Captain Beefheart's Mirron Man Sessions is getting a re-release on clear vinyl.
180 gram audiophile vinyl
The Original “Mirror Man” Album + 5 Bonus Outtakes taken from the abandoned Brown Wrapper Sessions: “Trust Us (Take 6)”, “Safe as Milk (Take 12)”, “Beatle Bones n' Smokin' Stones”, “Moody Liz (Take 8)” & “Gimme Dat Harp Boy” Limited Edition of 1500 individually numbered copies on crystal clear vinyl
Saturday, October 31, 2020
- prince: sign 'o' the times
(2020, 3cd, europe, warner)
Revisiting all my musical heroes today, so Prince needs a session as well.
"Sign 'O' The Times' got recently reissued as a 3 CD set (as well as an 8 CD / DVD box set).
Disc 1 and 2 of the 3 CD set deliver the remastered version of the original album.
Disc 3 has remastered singles and edits.
- the residents: cube-e box - the history of american music in 3 e-z pieces
(2020, 7cd box, uk, cherry red)
The Cherry Red record label has released a Cube-E box set.
- Buckaroo Blues, live in Amsterdam
Hall Of Fame Records is preparing "The Famous Five Years 2015 - 2019", an audio and video collection including Caballero Reynaldo's Zappanale appearances.
Should be available through Bandcamp soon.
- pierre vervloesem: haines
(2020, download, --, bandcamp)
Often referred to as the Belgian Zappa, Pierre is best described as 'unique'.
Where his previous release, "Influenza", presented an impressive and almost frightening soundscape including one of his most remarkable guitar solos, "Haines" will take you in a completely different direction:
11 (twisted) pop songs with Pierre on vocals.
For once Pierre gives us not only an album where he sings, but where he sings in French! It was a long time since he had the idea but with all the frustrations accumulated in the last years, he finally had the opportunity to record this masterpiece. Each song turns around either something or someone he detests or is about one of his surreal encounters he did or had to deal with in the last few years as a musician / composer / performer. For who speaks French his words are a delight, often full of humour. For the others, his music is as always impeccable compositions which mix such a variety of genres that you need 10 listening to understand all the subtleties of his music! A must!
From GlassOnyon PRDrum Legend Bill Bruford’s “Rock Goes To College” Deluxe CD/DVD Edition Now Available!
Bill Bruford was the original drummer in Yes and was a long-term member of King Crimson. His band ‘Bruford’ recorded this BBC broadcast in 1979.
The DVD in this package is the only officially released concert footage of the band that exists, and as such has achieved legendary status.
The line-up on this album is: Bill Bruford (drums, percussion), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Annette Peacock (voice).
Bill says of the re-release: “This was a baptism by fire, our first gig in the first few days of the band’s existence. At the beginning of it I wasn’t sure. By the end, I knew we were on to something serious.”
This definitive re-release was overseen personally by Bill Bruford and is released on his own Winterfold Records via Cherry Red.
Bill Bruford’s official website: https://billbruford.com/
Thursday, October 29, 2020
From GlassOnyon PR :
The Legendary “God Of Hellfire” ARTHUR BROWN Releases New Single With VANILLA FUDGE’s MARK STEIN!
Produced by HAWKESTREL’S ALAN DAVEY!
Los Angeles, CA - Arthur Brown is a truly groundbreaking rock music icon who pioneered a theatrical approach to musical performance that has been cited as an influence on Rock Hall of Famers Alice Cooper and KISS. Going under the memorable moniker The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the British-born singer achieved breakthrough success with a blockbuster hit single in 1968, the colossal freakout “Fire,” which he used as a launching pad for an incredible career that continues to this day! And today he releases a superb new track, “Zombie Yelp,” just in time to get all the groovy ghoulies, young and old, in the mood for the Halloween season!
