Ganryu Island
Ganryu Island
1. Ryu Kyu Heishi
2. Hagure Gumo
3. Two Ronin
4. Kagemusha
5. Odori Dayu
6. Ganryu Island
7. Yoshiwara Kaidan
8. Natsu Matsuri
9. Giri
10. Yonaka No Hatashiai
11. Uma No Koku
12. Tsugaru Bushido

Originally released in 1984, Ganryu Island finds Zorn paired up with Tsugaru shamisen master Sato Michihiro. The shamisen is an eastern string instrument that can be both plucked and knocked percussively. This album displays a wide array of avant-garde techniques. While the album simply lists Zorn as playing reeds, he employs a dazzling array of sounds, the sources of which I can only guess at. His saxophone is used in every possible sense, and he seems to blow through a variety of objects, sometimes muting and modifying the sound with what sounds like pieces of paper and a glass of water. The entire album features Sato Michihiro and Zorn in a series of free improv duets that push the boundaries of musical expression. The album occasionally reaches some incredible and hilarious heights that defy description. Suffice to say that this album is classic early Zorn: abstract and thoughtful, irreverent and forceful with a dose of humor.
Sato Michihiro: shamisen
John Zorn: reeds

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