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In his preface to the first Arcana: Musicians on Music (2000), avant-garde composer and saxophone player John Zorn wrote: "This book exists to correct an unfortunate injustice, the incredible lack of insightful critical writing about a significant generation of the best and most important work of the past two decades." That the injustice was repaired by that collection was happily affirmed by its subsequent success. The range of writing--from the technical to the aphoristic/diaristic--demonstrated that sometimes critical writing on music can inspire as much as it can explicate. As Zorn acknowledged, though, Arcana was also a first step. Now Arcana II, also edited by Zorn, extends the scope of its predecessor, compiling further essential writing by luminaries of contemporary improvisation and composition such as Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Marina Rosenfeld, Ned Rothenberg, Sylvie Courvoisier, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Annie Gosfield, Jim O'Rourke, Milford Graves, Zeena Parkins, Bill Laswell and Uri Caine.
ISBN 9780978833763. Hips Road/Tzadik.