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.)