Wherein Barry Does Not Mention The ZFT

Thanks all for posting comments and sending in emails with regard to You Know What — we all appreciate this more than you can imagine and will be adding more information here as promised. Since I’m coming down with a perfectly timed cold, nicely coupled with an ear infection, New Year’s Eve being just days away, posting will be light here for the coming days. Until then, a couple of links to relax, inform and keep you busy:

  • Untangle – intriguing little flash puzzle, oddly appropriate given the circumstances…
  • Ed Palermo: Zappa And Jazz – “let’s examine the question of why a composer/arranger should involve himself so deeply in someone else’s music”…
  • Wiki Jawaka – the wiki just recently surpassed the 4.000 articles mark related to you know who. Kudos to all involved! Onward!
  • Your Scene Sucks – remember that ol’ uniform thing?
  • The Elfs Of Invention – hat tip: Heitor M. Pannuti
  • Zappa Trivia Quiz – Fun, though not as tough as I would have expected.
  • Quote Of The Week: “Pfff, just my luck — to be a fan of both FZ and Prince!” – (Marco, via email)
  • KUR spotting – mentions of KUR elsewhere, in light of recent events…


Oh, and will Bappy Lorenzo report at the front desk ASAP please? KUR’s World Tour Scrapbook has been missing ever since he received it on November 10th.

11 thoughts on “Wherein Barry Does Not Mention The ZFT”

  1. What a nice text from Ed Palermo! Thanks for linking it here. It’s nice as a text in itself – about himself, about his hero, about jazz – but in this particular situation it’s more emotional (or what).
    (I wish I had his second FZ album – I loved the first one!)

  2. xorg says:
    December 28th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Is Ed Palermo on G*il’s list of ‘good guys’ or her list of ‘bad guys’?

    Bad guys, it appears, xorg. Read on.

    from United Mutations:

    He’s Not In It For The Money:
    Frank Zappa’s Big Band Brother Ed Palermo

    by Jordan Hoffman

    JH: In the notes to your album, you mention that if you ever get a chance to meet Gail & the kids, you promise to chip in a little for dinner. This begs to be asked about. Can you elaborate on this? Did you not have a good experience working with the Zappa Family Trust?

    EP: Actually, that little joke meant nothing. It was just a lame little joke, which is a drag because I think the rest of the liner notes are funny as hell, if I do say so myself.

    As to my experience with the Zappas, it goes a little like this: Frank Zappa had been ripped off his entire career by bootleggers and record companies. Add to that the close family bond that the Zappas have, it was inevitable that they would be suspicious of people once again ripping them off. It’s really very sweet how loyal they are. Unfortunately, they seem to be suspicious of everybody they don’t know and to some they do know. They’ve never met me, so the only way they have of knowing how sincere I am with this project are with the 4 or 5 letters I wrote to Gail Zappa (Frank’s wife) when I started this project 5 years ago. In those letters, I explained to her that the players in my band generally don’t get paid enough to pay for their parking on those concert nights, and I always lose money. I also asked for her blessing in continuing Frank’s legacy. I never heard back from her, so I decided to go ahead and do the concerts anyway.

    Well, 2 or 3 years go by and I finally get a record deal with Astor Place Records. Negotiations between company lawyers and the Zappa estate are slow and strained. At one point, a Zappa lawyer says to an Astor Place lawyer, “Gail is not happy that Ed Palermo is making a living off of her husband’s music.”

    MAKING A LIVING?!! It was at that point I realized there was nothing I could ever do to win her over. Like I said before, I understand, and even admire, her loyalty to her husband, but it is just plain delusional to think anyone could make a dime playing, “Dog Breath Variations” with an 18 piece big band. So, it was at that point that I stopped caring whether the Zappas accept me or not. I still wish them the best, because they’re Frank’s loved ones, but there is only so much I can do. I recently met Gail’s sister, Sherrie. What a sweetheart! We met at this Zappa tribute in Florida I was involved with 2 months ago. She couldn’t have been nicer. She also brought along her husband and some others, including a beautiful young actress by the name of Lala who happens to be Gail and Sherrie’s niece. We all hung out quite a lot during the weekend and they seemed to love the concert, especially Lala, because she spent most of her life in the Zappa household, hearing Frank’s music being composed through the walls. She was openly weeping during some of the numbers, as was Sherrie. It was such a beautiful weekend. And all of us (Ike Willis, me, Jerry Outlaw, the great guitarist from a group called Bogus Pomp) kept trying to get Sherrie to relay back to Gail how much we sincerely love this music, how much money we’re losing, and mainly, that we are not the enemy. I know Sherrie understood, but it’s yet to be seen if she has swayed Gail. Time will tell.

    For the entire interview go here.

  3. ok, so anyway
    i love frank
    ia have always loved frank
    but why???
    his music?
    yes of course
    his humor?
    what else?
    his integrity
    his ability to rise above the circumstances surrounding him
    and when that was not possible,
    to move on.

  4. Balint says:
    December 28th, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    What a nice text from Ed Palermo! Thanks for linking it here. It’s nice as a text in itself – about himself, about his hero, about jazz – but in this particular situation it’s more emotional (or what).
    (I wish I had his second FZ album – I loved the first one!)

    I was fortunate enough (or smart enough, perhaps) to pick up Ed Palermo’s first album when it first came out. An excellent album. I really like his interpretations of FZ’s work, especially the older MOI tunes. His shows at The Bottom Line and the Sonar (which I recently collected) are fantastic (especially for a woodwind aficionado such as myself). Can’t wait to get my hands on his second album, either.

  5. As I said before: unlike in Europe in the US there is no public financing of efforts made by musicians to take music further and be creative.
    That’s why – in jazz- many years ago black musicians from Chicago created the AACM. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a non-profit organization. It’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
    The AACM is devoted “to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music,” according to their charter. They support and encourage jazz performers, composers and educators. Their motto is, “Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future.”

    Early members included Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago: Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Famoudou Don Moye, and Malachi Favors.

  6. Thanks, Urbangraffito!

    It’s a shame that Ga*l doesn’t seem to understand what Ed Palermo is about. But in any case, as long as the ZF* gets its ‘mechanical royalties’ (such as they are) from Palermo’s record sales and concerts why shouldn’t he make some money from Frank’s music?

    Paul McCartney doesn’t mind how many people cover ‘Yesterday’ – and some versions are truly excreable. Regardless of who owns the publishing, he still gets his composer’s royalty. And how many people ‘make a living’ off Cole Porter’s, or George Gershwin’s music (and many more). Ga*l needs to wake up and smell the coffee!

  7. All musicians make use of earlier music. That’s the way forward. No Miles Davis in the absence of earler jazz. No Z without Varèse, etc.

    I don’t know how paptent & copyrights are treated in ” popular” music. Anyway all good musicians will keep stealing from others. Again: that’s the way forward. Both for learning and innovating.
    As for classical music ( including the present day cl mu): it’s til 30 years after the first creation of the score ( in France it’s …70 years). Result : young musicians are sent to a sort of purgatory, called esthetic rediscovery, yes of scores which happen to be more than 30 years old. This superprotection blocks the creation & programming of contemporary work.
    Jazz? Do you know one single jazz musician who didn’ t rely on “standards”( +/_ 2000 songs ) ?

  8. I recently read that Jackson has to sell the rights of the Beatles catalogue, because of his own finance problems. Anyway, he always sings “The Cash Is Mine” when a song of the Beatles is aired!

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