157

Banned From Utopia: So Yuh Don't Like Modern Art

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Featuring alumni of his various ensembles, this little big band was founded in 1994 to perform a Frank Zappa tribute at Germany’s Stuttgart Jazz Festival. Therefore, this 2002 studio production features the group’s interpretations of five Zappa compositions to complement original works by the respective band members. Even the CD cover art features an abstract, cartoon type illustration that mirrors the artwork found on Zappa’s early Mother of Invention LPs. In a nutshell, these folks revitalize the memory of Zappa’s large ensemble works via unbelievably difficult horn and rhythmic arrangements amid stabs at humor and zaniness. Ex-Zappa drummer Chad Wackerman is a source of amazement here - especially when he utilizes his kit as melodic vehicle throughout the nearly impossible time signatures. Hence, Zappa’s disciplined approach and unforgiving musical complexities often turned mere mortals into superior artisans.

The ensemble melds C&W twang and humor with abrupt shifts in tempo, in concert with some intentionally cheesy vocal escapades. Besides the satirical lyricism heard on “Christian Coalition Blues” and some good old hanky panky, the overall sound is brash yet at times luminous. The group even renders a few lushly executed passages, consisting of mood-evoking choruses and a relaxed sense of swing. A fitting tribute to the late master for sure! The musicians serve up an irrefutably rousing offering that casts a contemporary edge to Zappa’s storied and sometimes misunderstood legacy! (Strongly recommended...)

Favored Nations


Track Listing: 1.Freeway Vigilante 2.Dupree

Personnel: Arthur Barrow: bass, guitar

Title: So Yuh Don't Like Modern Art | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Favored Nations


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.