Disc one: Tokyo mixed
  1/  old dragon                                 (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       4.53
  2/  lobo                                       (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       7.18
  3/  matagi                                     (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       5.39
  4/  toccata for coyote                         (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       10.20
  5/  nu                                         (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       4.53

 Disc two: NY mixed
  7/  tzu                                        (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       23.29
  8/  second sight                               (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       28.37
  9/  panepha                                    (Zorn,Laswell,Nakamura)       15.39

          Recorded on December 6, 2002 at Victor Studio, Tokyo
          Engineer: Sugamura D.
          Assistant engineer: Makoto Hoshino
          Disc one mixed at Studio Sunshine, Tokyo, by Tatsuya Nakamura
          Mix engineer: Sugamura D.
          Assistant mix engineer: Mitsuru Yoneyama
          Disc two mixed at Turtletone Studio, New York City, by Bill Laswell
          Mix engineer: Michael Fossenkemper
          Produced by Tsutomu Fujii
          Disc 1 mastered at Sanctuary Townhouse Studios, London, by Frank Arkwright
          Disc 2 mastered at Turtletone Studio, NYC, by Michael Fossenkemper
Tatsuya Nakamura: drums; Bill Laswell: electric bass; John Zorn: alto sax, soprano sax.

          2003 - Wilddisc (Japan), WDDV-001 (Vinyl)
          2003 - Wilddisc (Japan), WDD-004/005 (2CD)
Note: The vinyl version only contains the Tokyo Mix.


The NYer privilege of being able to see a zillion interesting shows on any given night has always made me jealous, but rarely so much as it did when Painkiller was resurrected for a couple of nights with Hamid Drake on drums earlier this year. Thankfully, the Japanese have released the next best thing on this pair of CDs: an hour and a half of Painkiller's fatter, funkier brother, the terribly-named Buck Jam Tonic. The two discs make a neat set: the first was mixed by drummer Tatsuya Nakamura, while the second features three Bill Laswell interpretations of the same sessions. An obvious result is that there's some overlap of source material between the discs (see the samples of "Nu," from the Tokyo mix, and "Tzu," from the New York mix), but where Nakamura's tracks are rough-sounding little nuggets of rock, Laswell's are denser epics that build and ebb dramatically (across a wider spectral range, too) over the course of 20 or 30 minutes. Furthering the variety, John Zorn actually played alto and soprano sax that day instead of just honking, and Laswell pulled out some monstrous "boWAAAAAAAOW" noises to really get the blood flowing; the effect is a lot like the ugly muscle of Execution Ground, only with way peppier drumming. Hearing it through two different sets of ears gives BJT some replay value beyond its fist-pumping qualities, too, so it's more than just a replacement for a concert experience. Get past the awful name and hideous cover, and there's plenty to enjoy.

Taylor McLaren (courtesy of the Brainwashed website)