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*** Frank Zappa ***


Rooster_Ties
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OK, any jazz board worth it's salt has gotta have a Zappa thread, so here goes...

I'll kick it off by including a LINK to a fascinating interview with David Ocker, who was Zappa's primary copyist during the years of 1977-1984. Ocker was involved in a significant amount of Zappa's "serious" music, including Zappa's pivotal early Synclavier works, and his early 80’s recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the with Zappa works conducted by Boulez

I might add that I was and probably still am (although to a lesser degree) a huge fan of Zappa's music, "serious" or otherwise. "The Yellow Shark" was one of the first 20th-Century "classical" recordings I ever got into on any kind of deep level, and it lead me to the music of Henze, Varèse, Hindimith, Schoenberg, Berg, Roger Sessions, and hundreds of other 20th century composers and their works.

This thread don’t gotta only just talk about Zappa’s “Classical” side, but that’s where it’s gonna start!!

:g

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I'm a Zappa fan too. I prefer his earlier albums to his later ones. I appreciated the virtuosity of the musicians on his later albums, but the songs themselves didn't do as much for me. I also like his classical output. I would recommend the Yellow Shark also. The synclavier stuff isn't really my cup of tea. I appreciate what he's trying to do, but it doesn't grab me.

My favorites albums of his are Absolutely Free, Hot Rats, and Just Another Band from L.A. (I love the song "Billy the Mountain"). I have many of his later albums and I've tried to get into them, but I haven't been able to yet.

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Hmmm ... not familiar with this "FANK" Zappa fellow ... :g

Frank Zappa was one of the great music geniuses of the 20th century.. His innovative contributions to music as a rock performer and serious composer are HUGE.. Check out the Cd the "Yellow Shark" recorded in Germany with

the Ensemble Modern" orchestra....

There is an informative and entertaining auto-biography called "The Real Frank Zappa Book". There is also an interesting text book written about

Frank Zappa, "The Negative Dialectic Of Poodle Play"...

He was truly a "Mother Of Invention!" :g

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"Freak Out", "Absolutely Free", and "We're Only In It For The Money" were amazing, indeed startling, when they first appeared, and I've been digging Zappa pretty much since then. The first time I saw him and the Mothers was at a Peace and Freedom Party benefit in Laurel Canyon in the late '60s. Another time, I ran into Zappa off/back-stage at Hendrix's last concert at the L. A. Forum in 1970; while Hendrix was playing the concert of his life, FZ was trying to score (I forget if it was acid, weed, or what). The last time I saw him perform was with George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Napoleon Murphy Brock, the Fowler brothers, Chester Thompson, et al in 1974 at the Santa Monica Civic. I sure wish they recorded that concert; I remember thinking that his live recordings from around that time were a relative letdowns (but I like them now). I soon moved from L.A. to Endoftheearth, Texas and then to rural Michigan. I never got around to seeing Zappa again.

I own several Zappa recordings. In recent years, I've listened most often to "Freak Out", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh", "Apostrophe", "Roxy and Elsewhere", "One Size Fits All", and "Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar".

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I soon moved from L.A. to Endoftheearth, Texas and then to rural Michigan. I never got around to seeing Zappa again.

Are you presently a resident of Michigan? If so, where? I live near "Bland Rapids"....

By the way, I've seen Zappa several times and 2 of the most enjoyable concerts were the 1971 Fountain Street Church concert and the 1974

"Mother's Day" concert at Notre Dame University, Indiana....

:lol:

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OK, help me out here guys, which album had "Directly From My Heart to You" featuring Don "Sugarcane" Harris on searing 'lectric violin? I like some FZ, some not, generally the earlier stuff. I find the electicism in overdrive aspect to be a particular issue for me...doo wop meets Stravinsky can be a mind blowin' experience but often I wish they'd just stick to one thing at a time. How do y'all feel 'bout that part of it?

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Nice find, couw!

One of my luckiest record finds was the time I walked into a small record store and in their tiny used bin, they had most of Zappa's albums released from 1966-83. The best part is that they were all $2.99 each.

I bought every one of them.

:rsmile: I was a happy robot! :rsmile:

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Count me as one of the few who just doesn't get it.

Granted, I'm hardly a Zappa collector, and have only heard a couple of his albums. I did have Freak Out! for a while, and Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar for a little while longer. Freak Out just seemed to drip with smarmy elitism, like "Look at how much smarter than you we are because we're parodying the hippies, all the while mocking and insulting white conservative America with our subversive yet derivative music." Shut Up had its moments, but came across as the kind of noodling I would expect from the Grateful Dead.

I guess, for me, the most telling moment came on, of all places, an episode of the Monkees. In this scene, Mike Nesmith was disguised as Zappa, and Zappa disguised as Nez. At one point, while Zappa was trying to insult Nez, the Monkees, and prefabricated music in general, Nez lands a light-hearted jab at Zappa with, "No, you're the famous musician. I'm dirty, gross, and ugly." At THAT precise moment, Zappa looks away from Nez, away from the camera, like he's looking for someone to say "Who the hell does he think he's talking to? Doesn't he realize he's FRANK ZAPPA, musical genius?"

