhile of all really difficult listens.

June 21, 2007 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Catches the eye...and sends chills up my spine too.

June 21, 2007 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...

wow, this is beautifully strange and sad.

June 22, 2007 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Like the album cover, NOT crazy about the music. I was chummy with a guy in a science class in college who introduced John Zorn to me. He described the music he liked as "noise," he was right. I am sure it is good, but I just can't get into it.

June 22, 2007 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Weegee was amazing. I have an entire book of his NYC photos after we caught an exhibit of his at some random art gallery we tripped over in Ohio. I really admired his technique, but also figured he was a vampire in the true sense since he was always up late and ready to fire off pictures in the early hours of night/morning. Since John Zorn has done some weird shit musically in his career, this is a perfectly fitting cover for him.

June 24, 2007 at 6:19 AM  

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