The Unknown Masada

The Unknown Masada
Studio album by John Zorn
Released June 22, 2003 (2003-06-22)
Recorded January–May, 2003
Genre Jazz, klezmer
Length 59:30
Label Tzadik TZ 7181
Producer John Zorn
John Zorn chronology
Voices in the Wilderness
The Unknown Masada
Buck Jam Tonic
Masada Anniversary chronology
Voices in the Wilderness
The Unknown Masada
Masada Recital

Masada Anniversary Edition Volume 3: The Unknown Masada is the third album in a series of five releases celebrating the 10th anniversary of John Zorn's Masada songbook project.[1] It features 12 previously unreleased Masada compositions performed by Erik Friedlander's Quake (1), Rashanim (2), Dave Douglas (3), Tatsuya Yoshida (4), Naftule's Dream (5), Jamie Saft (6), Zahava Seewald (7), Koby Israelite (8), Julian Kytasty (9); Fantômas (10), Wadada Leo Smith and Ikue Mori (11), and Eyvind Kang (12).


Professional ratings
Review scores
Pitchfork Media [3]

Allmusic critic Sean Westergaard wrote "... there is a tremendous amount of stylistic diversity here, from the very traditional sound of Julian Kytasty to the very untraditional sounds of Fantômas. In fact, listeners more familiar with The Circle Maker or Bar Kokhba might not be prepared for some of the hard rock treatments of some of these tunes... The Zorn crowd tends to follow his every move and usually know what to expect; the uninitiated should probably approach this one with some caution."[2]

Dominique Leone was positive about the disc as a whole, writing: "...for the most part Zorn's music has yet again proved to withstand the test of time and interpretation. If Masada does indeed go down as his greatest moment, it will be in part because other musicians have run with his ideas and been able to make their own artistic marks with his music. In that sense, The Unknown Masada and the other anniversary series albums are as significant as any release in his canon."[3]

Track listing

  1. "Kinyan" (arr. Erik Friedlander) - 4:50
  2. "Olamim" (arr. Rashanim) - 3:48
  3. "Vehuel" (arr. Dave Douglas) - 5:32
  4. "Shofetim" (arr. Yoshida Tatsuya) - 3:02
  5. "Partzuf" (arr. Michael McLaughlin) - 4:22
  6. "Zarach" (arr. Jamie Saft) - 6:57
  7. "Shagal" (arr. by Seewald, Grebil, Florizoone) - 6:46
  8. "Herem" (arr. Koby Israelite) - 5:06
  9. "Kadmut" (arr. by Julian Kytasty) - 4:44
  10. "Zemaraim" (arr. Trevor Dunn) - 3:34
  11. "Demai" (arr. by Smith, Mori) - 6:22
  12. "Belimah" (arr. Eyvind Kang) - 4:09



  1. Tzadik catalogue
  2. 1 2 Westergaard, Sean. "The Unknown Masada' > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  3. 1 2 Leone, Dominique (July 2003). "Review: The Unknown Masada". Pitchfork Media.
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