Ryar WebRadio could not forget to reward Frank Zappa , absolute genius, free, independent. Nonconformist fierce enemy dellAmeriKa stereotyped by Nixon, contrary to the sex phobia attitudes to morality concealing social hypocrisy, the god of money, the use of drugs of any kind. He did not like the guitars in their traditional state, and made them change maniacally. According to Carmelo Bene, his music is de-kind , ie not to label: rock’n’roll, blues, contemporary classical music, jazz, doo-wop, vaudeville , musique concrete blend megistralmente in its tracks by the ever result beyond any expectation. Its cultural and musical legacy is enormous. Today his compositions are played in festivals and contemporary classical music concert programs. As he wrote Pierre Boulez, has come “for Frank Zappa as long as he is granted the right about, that is to be one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.”
Frank Vincent was born December 21, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. The poor health of the young Zappa leads the family to settle down first in Florida, then to return again in Maryland (where Frank riammala), then in California where the climate is much more favorable. The cultural environment proximity of the suburbs of the metropolis of Los Angeles (the black music, doo-wop choruses, the kitsch of pachucos ) marks his youthful fascinations. First as a drummer, then as a self-taught guitarist, Zappa took its first steps in several bands, such as The Blackouts or Joe Perrino & The Mellow Tones.
During those years the legendary encounter with a Lp Edgar Varése. “Ionisation”, a work for percussion, opened a phantasmagorical world of expressive possibilities, timbre to the young Zappa.
Zappa has little money, is married and has just 19 years. Can you buy an electric guitar, with which he composes music for two films ( “The World’s Greatest Sinner” and “Run Home Slow”). Sconta few days in prison for recording cassettes hardcore , with whom he procured the money. Buy the recording studio where he practiced and renamed Studio Z. Thus it begins to self-produce individual surfing, then collected in various anthologies, such as “The Cucamonga Years” or “Rare Meat”.
Entered into contact with musicians from the LA, formed his group project, the Mothers. The band throws the basis on which will stand all the musical project of Frank Zappa. The Mothers become an attraction in the local trendy Los Angeles . Zappa surrounds himself with people on the edge of madness, which attract stimulating their irrepressible creativity.
Not long after, Zappa manages to get a contract with Verve jazz label of MGM, which write the band by adding “of Invention”, the name to avoid indecent ways seconds. Tom Wilson, producer of Bob Dylan and John Coltrane , produces Freak Out! , The first album of the Mothers Of Invention. Exits in August 1966 and is a real revolution: Zappa manages to capture the energy of the “freak”, free minds that flock to California along with beatniks , street poets, condensing politics and music. Songs like “Help I’m A Rock”, pure avant-garde, or “The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet”, where contemporary music, free jazz and blues influences merge into something new and unpublished, are complemented by disillusioned pop songs, such as “Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder”.
Frank Zappa starts to sharpen the theatricality of the show of the Mothers Of Invention. In May 1967, comes Absolutely Free , the second album by many as one of the best, where Zappa deepens the path traced dallesordio. The cover of an idea already of the opinion Zappa on American FM radio, bringing the famous words “KILL UGLY RADIO”. The AmeriKa Nixon, the Vietnam War, hippies and their plastic illusions, hypocrisies sessuofobe: all in sparkling musical ideas, songs in unusual and odd times.
The group gets a permanent position at the Garrick Theater in New York. Zappa put together a show called Pigs & Repugnant , a sort of mini-opera.
Also in 1967 lavvicinamento the borders of syncretic music with Lumpy Gravy , only he came out in his name, recorded with organic enlarged and first experiment with an orchestra. Triumphal European tour that year, culminating in a legendary performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Not surprisingly, Lumpy Gravy is the album that Zappa has always said to be his favorite. In fact it is the first real Zappa’s approach to the “serious” music contemporary.
With the next release of We’re Only In It For The Money , the staff sees the entry of multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood. The musical recipe is still that of Freak Out! and Abolutely Free . To signal a cameo Eric Clapton , who recites texts with distraught voice set.
