Posts Tagged ‘zappa alumni’

Selected Idiot Bastard Sons

As a big fan of all Zappa and Zappa-related recordings, I’ve accumulated an immense number of live concerts, shows, and radio broadcasts via Zappateers and purchased elsewhere (far, far too many to name in this post). Among them, certain shows and recordings stand out as being exceptionally good.
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Zappanale 20 – Highlight: Sheik Yerbouti

Take one Zappa tribute band, Sheik Yerbouti, add three alumni from Zappa’s touring and recording bands – Napoleon Murphy Brock, Denny Walley, and Robert Martin – put them all together on the Zappanale 20 Main Stage, and the result is absolutely, positively, exceptionally gestalt.
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Musicians Play FZ – Part II

Alas, I’ve saved the best for last. “Musicians Play FZ – Part II“, a compilation of FZ songs performed by various musicians, from Sting to The Persuasions and many in between (plucked from my own collection). Enjoy this mix for the next two weeks, at which time the “Son of Tweezer Glint” series will resume.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Note: if we are infringing on anyone’s copyright, contact KUR and we’ll remove the offending material.

Tom Fowler Interview, Los Angeles, 1996

Interviewed by Juha Rompannen, in Los Angeles on April 24th, 1996, Tom Fowler — who played bass guitar in Frank Zappa’s touring and recording band between 1973 and 1975 — talks about his background, time with Frank, other collaborations, and current projects in this 5 part interview:
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Musicians Play FZ – Part I

Originally conceived as an interruption in the “Son of Tweezer Glint” series for we schmucks who couldn’t make it to Zappanale 20 in Bad Doberan — “Musicians Play FZ – Part I” is the first of a two part series which will run concurrently for the next 4 weeks (my own virtual Zappanale, of sorts, you might say, plucked from my own collection), at which time the “Son of Tweezer Glint” series will resume.

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

This mixtape is for Sharleena (get well, soon) and Barry (while not the real Zappanale, there is always next year amigos).

Note: if we are infringing on anyone’s copyright, contact KUR and we’ll remove the offending material.

You Ef What You Zee — The Eternal Question

In one of the previous posts, “The MOI – Conflicted Histories“, I was struck by one of the questions posed to Jimmy Carl Black:

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The Avalon All-Stars


The Avalon All-Stars is a loose-knit house band of the Avalon Ballroom located in San Francisco, CA, and featuring – depending on the night and availability – former members of the Jerry Garcia Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and others. In the first of the two clips from their December 28th, 2003, performance the set opens with some improvisational scratching around that bloomed into a Johnny “Guitar” Watson number, “You Can Stay But the Noise Must Go.” The second clip is a cover of The Jerry Garcia Band’s “Get Out My Life Woman”.

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Inca Roads a la Mike Keneally


Before you vote comment on the Ben Thomas rendition of Inca Roads with ZPZ, I suggest you watch these two clips: the first has Mike Keneally performing Inca Roads in Swindon, UK, in October of 2008; the second clip is an acoustic cover of Inca Roads (with Brian Beller) performed at Guitar Center, Seattle, Washington, October 7th, 2002.

Zappanale (Then & Now) – The Grande Mothers



Between now and August 16th, 2009, the start of Zappanale’s 20th Jubilee, I am going to feature both past and present participants of Zappanale, beginning with The Grande Mothers.

The Grande Mothers feature Zappa alumni, Napoleon Murphy Brock (lead vocals, tenor sax, woodwinds and choreography), Don Preston (vocals, keyboards and transformations), and Roy Estrada (vocals, bass and pachuco falsetto), along with musicians Chris Garcia (drums, percussion and vocals) and Miroslav Tadic (electric guitar and all the difficult Zappa licks). Over the last few years they have toured to enthusiastic audiences in the US, Canada, Great Britain, as well as various stops in West and Eastern Europe showcasing their special blend of musical mayhem, virtuosic playing, bizarre humor, and as always, their playful love of the music, itself, and each other. And the feeling is contagious and infectious (or so was the sensation when they performed in my little neck of the woods last year).

Just don’t just take my word for it, though. Listen to the interview with the group (first clip). Watch them perform “Pygmy Twylyte” at the Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead, UK on the 12th March 2008 (second clip). Or perform “Peaches en Regalia” at the Sugar Nightclub for Victoria’s JazzFest ’08.

If those aren’t enough to convince you, click here, here, and here.

Celebrating Alumni — KUR Style




The first clip, shot at a concert in Detroit, August 19, 2000, features the GrandmothersDon Preston, Ener Bladezipper, Sandro Oliva, Bunk Gardner, and the late Jimmy Carl Black – performing Black’s “Indian of the Group”.

In the second clip, recorded at the Jimmy Carl Black Benefit Concert on December 7th, 2008, in Action, California, has Bunk Gardner on flute and Andy Cahan on Guitar (both original Geronimo Black alumni) performing “Seista”.

The third clip, Jimmy Carl Black performs his last gig in El Paso, Texas, at King’s X with his son, Geronimo Black.

In the last clip, Mick Pini, Jimmy Carl Black, and Uwe Jesdinsky perform the song, “Political Man” at the Rockhouse, in June 2008. This track, recorded and available from CD Baby, on ‘Hamburger Midnight’ by B.E.P. (Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Mick Pini), 2008, as a download-only release. An excellent live blues album. Go and have a listen.

A toast to all these Mothers, both official and unofficial.