Spy vs Spy (album)

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Spy vs Spy
Spy vs Spy (album).jpg
Studio album by John Zorn
Released 1989
Recorded August 18, & 19 1988
Studio Power Station, New York City
Genre Avant-garde jazz
Free jazz
Punk jazz
Length 40:32
Label Elektra/Musician
Producer John Zorn
John Zorn chronology
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Spy vs Spy
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Spy vs Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman is a 1989 album by American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist John Zorn, featuring the compositions of Ornette Coleman performed in the brief intense style of Zorn's hardcore miniatures.

The liner notes thank Ornette and Denardo Coleman, Mick Harris of Napalm Death, Ted Epstein of Blind Idiot God, Pil of Lip Cream (a Japanese thrashcore group), The Accused, Craig Flanagan, DRI, CBGB, and "the New York-London-Tokyo Hardcore Triangle".[1] The cover artwork was created by indie comics personality Mark Beyer (of Amy and Jordan fame). The album itself approaches free jazz from the perspective of hardcore punk, particularly taking note of the contemporary innovations of thrashcore and grindcore. Zorn would later pursue these preoccupations in the thrash jazz group Naked City.

Like some classic free jazz albums (Free Jazz, Ascension, Archie Shepp's Mama Too Tight), different saxophonists improvise simultaneously in stereo. Tim Berne appears on the left channel, while John Zorn is recorded on the right channel.[1]


The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 3½ stars stating "The performances are concise with all but four songs being under three minutes and seven under two, but the interpretations are unremittingly violent. The lack of variety in either mood or routine quickly wears one out".[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Ornette Coleman.

  1. "WRU" - 2:38
  2. "Chronology" - 1:08
  3. "Word for Bird" - 1:14
  4. "Good Old Days" - 2:44
  5. "The Disguise" - 1:18
  6. "Enfant" - 2:37
  7. "Rejoicing" - 1:38
  8. "Blues Connotation" - 1:05
  9. "C. & D." - 3:05
  10. "Chippie" - 1:08
  11. "Peace Warriors" - 1:20
  12. "Ecars" - 2:28
  13. "Feet Music" - 4:45
  14. "Broad Way Blues" - 3:42
  15. "Space Church" - 2:28
  16. "Zig Zag" - 2:54
  17. "Mob Job" - 4:24



  1. ^ a b Liner notes, Spy vs Spy, 1998.
  2. ^ a b Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed July 22, 2011

External links[edit]