Spy vs. Spy is quite possibly the ideal introduction to jazz for either a noisehead or a metalhead, speaking as both. It's chaotic. It's wild. It's fast. Zorn and Baron, later of Naked City, and fellows Tim Berne, Mark Dresser, and Michael Vatcher keep the pace just as relentlessly brutal as the most intense death metal. I'm not kidding. Hell, let old favorites like Immolation and Incantation compete with this lineup and these tracks for a pit and headbanging, and the metal kids might have something to worry about.
Zorn's combo here takes the unusual harmonies and group improv sections found throughout Coleman's catalog and play them about as fast as is reasonably acheivable with heavy thrash, crossover and grindcore influences. Napalm Death, Blind Idiot God, Lip Cream, DRI, and The Accused are mentioned in the liner notes. Sax solos throughout bring to mind Slayer's simultaneous leads at the end of "Raining Blood." I'm really not sure why this album hasn't forged a widely-popular style of music. My favorite of my Zorn collection, and of Coleman if you'll take it as such. There are blast beats scattered throughout. This is not grandpa's jazz.