Written by Brown and Alan Davey, formerly of British space rock kings Hawkwind, who not only produced the track but performs on it as well, “Zombie Yelp” rides a distinctively spooky retro groove laid down by the vintage keyboards of Vanilla Fudge founder Mark Stein as well as Davey’s driving bass guitar, all of which set the stage for the Brown’s unearthly vocal delivery that ranges from piercing howls to demonic growls. It’s the perfect mix of psych rock ecstasy and campy fun!
Davey shares these thoughts about working on the track, “It was great fun writing this new song with Arthur, he’s always a hoot to work with and his lyrics on this are funny as feck! I’m proud to have mixed and produced it too. Take your Zombie Yelp this Halloween and see what happens!”
Stein reflects on his own history with Brown, saying “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Vanilla Fudge shared the stage back in the late ‘60s. Arthur is still crazy after all these years and still killin’ it! ‘Zombie Yelp’ is a wild tune with great grooves and lyrics. I had a blast playing organ on it. Just wait till you hear this track…lovin' it!”
And Brown sums it up perfectly, in his typically enigmatic fashion, “Spirits lagging? Need some help? Dive right in to the ‘Zombie Yelp’!”
Dweezil Zappa is offering a podcast series called "Runnin' With The Dweezil", in which he discusses the music of Van Halen.
Different episodes, different guests.
Available through his website.
Episode #1 highlights include the story of Edward Van Halen's impromptu call to Frank Zappa. Dweezil and Steve Vai unravel the mystery of how it actually happened. They are both surprised when they learn new details from each other for the first time and discover how it changed both of their lives forever. Steve also talks about his work with David Lee Roth and his qualifications for the job.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
- devin townsend: order of magnitute - empath live volume 1
(2020, 2cd+dvd+blu-ray, --, sony)
I didn't catch Devin Townsend on his recent tour, so I thought I'd treat myself to the "Order Of Magnitude" artbook that comes with a recording of the Roundhouse, London, concert.
The band featured Mike Keneally, Morgan Ågren and Markus Reuter, to name just three.
The artbook is 12"-sized and has pictures of Devin and of the band members.
Plus 2 CDs (the concert in audio), a DVD (the concert in video), a blu-ray (concert video plus bonus footage, haven't checked that one out yet).
And the best thing is that it's called "Empath Live Volume 1". Who knows what Volume 2 will bring?
On-line due to COVID-19
Friday - October 30 – 20h00 – 22h00 uur
20.00 – 20.15 h: Q&A with Gary Lucas & Peter Willems
20.15 – 20.45 h: Gary Lucas & Peter Willems
- panzerballett: planet z
(2020, cd, ger, gentle art of music)
Panzerballett's latest release is called "Planet Z" with the "Z" from Jan Zehrfeld, guitar player, composer and driving force behind Panzerballett.
I my opinion, the "Z" could also stand for Zappa as the music mixes virtuosity with unexpected surprises and a fine dose of humour.
"Planet Z" presents Jan Z. in his typical prog rock / jazz / metal approach: swerling, breathtaking, and tapping your foot at the same time.
For the occasion, Jan asked several top drummers to contribute. Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Morgan Agren...
Great tunes. Original material and pieces by other composers.
And superb drumming.
Here's 'Mind Your Head', with Morgan Agren on drums.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
- marbin: russian dolls
(2020, cd, usa, private release)
Marbin saxophone player Danny Markovitch is about to release "Russian Dolls".
Lyrical, melancholic at times, the album presents 7 beautiful pieces.
This is modern, progressive jazz with an oriental flavour.
"Russian Dolls" features Antonio Sanchez on drums and Dani Rabin on guitar and bass, but it's all about the saxophone: beautiful melodies, and fine improvisations.
The album will be out in November.
Keep an eye out for this one !
- steel pan lovers: the midnnight pan
(1998, cd, finland, private release)
Finnish ensemble the Steel Pan Lovers released "The Midnight Pan" in 1998.
The album included their version of FZ's 'Let's Move To Cleveland'.
It sounds pretty good, actually.
Here's another version, this time by the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra.
