Gomory: The Book of Angels, Vol 25 by John Zorn, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Sofia Rei, Sara Serpa, Malika Zarra, Mycale
Mycale is — prepare yourself now for context — a four-woman vocal group brought together by John Zorn to perform original a cappella arrangements from “Book of Angels,” the second galaxy in his universe of succinct compositions collectively titled Masada, all of which use the so-called Jewish scales. (Among the many others who have recorded parts of “Book of Angels”: the guitarist Pat Metheny, the cellist Erik Friedlander, the guitarist Marc Ribot, the trio Medeski, Martin & Wood.) Mycale is Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Sofia Rei, Sara Serpa and Malika Zarra — from Israeli, Argentine, Portuguese and Moroccan backgrounds — singing texts in Hebrew, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, from the Hebrew Bible, Rumi, Fernando Pessoa, Heraclitus and elsewhere. And the group’s second record, “Gomory: The Book of Angels, Vol. 25” (Tzadik), released in May, is astonishingly beautiful, a high point in the series: The singers’ individually rigorous tones and dispositions and arranging impulses surround the music and give it another dimension of originality; it sounds medieval and new at the same time.