"The Gnostic Preludes" fits in well with John Zorn's recent output of melodic music. This project can be thought of as a Zorn album written for guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell is in good company with Carol Emanuel on harp and Kenny Wollesen on the vibes. Wollesen also plays orchestral bells that work well in small doses. "The Gnostic Preludes" is reminiscent of Zorn's "The Goddess - Music for the Ancient of Days." Along these lines, classical and jazz aesthetics playfully mingle for a forty-eight minute meditation. So when compared to projects like the Book of Angels, some may find the ambiance of "The Gnostic Preludes" a bit bland. While best suited for the background, it is a good soundtrack for contemplative moments. When appreciated for what it is, "The Gnostic Preludes" delivers but falls short of its sequels. Indeed, "The Mysteries" and "In Lambeth" redeem the shortcomings of this freshman album. Still, this is peaceful, relaxing music. The highlight may be prelude 5: 'Music Of The Spheres.' While lacking hooks, the Middle Eastern inspired melodies are always sweet. The compositions, arrangements and performances are loose and light. In this sense, the playful music can easily be envisioned as three beautifully colored butterflies, musically flitting about in John Zorn's garden. How beautiful!