Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with Frank Zappa
With keyboardist Bobby Martin (sticking to grand piano on this occasion), bassist Scott Thunes and drummer Chad Wackerman accompanying Zappa, they open with his snappy "Peaches En Regalia." Following a brief journey into "Oh No" (also known as the main theme from Lumpy Gravy), Zappa invites McPartland to sit in for his blistering "Zoot Allures," where the pianist impresses him with her bluesy solo. Then it is the guitarist's turn to surprise his host by playing Eric Dolphy's "G.W." (a tribute to Gerald Wilson), with a finesse that indicates that Zappa would have made a formidable jazz guitarist had he chosen that path. The program host sits in again for a poignant take of Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments," with effective solos by McPartland, Zappa and Martin.
For her solo feature, McPartland again shows off a bit with an impressionistic take of Zappa's "Twenty Small Cigars," causing its composer to ask, "Do you wanna go on the road with us?" Finally, all ends well with a rousing finale of "King Kong," prompting McPartland to say, "I've never had so much fun playing rock!"
Sadly, this show was lost in the shuffle due to a distribution problem with the Piano Jazz reel-to-reel tapes (prior to most stations switching to satellite feeds to obtain NPR programs), while some conservative station managers refused to air this particular program at all. It also was never added to the rebroadcast schedule, for reasons not clearly known, so it is one of the rarest editions of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz ever aired.
Tracks: Peaches En Regalia; Oh No; Zoot Allures; G. W.; Stolen Moments; Twenty Small Cigars; King Kong.
Personnel: Frank Zappa: electric guitar, vocals; Bobby Martin: piano; Scott Thunes: electric bass; Chad Wackerman: drums; Marian McPartland: piano.