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MUSICIAN Born:

Frank Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa was born on 21 December 1940, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. His parents were second-generation Sicilian Greeks, the family had arabian and french origins too. His father played "strolling crooner" guitar. At the age of 12 Frank, who had relocated to California with his family, became interested in drums, learning orchestral percussion at summer school in Monterey. In high school he had some more harmony training because he was an unruly senior, and was given permission to take some harmony classes "to occupy his mind with". In fact, he found the training very boring. The first time he had any of his music performed was at Mount St

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lyle Workman: Uncommon Measures

Read "Uncommon Measures" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

If there's a major takeaway to be had from listening to guitarist Lyle Workman's Uncommon Measures, it's the palpable sense that all of his impressive musical experience has been poured into it. And to that end, Workman certainly doesn't bury the lead. The epic opening track “North Star" can single-handedly make sense of Workman's entire decades-long ...

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Manlio Maresca: L'imprevedibile gioco delle parti.

Read "Manlio Maresca: L'imprevedibile gioco delle parti." reviewed by Paolo Marra

La musica di Manlio Maresca è una centrifuga di elementi musicali dei più svariati uniti, nella loro essenza, dallo spirito di rottura di schemi prefissati: punk, rock alternativo, jazz tradizionale ed elettronica miscelati in un vertiginoso gioco senza soluzione di continuità tra musicista ed ascoltatore. Chitarrista e compositore, sin dalla prima formazione dei Neo, fondata nel ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan's Voyage to Infidels

Read "Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan's Voyage to Infidels" reviewed by Doug Collette

Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan's Voyage to Infidels Terry Gans 256 pages ISBN: # ISBN-13 : 978-1912733392 Red Planet Books 2020 Terry Gans' Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan's Voyage to Infidels is an in-depth examination of Bob Dylan's Infidels (Columbia, 1983) album, the title of ...

ARTICLE: FILM REVIEW

Il documentario "Zappa"

Read "Il documentario "Zappa"" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

Alex Winter Zappa Magnolia Pictures 2020 Fortemente voluto dal suo autore, l'attore e regista Alex Winter, dopo una lavorazione che lo ha impegnato per alcuni anni, arriva finalmente sugli schermi (almeno quelli virtuali, dato che la situazione pandemica mondiale ha portato alla cancellazione della quasi totalità delle presentazioni a vari ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020

Read "Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

2020 abridged: A staggering loss of lives and livelihoods. We had worldwide social unrest, wildfires, locust swarms of Biblical proportions, killer hornets, killer drones, kids in cages; an impeachment, an election, an attempted insurrection. Oh, and Poland accidentally invaded the Czech Republic. It was not exactly the Gilded Age. Yet, amid doom-scrolling, the creative music community ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Django Bates: Tenacity

Read "Tenacity" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Few jazz artists go to such great lengths to make their audience feel at the same time bewildered by humor-infused technical exhaustion and smitten by charm and sheer musical beauty as Django Bates does. The English pianist and composer has gained a reputation over the years, for bringing the quirkiest and widest range of ideas and ...


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