- cor mutsers: op eigen houtjes
(2020, cd, nl, private release)
Together with Patrick Van Gerven, Dutch guitar player Cor Mutsers had already recorded and released several Frank Zappa compositions.
On “Op Eigen Houtjes”, Cor’s recent solo album. Cor released his version of FZ’s ‘Lumpy Gravy’ / ‘Duodenum’.
Here’s what Julie says about it:“surprise!
i wrote and recorded this song on september 11, 2020, while wildfires raged along the west coast of the united states and the resulting smoke invaded the skies of western washington. the air quality level became so bad around seattle that we were advised not to go outside, and even though we've been in quarantine for months, i had to stop going on my daily (masked) walks around the neighborhood... so i was basically stuck in my apartment for two weeks. i cannot lie—it's been a challenging year for creativity, but just before these fires started, i finally came up with this hopeful sounding riff. my basses had been staring at me with special desperation that friday, so i sat at my computer to record this idea. hours disappeared, evening loomed, and i was happy with the day's progress, and the sun shone through my window for the first time in weeks.
feat eric slick on drums+marco machera on add'l bass.
all proceeds from the download of this track will be donated to the ACLU”
Monday, October 26, 2020
- robiano zirkuskapelle: funky weekend
(1999, cd, switzerland, private release)
Swiss marching band Robiano Zirkuskapelle recorded FZ's 'Let's Make The Water Turn Black' and released it on their "Funky Weekend" album.
In 1999 !
- eikanger-bjorsvik musikklag: art of the states
(2003, cd, norway, doyen)
For "Art Of The States", they recorded 'Holiday In Berlin'.
Storm Surge is about the anxiety we all feel in these uncertain times. With the global pandemic, racism, and the continuing struggles for social justice, climate change, political upheaval, economic turmoil, and a future of uncertainty, there is a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius plus special guests Michael Sadler and Rachel Flowers.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Last week, I had the opportunity to give "New Feel" and "Strange Deal" by the LG Jazz Collective a listen.
The band features Alex Koo, Antoine Pierre, Félix Zurstrassen, Guillaume Vierset, Jean-Paul Estiévenart, Rob Banken and Steven Delannoye.
Modern jazz showcasing some of Belgium's top jazz players.
If you come across these albums, don't hesitate !
- lg jazz collective: new feel
(2014, cd, bel, igloo records)
- lg jazz collective: strange deal
(2018, cd, bel, igloo records)
Patrick O'Hearn played bass on Frank Zappa's "Zappa In New York", "Sheik Yerbouti", "Joe's Garage", "You Are What You Is", "Ship Arriving Too Late",...
He was also part of Missing Persons (with Terry and Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo), did soundtracks and released an impressive number of solo albums.
More recently, Patrick has released two tracks through Bandcamp.
Check them out here:
Saturday, October 24, 2020
- laughing bastards: unanimal
(2019, lp, bel, ham records)
For Unanimal, these guests are Eline Duerinck (cello), Nils Vermeulen (double bass) and Marcos Della Rocha (drums).
"Unanimal" is the jazz ensemble's third album. It got released on Michel Mast's Ham Records label.
8 beautiful beautiful jazz pieces, two of which were written by John Lurie.
Great package as well. Superb artwork combined with a clear vinyl album.
The only minor remark is that it didn't come with a digital download code.
You can (and should) check them out on Spotify, where the album counts 9 tracks (!!).
June 2020, Dweezil Zappa sent the following message :
"Dweezil Zappa and Steven Volpp team together to empower artists, content creators, and producers/engineers with Reward Music, a Humane Technology business solution. Reward Music launches 9-28-20."
In the meantime, Dweezil Zappa's Reward Music station is online and going strong.
The platform offers free downloads and stuff that you can buy.
You can also subscribe which will give you access to more free downloads and to some subscription-only stuff.
Next to Dweezil's older albums, the following material has recently been added and it looks like new things are added quite frequently.
