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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Frank Zappa website  Frank Zappa - FZ:OZ [Vaulternative Records - 2002]

Frank Zappa-releases have been sparse since his untimely death in 1993. Only the Yellow Shark ‘prequel’ Everything Is Healing Nicely was released until now. His son Dweezil and the Zappa estate has started to search the enormous vault of recordings of material worthwhile and true to Frank’s intentions.

On the new label ‘Vaulternative Records’ this liverecording from Sydney, Australia in 1976 is released. I can’t remember any recordings previously released of this particular quintet of Terry Bozzio (drums and vocals), Napoleon Murphy Brock (tenor sax and vocals), Roy Estrada (bass and vocals), Andre Lewis (keyboards and vocals) and of course Frank himself. The soundquality is, compared to many of Zappa’s own releases, a little ‘bootleggy’ but OK enough to enjoy this double CD very much.

Napoleon’s presence makes the infamous ‘Helsinki Concert’ spring to mind. That amazing second installment of the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series is one of the best Zappa releases ever. This small lineup of people shows a different approach to the music that is mostly well-known among Zappa fans.

Funny songs like Stink-foot, The Illinois Enema Bandit and Keep It Greasy as well as long instrumentals like Zoot Allures, personal fave Filthy Habits and Chunga’s Revenge are performed close to perfection. The different interpretations of Zoot Allures and Take Your Clothes Of When You Dance are a welcome addition to the collection and with Canard Toujours and Kaiser Rolls even Zappa-completists get something new. All in all I think this is a great addition to the already 60 plus discography.

Two minor things I can think of is the price: I payed $40 for this double CD which is rather steep. Secondly I think it would be great to have some pictures from the band of the time and other historic parafernalia to go with it. Like Robert Fripp makes his reissues and archival releases of King Crimson a lot of fun with pics, reviews, tourdiaries and such in the booklet.

Frank Zappa is one of the greatest composers of our time and his humoristic mix of contemporary classical music, rhythm & blues, rock, jazz, doo-wop and what-not should be remembered and cherished. Just out from the vaults is a DVD called Halloween.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

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