Based on what little I've seen and heard, he always seemed to be the kind to dish it out, but unable to get it back in return.

Just two cents from a guy who doesn't know when to shut up.

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Speaking of Zappa and the Monkees. I love the Monkee's movie "Head" - There is a scene in the movie that takes place between Zappa and Davey Jones (It takes place after a deluxe Davey Jones song and dance sequence). It's one of the best scenes in the movie to me.

head_zappa.jpg

Frank: That song was pretty white.

Davy: Yeah, well, so am I, what can I tell ya.

Frank: You've been working on your dancing though.

Davy: Oh, yeah...glad you noticed it.

Frank: It doesn't leave much time for your music. You should spend more

time on it because the youth of America depends on you to show the way.

Davy: Yeah?

Frank: Yeah.

:P

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Speaking of Zappa and the Monkees. I love the Monkee's movie "Head" - There is a scene in the movie that takes place between Zappa and Davey Jones (It takes place after a deluxe Davey Jones song and dance sequence). It's one of the best scenes in the movie to me.

head_zappa.jpg

Frank: That song was pretty white.

Davy: Yeah, well, so am I, what can I tell ya.

Frank: You've been working on your dancing though.

Davy: Oh, yeah...glad you noticed it.

Frank: It doesn't leave much time for your music. You should spend more

time on it because the youth of America depends on you to show the way.

Davy: Yeah?

Frank: Yeah.

:P

Cow: Monkees is da CWAAAAAAZIEST peoples!

My favorite movie of all time. Really!

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I love that movie. It was one of the first DVDs I bought. I had previously owned it in the beta and VHS formats.

:g

No kiddin'? I've been debating picking that up. Any extras on the DVD worth noting? Is the movie in stereo? (Heaven forbid I actually buy a DVD for just the movie!!!) :g

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No kiddin'? I've been debating picking that up. Any extras on the DVD worth noting? Is the movie in stereo? (Heaven forbid I actually buy a DVD for just the movie!!!) :g

I'm looking at the DVD package right now. It says it is VHS hi-fi, newly remastered in full frame format and it contains 8 minutes of rare trailers. I've watched the trailers and I understand why people were confused. I don't think the makers of the movie wanted it to be a success.

It is nice with the DVD because of the ease of skipping around to the different sections. With one click, no more Davey Jones singing and dancing. That is worth the price of admission alone. :lol:

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For those that may not know a lot of Zappa I can suggest the following albums. This is considered his more 'serious' work and I suppose could be called Jazz, although in Zappas own way of course.

Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Elements of West Coast Doo Wap soon fade into off beat Ballroom style music concluding in the magnificent 'The House I Used To Live In' with Sugar Ray on Violin.

Grand Wazoo. A number of excellent players on this heavily musical album, look out for Eat That Question and a nice cheesy fade out with Blessed Relief.

Waka Jawaka. An essential album for anyone thinking of a Zappa purchase. It starts out with a 20 minutes heavy Jazz peice with a wonderful horn conclusion, the middle ahs a little singing with fantastic slide guitar concluding the Album with something that easily could have come from a 1970s American Cop Show.

All of these albums are excellent. Any reference to Zappa, and comments or derision should be held back until these albums are played!

regards

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Big Al- I really don't think Zappa was trying to be"hipper than thou". I really think that whatever stances he took whether it was on the hippies,LBJ,Vietnam,the Police or whatever-were just how he felt about a paticular situation. I suppose you could make a case about some of his music being pretentious and boring but any musician of ability and especially one that recorded as extensively as Zappa runs the risk of winding up like Icarus.

Mike Nesmith was the only musician per se with the Monkees and I think he wanted to put some distance between himself and a bubblegum image and what better way to do it than to be associated with Zappa.Nesmith used Zappa but not in a cynical way.It came across as a "let's mess with the teenyboppers and have some fun" kind of deal and I loved it.

Frank Zappa,however you feel about him,was a one of a kind individual and I miss him.

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For post-Mothers output "Joe's Garage" remains one of my favorites. The song itself is IMHO one of the best at getting across what it feels like to play in a band, and "Watermelon in Easter Hay" is just plain beautiful playing. "Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention" is another one I like. Tipper Gore saying "bend up and smell my anal vapors" is worth the price of admission alone.

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"Any musician of ability and especially one that recorded as extensively as Zappa runs the risk of winding up like Icarus".

"Frank Zappa,however you feel about him,was a one of a kind individual and I miss him".

Right on Chris! Some of the most inspiring moments for me were sitting in the audience of a Zappa concert or listening to his recordings.

He has been a tremendous influence and I still believe him to be one of the

great geniuses of the 20th century...

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I can recommend Broadway the Hardway, great playing by a great band. Quite jazz-oriented at times. There's also Make a Jazz Noise Here by the same band. It features exploits in the realm of jazz.

I saw that band in Muskegon Mi in 1988 .. Last Zappa concert I attended.

There's a great band out there called, "Project Object" The band often features ex Zappa guyz like Ike Willis, Scott Thunis, napoleon Murphy Brock as well as other well known Zappa allumni.. If they play in a venue near you go and check them out! They are BAD! :excited: :rsmile: B)

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