- Archival Tracks (a set of 7 unreleased tracks)
- Apostrophe Live (a live version of the Apostrophe album, recorded in concert in L.A.)
- Gumbo Variations
- Sleep Napkins
- Warts 'N All (a 9-track subscription only album)
- Threesome & Then Some - Cosmik Debris
- Threesome & Then Some - Pound For A Brown
Friday, October 23, 2020
- mek & the pek'a'billies: mek & the pek'a'billies
(1994, cd, denmark, intermusic)
Released on CD on the Intermusic label and re-issued on the Elap label later the same year.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Percussion ensemble Percussion Under Construction is ready to record an album.
It will include FZ's 'The Black Page'.
I've seen them perform at Zappanale and they were great.
Support them if you can :
"Poughkeepsie Vol.1" and "Vol.2".
A show from 1978.
POSSIBLY ZAPPA'S BEST SHOW FROM HIS BRIEF 1978 WORLD TOUR! Witnessing Frank Zappa's 1978 big touring band ( featuring, Zappa, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Arthur Barrow on bass, Ed Mann on percussion, Tommy Mars on Keyboards, Denny Walley on second guitar, Peter Wolf on second keyboards and Ike Willis on guitar and vocals), the 3,000 seat venue in the Mid-Hudson Centre, Poughkeepsie, NY - in the heart of the Hudson valley - played host to a diverse, virtuosic and musically offensive performance on September 21st that year, which is still reflected on and talked about by hard-core Zappa fans and locals alike. The gig is now available on this on vinyl, as 2 volumes, in its entirety for the first time.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
- ozric tentacles: space for the earth
(2020, lp, uk, k scope)
It's been a busy couple of weeks recently. I'm slowly catching up...
Earlier this month, Ozric Tentacles released a new album, "Space For The Earth".
Instrumental psychedelic prog rock. Very nice.
The band performed at Zappanale a couple of years ago. The concert was scheduled to start a couple of hours after midnight, if my memory serves me well.
I didn't catch it, but I probably have a recording of the show somewhere. I should give that a listen as well.
Released on (different colours) vinyl and on CD, and also on Bandcamp :
Out on the K Scope label.
-- info: Danny Mathys
- eddie jobson: live
(2020, 2cd, usa, globe music)
More recently he toured with his UKZ project during which he recorded this "Live" album.
Great stuff. Featuring Marco Minnemann, Alex Machacek, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin,...
Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of John Wetton's vocals, but other than that... Beautiful.
Everyone agrees that RSD has lost its purpose.
The Residents "Icky Flickx Soundtrack" RSD release has sold out in the shops, but you can find 126 (!!) copies for sale on discogs... At a higher price, of course.
Anyway, Frank Zappa's "Stage" sampler is also getting an RSD treatment as it is being reissued on coloured vinyl.
Announced for next weekend in mainland Europe.
- utopianisti: the third frontier
(2016, cd, finland, zen master records)
Markus Pajakkala's Utopianisti project released a third album in 2016 : "The Third Frontier".
Only available on CD and released on Zen Master Records, this album is something every Frank Zappa fan should check out.
Beautiful instrumentation, excellent compositions.
Check it out:
- frank zappa: halloween 81
(2020, 6cd, usa, zappa records)
- frank zappa: halloween 81 - highlights
(2020, cd, usa, zappa records)
Adding data to the United Mutations Archives and putting the pictures on the blog again because this is so freakin' good...
- chilltones: dig it the most
(2001, cd, usa, tso records)
California-based rock band Chilltones’ “Dig It The Most” album included a track entitled ‘Frank About Music’, a 5 minute piece that mixed music with part of an interview with Frank Zappa.
The interview got recorded in 1981 in Dekalb IL during the You Are What You Is tour. Frank is also pictured on the back cover of the album.