The next disc, Cruising With Ruben & The Jets , defined by Zappa “an attempt by the Mothers of Invention to change its hostile music on the radio,” sees the second battery Arthur Tripp III, percussionist orchestral and complete musician, and represents’ latest album of the Mothers of Invention to Verve. Zappa and his manager Herb Cohen founded the Bizarre Records to get total control over the artistic content of the works.
The 1968 disc is another double album, and marks one of the absolute top of Zappa production. Uncle Meat sees sound collages, songs jazzy , tribute to Dolphy, Mingus and Waller mixed with Stravinsky, Hendrix and Varése. A veritable manifesto of Zappa verb, this double album is the best the design, synthesis, the “Frank global” system.
In 1969, Zappa signed his record perhaps most famous, Hot Rats , which sees establish itself more and more the role of Ian Underwood as his shoulder and offers a Captain Beefheart cameo in the role of “Willie The Pimp”. To open the drive, “Peaches En Regalia”, one of the most famous moments and representative of the sound Zappa. Frank Zappa explored the boundaries of jazz-rock, fusion up to herald the good of our times.
The subsequent disks are of an excellent standard, as Burnt Weeny Sandwich , with a long song “Little House I Used To Live In”, recorded live, which makes use of the extraordinary violinsta color blues talent Don “Sugarcane” Harris. It plays the role of rhythm guitar Llowell George, Little Feat leader.
Weasels Ripped My Flesh is a collection of outtakes and songs that do not fit in the previous albums, but nonetheless very high quality. Like the mythical “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama”, whose themes echo cues to Pete Townshend , or Stravinsky’s “Toads Of The Short Forest”. Still suggestions jazzy avant-garde with “The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue”. Although Frank has always claimed to be totally foreign to jazz, it is clear that it has been careful listener, as will demonstrate subsequent albums.
Then, Frank renews the band and the name Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention. Recruit the voice talents of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, former Turtles, who call Flo & Eddie and dovetail with elements of cabaret ‘ act Zappa. The opportunity is to start shooting a movie, “200 Motels”. This time Frank is able to complete the project, and the movie comes out in 1971 for United Artists. Artistically it is a bit ‘forced, but it certainly shows signs of genius and Zappa leads to confront for the first time with a real symphony orchestra.
Of fun formation of Mothers with Flo & Eddie, he saw the drums the bluesman English Aynsley Dunbar, and their fat satire evidenced by the following albums: Chunga’s Revenge , more rock album so far produced by Zappa, where he had the opportunity to get in light as a visionary and extraordinarily gifted guitarist, and satirical Live at Fillmore East, June 1971 and Just Another Band from LA , which output the following year, in March 1972. the first sees on stage with the Mothers, John Lennon and Yoko Ono , but the recordings will be omitted from Zappa hard for legal reasons, and published by Lennon in the album double the 1972 “Sometimes in New York City.” Zappa will make out, remastered, years later. The second is home to a classical result of the Mothers of those years, the very funny story of “Billy the Mountain” (Billy, the mountain and his wife Ethel, a tree).
The winter tour of 1971 proves the most disastrous: December 4, while the Mothers played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, on Lake Geneva, the theater catches fire and all the instruments of Mothers should be destroyed.
Not even a week later, in London, Frank is attacked by a drunken man during the encore. Multiple fractures (including the larynx) that Zappa back on that occasion not only make clear the whole European tour, already fully sold out in advance, but being nailed to a wheelchair for most of 1972.
Zappa edita music for the film 200 Motels and dumps as soundtrack for a double Lp for United Artists in 1971, but the only music without the images, they are difficult for a rock audience and not interested in the pop audience.
Far from losing heart, Frank lavora feverishly to two albums they see the staff of Mothers expanded to the structure of the “big band” of the jazz mold. Waka / Jawaka located in the song “Big Swifty” the completion of the Zappa syncretism that combines Ellington and Mingus jazz with the rhythmic verve of Stravinsky and black funk.
