Viva Zappa

Viva Zappa

From the moment of Frank Zappa’s untimely passing due to prostate cancer until the formation of Zappa Plays Zappa, the only way anyone could hear Zappa’s music performed live was via one of the multitude of cover/tribute bands. From rock, jazz, baroque to big band, wind quintets, and classical ensembles, the variety of musical approaches and bands were just as eclectic and varied as much of the music itself — with names like Project/Object, FiDO, The Muffin Men just to name a few. In Canada, if you wanted a live Zappa fix, the band to see and hear was Viva Zappa, based in Quebec. You can download individual Zappa covers interpreted by Viva Zappa, or download their entire CD, Viva Zappa: The Purple Lagoon Sessions 2006 & 2007, at Zappateers (Sorry, Torrent).


What’s your favourite Zappa Tribute Band(s)?

10 Responses to “Viva Zappa”

  1. Tim says:

    I really like Project/Object, with or without any of the Zappa sidemen with whom they’ve toured. The first time I saw them was at an open air gig, late at night, and (to tie in to the post) at the end of the set, as people walked away, to see Andre standing on stage, pumping his fist in the air and screaming “Viva Zappa! Viva Zappa!” had me pretty close to tears.
    I’ve seen them four times since, and I really think they get it.

  2. bernard says:

    Do I happen to be embarassing? Way of thinking, FZ like = Open mind, excluding drugs & alcohol.
    1. We don’t need any full FZ radio station. Just as we don’t need any Mozart, Bach, Coltrane, Carter, Cage or Zorn ( etc. ) rad st. Why? Because FZ happened to be an open invi to 1. autonomous thought ( FZ truly proved that it was possible) and 2. to rethink things over and over again. Life’s a mix ( that’s elementary).
    2. Music is the Best. I fully agree. Why? Initial thoughts ( hopefully to be further completed):
    - It happens to be universal, unlike language. No translation needed.
    - There’s an extremely old ) from the first ever performance & score ) onwards link with dacne & the body.
    - It generates feelings.Litterature or – more imprtant nature ( for instance a sunset) – happen to generate the same effect. Catalysing feelings in the head & soul of those who are looking/ listening.
    - Music digs deeper. It digs deeper than the experience of any group of listeners. Why? Because it’s linked to each listeners experience. It just happens to be very personal. The most intimate of arts. Much more purenees than in any other art.
    - Broader: it brings tribes, i e people together.
    OK, that’s just a starting point.
    Elementair: het brengt grotere groepen mensen bijeen dan anderen.
    Muziek is de kunst, die eerder en nu een doel bereikt heeft, waar alle andere vormen naar streven

  3. Matt says:

    Wow, someone more self-involved than Ben Watson.
    I need the FZ station. It’s a great way for the ZFT to promote new releases. Hearing “The Uncle Frankie Show” has made me finally want to purchase Joe’s Xmassage.

  4. urbangraffito says:

    The first cover/tribute band, of sorts, was The Grandmothers. I highly recommend their CD, A Mother of an Anthology (it completely destroys the myth that the original Mothers couldn’t play original material independent of Frank).

  5. Al Stone says:

    Just because there is a radio station it doesn’t mean you have to listen to it all the time. It just means it’s there if you want it.

  6. bernard says:

    Let’s have a look at ” do we need a FZ r.s.?”.
    Fanclubs., more milderly : like minded people, starting from the love for music.
    Take/ compare it with R. Wagner. Wagner’s r.s. is – still is – the Bayreuth Festspiele. There might even be a weirdo in this world taking care of a Wagner r.s., you never know.
    Does any FZ fan like this to happen within +/- 100 years? I hope they don’t.
    Why?
    The answer is very simple :
    -Wagner was a haughty genuine conservative.
    -FZ was an innovator.
    Completely different message.

  7. urbangraffito says:

    Excuse me fellow freaks, but what do the above comments have to do with Zappa cover/tribute bands?

  8. fugaz says:

    Not exactly a tribute band, but the Harmonia Ensemble, in 1994 came out with a tribute album that I loved for years, and still do.
    Harmonia meets Zappa
    Materiali sonori 1994
    For the records it is available on emusic.

  9. urbangraffito says:

    I wish there was another term besides “tribute band” or “cover band” to describe these groups of musicians that rise to the challenge of performing Zappa’s material. They are more than just tribute/cover bands. Anyone who has listened to the Ed Palermo Big Band, the Harmonia Ensemble, The Bogus Pomp Low Budget Semi-Acoustic Orchestra, or Marzi Nyman & the Estonian Dream Big Band know that these musicians are: 1) more than just your average bar band fare, 2) extremely accomplished musicians in their own right, and 3) are doing it all for the love of FZ’s music.

  10. scott says:

    Urbangraffito is correct. Bands that play Zappa music are several cuts above. Anybody want to argue that? HUH?
    I didn’t think so.