Monday, October 19, 2020
"The Stars That Play..." was first recorded by The Experience at Houston Studios in Los Angeles, California in late June 1967, with a number of demos taped between June 28 and 30. With the recording of "...Midnight Lamp" taking place throughout July, with the single completed by July 20, the B-side was also completed at the same time, with the basic track recorded on July 19 and additional overdubs and mixing taking place on July 29. The track features a largely unidentified group of people referred to as "The Milky Way Express" providing backing vocals, whistles and other sounds, which is said to include musician Frank Zappa. The song was also the first recording released by Hendrix to feature his subsequently characteristic wah-wah sound.
 Shapiro & Glebbeek 1995, p. 527
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Excellent collection of Sun Ra films and videos :
Gonzo Multimedia will be releasing a 3 CD box set about the Bath festival.
It will include FZ's performance of 'Mom & Dad'.
Gonzo MultiMedia are very excited to announce they have been chosen by the Freddy Bannister Estate (the promoters) of the historic 1969 and 1970 Bath Festivals to produce the official 50-year anniversary set.
For the first time ever the Bath Festival 50th Anniversary set includes; a triple CD set of restored recordings from both festivals. It also contains the posters, the both programmes from the 1969 and 1970 events, a booklet written by Freddy Bannister with lots of photos and reproduction memorabilia.
The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music was a counterculture era music festival held at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England on 27–29 June 1970. Bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin performed. The was the second Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music promoted by the Bannisters, the first held on 28th June 1969, which headlined Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and featured soon to be Rock Gods, Led Zeppelin playing a mere one hour set in the mid of the afternoon set, along with - John Mayall, The Nice, Ten Years After, Colosseum, John Peel, Keef Hartley, Roy Harper. And the audience.
The 1970 festival started at midday on the 27th (a Saturday) and finished at about 6:30 am on Monday morning. A DJ played records for early arrivers from the Friday evening and continued to do so between many of the sets until the end. The festival featured a line-up of the top American West Coast and British bands of the day, including Santana, The Flock, Led Zeppelin (headlining act), Hot Tuna, Country Joe McDonald, Colosseum, Jefferson Airplane (set aborted), The Byrds (acoustic set), The Moody Blues (unable to play), Dr. John (acoustic set), Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, Steppenwolf, Johnny Winter, John Mayall with Peter Green, Pink Floyd (premiering their new masterpiece, the yet to be named Atom Heart Mother Suite), Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Keef Hartley, and the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. This line-up was approaching the level of the more famous Isle of Wight Festival held in August of the same year. As it attracted less press coverage at the time and was a smaller affair, it has generally received less attention in the years since. The Bath Festival was the brainchild of promoter Freddy Bannister and his wife Wendy Bannister. The 1970 show attracted a significantly larger crowd of 150,000. Michael Eavis was attendant at the festival and was inspired to hold, later that year, the first event of what would become the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of these legendary festivals. Gonzo Multimedia - in conjunction with the Freddy Bannister Estate has produced a high quality limited edition box set containing: Signed and numbered certificate by Wendy Bannister. Triple CD - (featuring restored recordings from both festivals) Reproduction 1969 Program Reproduction 1970 Program Reproduction tickets for both festivals. A3 Reproduction posters for both festivals Reproduction fliers + 16-page anniversary book, containing text written by Freddie Bannister, along with photos.
1. Ten Years - After I Woke Up This Morning 2. Ten Years After - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 3. Blodwyn Pig - Aint Ya Comin’ Home 4. Blodwyn - Pig Cats Squirrel 5. Taste - Same Old Story 6. Colosseum - Walking in the Park 7. Fleetwood Mac (inc Peter Green) - Blues Jam 8. Fleetwood Mac (inc Peter Green) - So Many Natural Ways 9. Fleetwood Mac (inc Peter Green) - Red Hot Mama 10. The Nice - Karelia Suite 11. The Nice - She Belongs To Me
1. Donovan - Mellow Yellow 2. Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie 3. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild 4. Johnny Winter - Guess I’ll Go Away 5. Johnny Winter - Johnny B Goode 6. Johnny Winter - Have You Ever Been Mistreated 7. The Byrds - Rock n Roll Star 8. The Byrds - Bugler 9. The Byrds - Black Mountain Rag 10. The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man 11. The Byrds - Antique Sandy 12. The Byrds - You Ain’t Going Nowhere 13. The Byrds - Baby Do You Want Me to Do
1. John Mayall - It Might As Well Be Raining 2. John Mayall - Crazy Woman 3. Canned Heat - Reefer Blues 4. Canned Heat – Something’s Gotta Go 5. Frank Zappa - Mom And Dad 6. Country Joe - Silver and Gold 7. Country Joe - Martha Lorraine 8. Country Joe - Fixing to Die Rag 9. Santana - Black Magic Woman 10. Santana - Incident at Neshabur 11. It’s A Beautiful Day - White Bird
Dutch underground music magazine Hitweek featured this 2 page comic by Dutch comic book artist Theo van den Boogaard : "We're Only In It For The Money".