The next masterpiece, The Grand Wazoo , 1972, is a sparkling album full of oblique melodies, suspended between jazz, funk, classical and rock. With mature compositions and formally perfect, Frank closes his experience jazzy .
Zappa signed with Warner Bros. distributing his new label the DiscReet. In Zappa study conceives a rich hard rock songs of double sexual senses and murky atmosphere, using the jazz musicians Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, George Duke on keyboards and Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax and vocals.
Overnite Sensation will be the only Frank album in 1973. “Camarilla Brillo” and “Dirty Love” will be a public success. In “I’m The Slime”, Zappa denounces the dangers to which it is subjected an audience increasingly dependent on television. The same year he began the recording session for another of his records most successful rock masterpiece Apostrophe ( ‘) , which will once again see the workforce expanded with contributions from Jack Bruce on bass. Zappa explores in depth the rock. Irresistible. One of his funniest and most successful discs.
The following tour was documented by the brilliant live-album Roxy And Elsewhere , showing once again, despite the training upheavals, Frank and Mothers in the real state of grace, with a truly amazing band. Dominate the great sense of humor and theatricality, with sketches really fun music and much less “heavy” than those of Flo & Eddie.
More or less in the same formation, Zappa public in 1975, One Size Fits All . Here with songs like “Inca Roads” between jazz and progressive, or “Sofa”, valzerone Teutonic eccentric and irresistible, became one of his most famous pieces, Frank reaches the maximum of its “incarnation” rock. They alternate alone sweeping guitar and intelligent. Changes of time, sudden, but also kind of structure.
The next Bongo Fury is the tour that year, where readings of the goggled vanvliet poems are mixed with pulled rock songs.
Another profound change of formation and label marks the next Zoot Allures , coming out in October 1976 for Warner. The disc can not maintain the quality of the previous.
The ransom arrives with the next album, recorded live and released in March 1978. Zappa in New York is a double disc, with extended organic and jazz orchestra room. A memorable.
While Frank was working feverishly on a new album, Warner Bros public, without the authorization of Frank, three albums of Zappa tapes recorded in previous years, with covers without notes, and even the names of the musicians. Studio Tan comes out in October 1978 and, soon after, in early 1979, are printed Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites .
Despite the album are of good quality, Zappa goes on a rampage, intent a lawsuit to Warner (then win) and goes to a radio station with ribbons of Leather (the album to which he was devoting) below the arm. By inviting people to registrarselo, transmits free the entire job. From here an anthology bootleg of those tapes.
Tireless, always Frank fonda Zappa Records in 1979, this time by signing a distribution agreement with CBS and starting with Sheik Yerbouti a new season, always under the banner of the most innovative rock. The film Baby Snakes , whose soundtrack will be released in picture-disc in March 1983, documents the tour of 1979.
The 1979 prolific year also sees the release of the saga of Joe’s Garage , incredible rock opera that takes place on three Lp, where Zappa imagine that, in a claustrophobic future Orwellian , the music is outlawed in order to get new criminals.
In the last volume of Joe’s Garage, a track built by a long guitar solo on a 9/8 time, “Watermelon in Easter Hay”, a definitive confirmation Frank Olympus of the great rock guitarists. The influential magazine Guitar Player devotes cover and large retrospective space.
In 1981 Zappa, he called the estimate received from the press, churning out a triple album of guitar solos, Shut Up And Play The Guitar. The quality just breathtaking, all completely live , soon make the album one of the classics of rock guitar.
A young and unknown guitarist takes the trouble to write down the score of these three hours of improvisations of the Master and recapitargliele full of devotion and admiration. It will be recruited in the new band of Frank. His name is Steve Vai and will become one of the greatest guitar heroes in the ’90s.
Meanwhile Zappa Records is abandoned for a new label, Barking Pumpkin Records, and a contract is signed for distribution with EMI. Zappa, obtained the restitution of the rights to the old albums of the early years of the Mothers Of Invention from MGM / Verve, republish them re-engraving bass and drums on some tracks.
