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John Zorn: Bay Area Connection 

When: Thu., Aug. 26, 8 & 10 p.m. 2010
Price: $25-$35

Not for nothing does avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn call himself a ÒprompterÓ rather than a Òconductor.Ó HeÕs one of those artists who can write a score in shapes and hieroglyphs, or conduct a chamber quartet while sitting beneath them, in lotus position. If youÕve seen him perform before, youÕll recall that some compositions begin with a simple bass ostinato, then go to all sorts of funky places. Many use dissonant harmonies to create texture. Some end abruptly. Zorn emphasized concepts over melodies during his 2009 residency at YoshiÕs San Francisco, where he featured such popular ÒdowntownÓ jazzmen as Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, and Marc Ribot. This year he returns with more ammo, and a much larger brigade. Among the acts featured at ZornÕs three-day ÒBay Area ConnectionÓ are Terry Riley, Mike Patton, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Fred Frith, Aleph Trio, and a giant, improvisational chamber orchestra named Cobra. At YoshiÕs San Francisco (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) from Thursday, Aug. 26, through Saturday, Aug. 28. 8 & 10 p.m., $25-$35. Yoshis.com

— Rachel Swan

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