Theo van de Boogaard is best known for his "Ans en Hans" undergound comic book and for the Sjef van Oekel comic book series.
Hitweek Vol.3 N°37
May 31, 1968
-- info: Kjell Knudde
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
From the Cuneiform newsletter :
While pundits and experts debate whether the United States of America has entered an age of decline as a world power, New York saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader and inveterate troublemaker Ed Palermo makes an incontrovertible case for un-American ascendance. With The Great Un-American Songbook Volume 3: Run for your Life, slated for release on guitarist/vocalist Bruce McDaniel's Sky Cat label on November 6, 2020, Palermo turns his attention to the music of the nation’s former colonial overlords. Focusing on material by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and several acts that followed in The Beatles' footsteps), one of jazz’s finest working big bands delivers another batch of reverently irreverent arrangements with enviable precision and improvisational aplomb.
Best known for his celebrated recordings and performances interpreting the ingenious compositions of Frank Zappa, Palermo has documented his Zappaphilia on numerous Cuneiform Records albums such as 2006’s Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance and 2009’s Eddy Loves Frank. But he’s always cast a wide musical net. On the uproarious 2017 double album The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2, Palermo tackled an expansive roster of songs by a wide array of legendary British bands, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull.
Featuring largely the same stellar cast of players, the 16-piece Ed Palermo Big Band takes another trip to swinging London on The Great Un-American Songbook Volume 3: Run for Your Life. In many ways, Palermo is revisiting the music of his youth by transforming it via the craft, artistry and left-field imagination that have made him a singular figure in the world of jazz. “I grew up with this music, and like the Zappa stuff there’s a huge element of nostalgia for me,” he says. “But with the skills that I attained through all these years arranging all different types of music I revisit songs that I still love, but interpreting them my way.”
On his most recent album, A Lousy Day In Harlem (Sky Cat 2019), Palermo unleashed his talent-laden ensemble on a gorgeous array of music by Ellington, Monk, Coltrane, Egberto Gismonte, as well as his own finely wrought originals. His love of the jazz idiom is just as apparent on The Great Un-American Songbook v.3, which extends into the 21st century the time honored jazz practice of reinventing pop tunes. An arranger with an Ellingtonian palette, he honors and transforms the source material by deconstructing songs and rebuilding them as something wondrous and new.
Palermo’s way can best be described as medley virtuosity, as he turns each piece into a Rubik’s Cube maze of musical connections. Kicking off with “Within You Without You,” Palermo nods at George Harrison’s Indian raga fascination with McDaniel’s electric sitar drone before crossing the globe and adding a galloping samba groove. An extended quote from the 1966 hit by the Hollies, “Stop Stop Stop” lays perfectly on the Brazilian beat. He creates an even thicker mélange on “Run for Your Life,”which features a riveting Ben Kono tenor solo based on the chord changes of Cedar Walton’s jazz standard “Ugetsu” (aka “Fantasy in D”). And don’t miss the eight bars lifted from Zappa’s “G Spot Tornado.”
