Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

7

Highly Opinionated

Zappa and the burning strings

Read "Zappa and the burning strings" reviewed by Mick Raubenheimer


Zappa. A glimpse.The composition was entering its fifth mood, a diabolical, gleeful, lurching rhythm, led by deep-plowed violin. The song was “Revised Music for Violin and Low Budget Orchestra," it was written for Jean-Luc Ponty by Frank Zappa. A new instrument dawned into my framework as that composition wheezed and moaned and ranted and spun—that classic, demure, genteel pansy of an instrument had been plucked from its staid Old European stand and forged into a complex, eloquent and ...

17

Film Review

Zappa

Read "Zappa" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Alex Winter Zappa Magnolia Pictures 2020 Composer, guitarist and iconoclast nonpareil, Frank Zappa was never an easy artist to pin down, as Alex Winter's perceptive and entertaining documentary makes abundantly clear. If an artist's music should speak for itself, what are we to make of Zappa's freakish '60s collage of doo-wop, Stravinsky, rock and burlesque humor, his jazz-rock leanings in the first half of the 1970s, the coarse satire, his musique concrète and ...

3

Radio

Zappity-Doo-Dah

Read "Zappity-Doo-Dah" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


To be perfectly Frank, the boys don't know all that much about rock and roll's prickliest, most demanding composer/conceptualist/guitarist/ideologue, so they look at a couple of recordings by the maestro himself and a couple by other musicians paying homage to the man with a mustache. Burt Bacharach meets Hal Wilner's tribute to Thelonious Monk in a prize-winningly eclectic pop matters sequence. (No actual prizes were awarded). Playlist Discussion of Frank Zappa's album Roxy and Elsewhere (DiscReet Records) ...

7

Live Review

The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa Tour at The Paramount

Read "The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa Tour at The Paramount" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante


The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa Tour The Paramount Huntington, NY April 24, 2019 Frank Zappa was one of the most eclectic and influential musicians for the 20th Century. The musician, composer, activist and filmmaker's work and career exemplifies nonconformity, improvisational musical themes, sound experiments and technical musical virtuosity. Satire of the American experience and culture played a huge part in Zappa's oeuvre. Zappa's career was lengthy, lasting over 30 years. He composed and released ...

2

Radio

I Sing the Lineup Eclectic

Read "I Sing the Lineup Eclectic" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


Cool organ, hot tenor, acapella movie theme and third-stream oboe musings—this episode has everything but a theme. While the albums discussed span the era from 1972 to 2014 the insights are timeless-probably. After that wide-ranging exploration of jazz and jazz adjacent fun, pop matters explores Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden as well as releases by Frank Zappa and Pulp. Playlist Discussion of Oregon's album Music of Another Present Era (Vanguard) 2:48 Discussion of Bennie Wallace's album The Free ...

6

Radio

Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die, Part 2

Read "Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This week we continue the retrospective dedicated to Frank Zappa's complex relationship with jazz, through a mix of the jazzier compositions performed by Zappa himself and countless tributes to his music paid by jazz musicians. As Frank Zappa loved to say, quoting Edgard Varèse, “the present day composer refuses to die" and the music featured in this show provides plenty of evidence that he was right. Happy listening! [The first part of this Frank ...

15

Radio

Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die

Read "Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Frank Zappa may have said “jazz is not dead, it just smells funny" but looking at his life and music one does not get the impression that he really believed that jazz was decomposing or dying a slow death. On Freak Out, one of the most impressive debut albums of all times, he included a list of 179 people that had influenced him, including jazz luminaries like Charles Mingus, Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy and Rahsaan Roland Kirk ...


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