Yankees (album)

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Yankees (album).jpg
Studio album by Derek Bailey, John Zorn & George Lewis
Released 1983
Genre Avant-garde
Length 44:21
Label Celluloid
Producer Derek Bailey, John Zorn
John Zorn chronology
Locus Solus
(1983)Locus Solus1983
The Classic Guide to Strategy
(1983)The Classic Guide to Strategy1983

Yankees is an album of improvised music by Derek Bailey, John Zorn & George Lewis. The album was originally released as an LP on the Celluloid label in 1983 and has been subsequently reissued on CD by Celluloid (from a vinyl source) and on the Charly label (from the original master tape). It is the first recorded meeting of John Zorn and Derek Bailey.[1] The pair would later release the album, Harras, with William Parker in 1993. Zorn and Lewis would collaborate further on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1993) with Bill Frisell.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz3.5/4 stars[3]

The Allmusic review by "Blue" Gene Tyranny awarded the album 4 stars stating "A collective improvisation by Derek Bailey on acoustic and electric guitars, George Lewis on trombone, and John Zorn on alto and soprano saxes, clarinets, and game calls. Subtle, droll, hilarious takes on the trivia of baseball sounds: Lewis speaks through the trombone "ball one, ball one...." There are snippets of a slipping and sliding version of "Take Me out to the Ball Game" and so on. Sections are titled "City City City," "The Legend of Enos Slaughter," "Who's on First," followed by "On Golden Pond," a tongue-in-cheek tone poem of the flora and fauna and mosquitoes. "The Warning Track" is about a very tiny railroad system.".[2] The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded it three and a half out of four stars, calling it "a hugely welcome reissue of an almost forgotten classic":

A collaborative trio no doubt this was, but both Zorn and Lewis have made clear their admiration and debt to Bailey and it is the guitarist who as often as not defines the parameters of these five excellent tracks. The two long items, 'The Legend of Enos Slaughter' and 'On Golden Pond', are both indicative of Zorn's great skills as an improviser; not just a pasticheur or ironist, he is also a first-rate saxophone player, an aspect of his artistic personality that tended to be overlooked in the period between this record and the later Masada project. Lewis is a giant, a player with a huge tone, a complex grasp of higher harmonics and, like Zorn, a dedicated deconstructor of his instrument, constantly experimenting with his component elements: mouthpiece, bell and slides. It's Bailey, though who makes things happen. His acoustic and amplified playing is tight marshalled, fierce and never less than expressive. His first entrances on the opening 'City City City' are breathtaking, and anyone who takes the plunge and samples this now mid-price disc could well find it a taste-altering experience.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "City, City, City" - 8:29
  2. "The Legend of Enos Slaughter" - 9:27
  3. "Who's on First?" - 3:15
  4. "On Golden Pond" - 17:49
  5. "The Warning Track" - 5:47
All compositions by Bailey/Lewis/Zorn
Recorded at OAO Studio, Brooklyn



  1. ^ European Jazz Network: John Zorn Profile accessed July 21, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Tyranny, G. Allmusic Review accessed June 7, 2011
  3. ^ a b Richard Cook and Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 5th ed. (Penguin, 2000).