“Once the wheels start churning, that’s when I’m in my happy place,” Palermo says about his intricate mashup arrangements. “There’s just nothing like the discovery, the eureka! moment of realizing that elements of songs can fit together. I love finding a way to put things together when on paper it looks like the songs wouldn’t work.”
He turns “Strawberry Fields Forever” into a thrilling vehicle for violinist Katie Jacoby, who navigates a slippery slalom from the beloved Beatles hit into “Shove It Right In” (“a typical Zappa love song,” Palermo says) from the album 200 Motels. Listening to her shred, it should come as no surprise to hear that Jacoby also tours with The Who. After her solo references “Darkness” by The Police, the piece careens through fragrant fragments of “Glad” by Traffic, “She’s Not There” by The Zombies, and Zappa’s “Dog Breath.” On paper, it sounds like a dog’s breakfast, but in the hands of these ace players the piece unfolds like it was conceived as a single entity. It’s hard to overstate the power and finesse exhibited by the band’s longtime rhythm section with pianist Bob Quaranta, electric bassist Paul Adamy, drummer Ray Marchica, and Ted Kooshian on keyboards. In the studio the band is documenting arrangements that they’ve finely honed on the bandstand.
“Before the Covid 19 pandemic we had two regularly gigs, playing Iridium every month and The Falcon every other month,” Palermo notes. “I started arranging these songs with the same fervor as the Zappa tunes, and we’ve been performing them live for at least a year before the recording. I’m very mindful that I want it to be a work of art in itself. We do the segues and medleys live. Part of the fun is that it all fits like a jigsaw puzzle.”
No piece on the album combines more unlikely elements than “Come Together,” an outrageous mashup that includes a flashing quote from “Light My Fire” and a few lines of melody from Zappa’s “Chunga’s Revenge” delivered with admirably dexterity on tuba by Matt Ingman. There’s another gust of “G Spot Tornado” and a scorching solo by Jacoby before the segue into Thunderclap Newman’s chart-topping “Something In the Air” as reimagined by Scott Joplin. Quaranta’s ragtime interlude turns into a surreal mashup of Zappa’s “Let’s Move to Cleveland” and “Fixin’ A Hole,” with the 6/8 groove of the former somehow meshing with the 4/4 of the Fab Four. The medley concludes with a headlong plunge into the Beatles fellow British Invaders with Jethro Tull’s “Nothing Is Easy” a pummeling feature for Jacoby and vocalist McDaniel. The arrangement includes the requisite Zappa quotes, with references to “Willie the Pimp” and “I Am the Slime.”
McDaniel takes over the concluding run, with a gorgeous Procol Harum twofer, crooning the nautical “A Salty Dog” and the anthem “Shine On Brightly.” Palermo ends the session with The Moody Blues classic “Nights In White Satin,” a piece that also features McDaniel’s stellar vocals and rhythmic traces of the Allman Brothers “Whipping Post.” No album EPBB album would be complete without a recitation by Mike James, whose bemused recitation of the Moody Blues’ “Late Lament” sends listeners out into the night, wondering, what the hell? In other words, it’s another Palermo tour de force, a sneak attack revealing the true, enduring greatness of the Un-American Songbook.
In many ways, Palermo’s career is a case study in getting the last laugh. Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, he grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and credits his teenage obsession with Zappa to opening his ears to post-bop harmonies and improvisation.
Palermo caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderley, and Edgar Winter (the subject of an upcoming Ed Palermo Big Band project). Before graduation he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians, he answered New York City’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.
An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for multiple horns, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette, “I got a lot of my questions answered and I’ll love them forever,” Palermo says. “Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”
Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, in an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners, and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for The Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddie Fischer, and Melissa Walker. Employed frequently by bass star Christian McBride on a disparate array of projects, Palermo has written arrangements for a James Brown concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a Frank Sinatra tribute featuring Kurt Elling, Seth McFarland, and John Pizzarelli, and a 20-minute medley of Wayne Shorter tunes for the New Jersey Ballet.
Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before the composer’s death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of a dozen Zappa tunes. When the time came for Palermo to debut the material at one of his band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd witnessed the occasion. “The Internet was just becoming powerful, and word really got around,” Palermo says. “We were used to playing for small audiences, and the place was packed. There were people who had driven down from Canada, and up from West Virginia who didn’t have a clue who I was, but they wanted to hear Zappa’s music. It was an amazing night.”
The Ed Palermo Big Band earned international attention with its 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays The Music of Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Dave Samuels, Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for the Zappa jazz concept. While Palermo has written more than 300 Zappa charts, he’s anything but a one-trick pony. Recent releases like 2014’s Oh No! Not Jazz!! and 2016’s One Child Left Behind, both released on Cuneiform, featured a bountiful selection of his original compositions and material by composers not named Frank Zappa.
Nothing demonstrates the ensemble’s ongoing vitality better than the stellar cast of players, with longtime collaborators such as violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, drummer Ray Marchica, and keyboardist Ted Kooshian. Many of these top-shelf musicians have been in the band for more than a decade, and they bring wide-ranging experience, expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music. From the first note of The Great Un-American Songbook Vol. 3: Run For Your Life, the Ed Palermo Big Band manifests greatness in a truly Un-American musical cause.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
From a little while ago :
-- info: BOHOUŠ
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Friday, October 9, 2020
from GlassOnyon PR
Two Of Rock’s Most Innovative Artists, TODD RUNDGREN & RIVERS CUOMO, Team Up For A Brand New Single
Los Angeles, CA - Music hipsters of the world UNITE and celebrate what is sure to be one of this year’s most talked about musical collaborations. Multi-hyphenate Todd Rundgren, famously heralded by Rolling Stone as Rock’s Renaissance Man, meets up with the equally iconoclastic Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo on “Down With The Ship,” a new song that is being released today on all digital platforms. The duo share writing duties as well as trading vocal roles on the track, which draws inspiration from reggae and African rhythms not unlike Rundgren’s evergreen 1983 hit “Bang The Drum All Day.” Lyrically, however, the song cuts with a much sharper edge, as Rundgren puts it, “It’s just a little parable about what happens when you align yourself with a treacherous leader.”
Stream the single: https://orcd.co/todd_rundgren_rivers_cuomo_down_with_the_ship
“Down With The Ship” is the second installment from Rundgren’s forthcoming album Space Force, which is being released to digital platforms as individual singles, each with its own unique artwork, every 3 or 4 weeks with the entire album coming in early 2021.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
From the Cuneiform newsletter :
Frank Zappa famously characterized music as sculpted air, a notion Ray Russell parlays into another dimension entirely on Fluid Architecture.
Russell's new collection of unique sonic structures – his first solo album since 2013's Now, More Than Ever – reflects the composer and longtime Fender Strat experimentalist's sonic signature – one distinguished by diversity and combining luscious lyricism, screaming expressionism, and an alien vocabulary of textures and colors – often within the same track. Russell's guitar can be as comforting as man's best friend or as threatening as colors out of space.
Ray Russell: guitars
Eric Baldwin: found sounds, sequential creativity
George Baldwin: bass, Chapman Stick
Chris Biscoe: tenor clarinet & soprano saxophone
Mo Foster: bass
Nic France: drums
Simon Phillips: drums
Ralph Salmins: drums
Jim Watson: keyboards
Label: CUNEIFORM RECORDS
Catalog #: Cuneiform Rune 483
Format: CD, Digital Download
Genre: GUITAR / JAZZ / ELECTRIC JAZZ / SOUNDSCAPE
Street Date: September 18, 2020
Featuring Henry Kaiser
John Hanrahan - Drums
Henry Kaiser - Guitar
Wayne Peet - Hammond & Yamaha Organs
Mike Watt - Bass
Catalog #: Cuneiform Rune 470/471
Format: CD, Digital Download
Genre: JAZZ / ROCK / EXPERIMENTAL / PSYCHEDELIC
Street Date: November 13, 2020