My review of Zu’s Carboniferous ran in the most recent issue of ALARM Magazine, issue #35.
I liked this disc, it was like a more restrained Naked City. Though I have to admit that restraint is not something I think is a virtue when performing this kind of music. If you’re going to be inspired by Zorn, do it all the way. When Zu leads with their bari-sax and cuts loose, the album comes alive. Too often, however, the rhythm section gets mired in sludgy riffs that bog down the music and dispel the energy. Overall, a good album, though, despite the softened edges.