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Ed Palermo: The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren

Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

It isn't a characteristically positive sign when an album incorporates obvious humor into its credits and occasionally, the music itself. The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren could raise red flags with its title, personnel adjectives such as “Terrifying Trombones" and listing Kellyanne Conway as “Alternative Executive Producer." But a listener familiar with The Ed Palermo Big Band, Cuneiform catalog, including Oh No! Not Jazz!! (2014), One Child Left Behind (2016) and The Great Un-American Songbook, Vols. I & II (2017), knows ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ed Palermo Big Band at the Iridium

Read "Ed Palermo Big Band at the Iridium" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Ed Palermo Big Band Featuring Napoleon Murphy Brock Iridium New York, NY January 8, 2016 You can just about always count on a number of things in any show by the Ed Palermo Big Band: the music of Frank Zappa; inventive arrangements, richly crafted; tight, stellar playing by the ensemble; a nearly non-stop pace; and--maybe above all--a lively sense of humor. Not one to disappoint, the leader started off the first set of Friday's show ...

INTERVIEWS

Ed Palermo: Not Only In It For The Money

Read "Ed Palermo: Not Only In It For The Money" reviewed by Duncan Heining

It's been twenty years since saxophonist-composer-arranger Ed Palermo and his Big Band began playing the music of Frank Zappa. Twenty years, not a lot of bread but a whole lot of love from fans and musicians alike. Oh No! Not Jazz!! on Cuneiform Records marks the band's fourth Zappa album and the third for that remarkable independent label but it also adds something new to the mix. It's a double CD set with the second CD devoted to Palermo's own ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ed Palermo: Eddy Loves Frank

Read "Eddy Loves Frank" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Since 1994, Ed Palermo has arranged and performed over 200 works by the late Frank Zappa, a brilliant musician whose often controversial lyrics distracted people from his gifts as a composer. Putting together a tightly rehearsed band consisting of New York City-based musicians, Palermo has played his charts in nightclubs around the city for over 15 years, while excelling at putting his personal stamp on Zappa's music in a jazz setting, drawing material from different periods in the rocker's career. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ed Palermo Big Band: Eddy Loves Frank

Read "Eddy Loves Frank" reviewed by Nic Jones

With the dubious benefit of hindsight, it could be argued that Frank Zappa's music could--and on the basis of this release can still be--defined by what it's not. Zappa was both astute and knowing enough to realize that both progressive and jazz rock could easily become stylistic straitjackets. His music was reflective of this knowledge as much as it was infused with a sense of humor so sophisticated as to be entirely at odds with his often low-brow verbal satire. ...

INTERVIEWS

Ed Palermo: We're Only In It For The Music

Read "Ed Palermo: We're Only In It For The Music" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's got to be love, hasn't it? Why else would someone bother to transcribe 200 of Frank Zappa's tunes? For what other reason would someone dedicate himself for over 15 years to presenting his arrangements of Zappa's music in the setting of a 17-piece jazz big band, and at a loss to boot?

Yes, it's safe to say that saxophonist, composer and arranger Ed Palermo really, really loves Frank.

Ed Palermo (center, on alto) with Ed ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ed Palermo Big Band: Eddy Loves Frank

Read "Ed Palermo Big Band: Eddy Loves Frank" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The Ed Palermo Big BandEddy Loves FrankCuneiform Records2009

Saxophonist and bandleader Ed Palermo loves Frank Zappa, and not just a little bit. It's not only the transcribing of 200 Zappa tunes, the scores of concerts where Palermo has led his big band through the late Zappa's music, nor the three CDs celebrating his music which Palermo has recorded to date; it's also the fact that Palermo considers Zappa worthy of the same ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Eddy Loves Frank

Read "Eddy Loves Frank" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Alto saxophonist/bandleader Ed Palermo returns with his third CD devoted to the music of Frank Zappa. Palermo has now become the jazz face of Zappa, having prepared close to 200 transcripts that leaven the music with jazz harmony, while leaving the inherent flavor and quirkiness intact. The charts lend themselves to lush orchestration as much as they leave room for individual musicians to make distinctive statements. Add Palermo's humor to the dynamic, and it's yet another delicious dollop of enjoyable ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Read "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Frank Zappa once quipped that jazz wasn't dead, it just smelt funny. To many people his own highly personal brand of music also gave off a rather strange whiff at times although, since his death in 1993, his orchestral/avant-garde works have received increasingly serious consideration. At the same time Zappa's rock music has inspired a plethora of tribute bands, such as guitarist John Etheridge's Zappatistas and saxophonist Ed Palermo's big band.

Take Your Clothes Off when You Dance ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Read "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" reviewed by Gina Vodegel

If two is company, would three be a crowd? In addition to an already published pair of positive reviews of this homage to Frank Zappa, this third review will hopefully sail off as a good luck charm for Ed Palermo's future enterprises. Not that he really needs it, given the fact that NPR featured Palermo and this album in one of their Weekend Edition Sundays last October--a very pleasant and welcome opportunity for this most entertaining and contemplative album to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Read "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Saxophonist and bandleader Ed Palermo has been arranging and performing the music of rock icon Frank Zappa for the last twelve years. 25 years ago he assembled a sixteen-piece big band of New York-based musicians which have played regularly at various Manhattan jazz clubs. This album is Palermo's second recording specifically dedicated to Zappa's original music.

Frank Zappa was many things to many people: he was brilliant, zany, creative and a bit crazy, but never truly jazzy. Though recognized as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Read "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Ed Palermo first saw Frank Zappa performing in 1969, and that was to become a life-altering vision which would enlarge his perspective of what music could and should be. The fact that he migrated to jazz and picked up the saxophone while in university a few years later did not change the effect that Zappa wrought. He put the vision to good use, shaping Zappa's tunes for his big band. Palermo's first recording of the music was predictably called Plays ...


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