A live ( Tinseltown Rebellion) and an album, partly in studio ( You Are What You Is ), both satirical, double and rock, they close the prolific 1981.
The following year saw Zappa in world tour (in Italy) shortly after ‘release of the album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch , which contains “Valley Girl” single unexpected, incredible success, Frank has recorded with the Moon teenage daughter.
The grueling 1982 tour allows Frank to raise enough money to crown his great dream: to see his music performed by a symphony orchestra. The great love of Frank teenager to Edgar Varèse, Igor Stravinsky and Anton Webern had always been cultivated in his career. On some occasions Zappa had experienced orchestral music with small or medium sized orchestras. But, recruited the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kent Nagano, Frank flies to London with scores under the arm to full symphony orchestra. The experience was rather disappointing for the apathy of the orchestra for the recording quality etc. However, those records will be produced two albums, London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I and II , the first published in June 1983, while the second will be released only in June 1987. It will be so intense as to affect even the guru of contemporary music, French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who will commission in Frank a song for his chamber orchestra, the legendary Ensemble Intercontemporain. The result is The Perfect Stranger. Actually Frank writes music precisely in order to take advantage of the tonal possibilities of Synclavier, expensive cutting-edge music machine.
The Man From Utopia , 1983, explores the rhythmic syncopation through caverns and delays, which had already begun at the time of Sheik Yerbouti .
Them Or Us , rock album, lets out simultaneously with the 1984 world tour . The album features tracks recorded live and then overdubbed in the studio, as now imposes the registration Zappa method.
Meanwhile, he staged a rock opera-theater: Thing-Fish , resulting triple album, which always comes out the same year.
In response to those who accused him of writing too difficult classical music, Frank invents a Milanese ancestor of the eighteenth century, this Francesco Zappa, who escaped Mozart minuets. Placing an LP on behalf of the ancestor, composed entirely of ironic and very funny Mozart minuets written and performed by Frank on Synclavier.
In novembre1985 the album Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention , which contains “Porn Wars”, hilarious rap bigot with fragments of politicians and preachers talk.
The next year, leaving Does Humor Belongs In Music , the first album of Frank Zappa printed only in the then brand new digital format cd, technology which Zappa is a staunch defender.
In November, Frank publishes another album, performed almost entirely to Synclavier, the excellent Jazz From Hell , which contains one of the most incredible compositions, “G-Spot Tornado”.
In 1988, before leaving on tour, Public Guitar , double album of their own, and Broadway the Hard Way , album highly politicized songs where Zappa devastates TV preachers and the Republicans. The tour, however, is a success. Zappa organizes a hilarious version of Ravel’s Bolero, as well as the cover of the famous riff of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly, mixing it with themes and rhythms of Stravinsky. Other covers are made of “Stairway to Heaven” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
Two double disc, released in 1991, The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Live and Make A Jazz Noise Here , testify to the quality of the band. Irony, brass puffing irreverent mockery to jazz, classical, rock.
Meanwhile, it comes a slew of so-called double or triple that collect performances live along the entire Zappa career. The set of six volumes is called You Can not Do That On Stage Anymore .
The dual playground psychotics out in November 1992 and sees old unreleased recordings of the Mothers Of Invention of 1968 buried in the vast archives Zappa, as well as Ahead Of Their Time .
Despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Zappa devoted all his energies to two projects: The Yellow Shark , released in October 1993, it will be the last album released by Frank in life. Other breathtaking drive, he sees Zappa rearranging old songs and compose new ones for outstanding chamber orchestra Ensemble Modern. The Yellow Shark will be represented in Frankfurt (Germany), and Frank, despite his health is running out, be able to go on stage to direct some songs.
Of note Civilization, Phaze III , which will be released posthumously in 1994, and absorbing the latest compositional energies Zappa, marking an important turning point towards the musique concrete .