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Venue:
Johnny Brenda's1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 / $25 for both nights
Saturday, February 20, 2016 - 8:00pm

Jamie Saft Trio (John Zorn’s Masada)

The Music of John Zorn | Part I

Jamie Saft, Fender Rhodes
Trevor Dunn, bass
Ben Perowsky, drums

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present four extraordinary ensembles performing the work of maverick composer John Zorn over two nights. Tonight Jaimie Saft Trio and Hollenberg-Millevoi Quartet!

Keyboardist Jamie Saft has been a trusted collaborator within Zorn’s inner circle since joining Electric Masada in ’99. Saft told All About Jazz that their deep musical chemistry stems in part from a shared cultural experience: “John's music has a great deal of resonance personally, spiritually, and musically for me; Zorn and I were born a few blocks from each other in what was a very Jewish neighborhood in Queens.”

Saft’s staunch commitment to Zorn’s notion of “Radical Jewish Culture” finds him using his own projects as platforms to excavate Semitic connections to sources as aesthetically disparate as Bob Dylan (2006’s Trouble) and Black Sabbath (2009’s Black Shabbis). Time Out NY’s Hank Shteamer writes, “Genre-hopping grows more mundane each year; what makes Saft special is his unusually high level of investment across various styles. He doesn’t just squat in a given territory—he puts down deep roots.” Over the years, Saft has applied his expansive stylistic knowledge to projects with a veritable “who’s who” of downtown NY music pioneers: Antony Hegarty, Laurie Anderson, Chris Speed, Bobby Previte, Cyro Baptista, and Dave Douglas, among others.

Rounding out Saft’s trio are two New York players with stellar pedigrees. One of the most accomplished drummers of his generation, Ben Perowsky’s notable career has placed him among a small vanguard of players able to move between jazz, experimental music, and cutting-edge pop and rock. He has collaborated with numerous artists since including Elysian Fields, Joan as Policewoman, John Medeski, Uri Caine, Steven Bernstein, John Zorn, Ronnie Cuber, Dave Douglas, Walter Becker and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Bassist Trevor Dunn is best known for his work in Zorn’s Electric Masada, Mr. Bungle, The Melvins, Tomahawk, and many other.

Hollenberg-Millevoi Quartet (John Zorn’s Bagatelles)
Matt Hollenberg, el. guitar
Nick Millevoi, el. guitar
Johnny DeBlase , bass
Jeff Eber, drums

From March to May 2015, John Zorn wrote 300 new tunes collected in a book of music called The Bagatelles. Like the Masada book (only more atonal), the compositions are meant to be interpreted by a wide range of musicians.

The Matt Hollenberg-Nick Millevoi Quartet is co-led by two emerging presences in modern guitar malevolence. Both Hollenberg and Millevoi hail from Philadelphia and are representatives of an electrifying new crop of Zorn acolytes that has emerged on the East coast in the last decade, but each arrived on the scene via slightly different paths.

Hollenberg descends from the Trey Spruance/Jim Martin school of scooped mids and Dick Dale leads, subverting heavy metal formalism with authentic CVLT perspective. It’s fitting that Hollenberg’s doom-, grind-, and ambient-laced quartet Cleric released their 2010 debut on Spruance’s Web of Mimicry label. Keith Carman of Exclaim writes of Cleric, “One hears the detonation of Pig Destroyer, adrenaline of Converge, creative technicality of Nomeansno and Psyopus, and outright weirdness of Fantômas uniting with P.I.L.'s Flowers Of Romance.” Hollenberg also serves in Zorn’s Simulacrum trio alongside John Medeski and drummer Kenny Grohowski.

Millevoi skews more toward the Ribot/Cline guitar axis, frequently employing feedback, raw noise, and alternate tunings in projects like the contemporary classical  incubator Archer Spade (with trombonist Dan Blacksberg) and Chris Forsyth’s Television-inspired Solar Motel Band. SPIN’s Chris Weingarten included Millevoi’s trio Many Arms’ Tzadik offering among 2012’s avant-garde highlights: “White hot Zappa-on-SST jazz-punk in athletic, hypnotic 15-minute excursions.”

Rounding the quartet are New York bassist Johnny DeBlase and drummer Jeff Eber, best known for his work in Dysrhythmia.