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John Zorn's Bagatelles Vol. 16 Reviews

BBC Radio 3 New Music Show August 5 2023


“Zorn’s tune is the basis of a seven minute fantasy of surreal depth, weight, and expression. A Bagatelle in name only.”

Tom Service




“The surprises this freewheeling music delivers defy minute description and are perhaps inexhaustible”


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London Jazz News August 24 2023

Tony Dudley Evans


“each arrangement moves rapidly from one mood to another, similarly from one texture to another.  It includes anarchic ensemble passages, other fiery ensemble passages that have the energy and drive of rock music, and a particular feature is the way that soloists are backed by very interesting and challenging textures from the ensemble”


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The Guardian Aug 25th 2023

John Lewis


“Eastmond’s artful arrangements lurch from Ellingtonian swing to colliery brass band, laced with fragments of Hollywood scores, surf rock and klezmer music.”

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MOJO October 2023


“It’s no easy listen, but its idiom-shifting blur of improv and notation is deliriously astute”

Marlbank Reviews July 25 2023


“a feast of styles that prove a rollercoaster of a ride and an exultant way to mark Zorn's 70th”


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Aural Aggravation Aug 11 2023


“There is nothing that’s especially digestible about this raging, ragged, woodwind-blasting behemoth, and that’s as intended”

“And that’s something that this album quite unexpectedly highlights – the way in which there is no way of predicting the highs and lows and insane range that this album presents. When it’s chilled it’s nice; when it’s racing all over the shop, it’s fucking mental.”

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LOOP magazine July 26 2023


“Deeply impressive - and a lot of fun!”


Jazz.Pt July 2023 


“Certain passages resemble figures crafted by Ornette Coleman, others refer to the powerful groove of the Mingus Jazz Workshop or to cinematic vignettes by Bernard Hermann.”


“The Bagatelles Vol. 16” is a magnificent collection of arrangements that highlight the artistic relevance of the Brit and reinforce how important it is that we continue to follow the trail of his work.”



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Splintered Stories reviews


Free Jazz Blog

"Eastmond is a master composer and arranger, and he and his band have delivered one of the most dangerously delirious albums of the year."

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The Music and Myth

"From a storytelling perspective, the song is flawless, its powerful ending sequence being one of the most beautiful and perfectly executed things I’ve heard in the last few years."

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Jazz Word

"These sorts of quick changes which can pump out diffuse horse whinnies from the brass in one sequence, have the entire group modulate with the precision of the New Testament Count Basie band elsewhere; and populate passages reflecting Diaspora longing is the strength of the Spike Orchestra"

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John Zorn's Masada Book Three: Binah reviews

Downbeat June 2016

"The British band has done a terrific job at exerting its own polystylistic personality and honouring the composers spirit"

New York Times

Playlist March 16 2018

"The Spike Orchestra fuses klezmer with surf rock in an oddly resonant admixture, run through the apparatus of a jazz big band."

Wall Street Journal 

"The Spike Orchestra, a 16-piece ensemble, evokes many things, including Charles Mingus’s large-group jazz, surf-rock, and klezmer music."


All About Jazz

"If "Levushim" and "Damam" were a combination of boxing punches the listener would be on the floor"

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