DVD-Audio may not be your preferred format, but here's a release that actually needs its special capabilities. There have been a number of high-profile albums that have been remixed to take advantage of Surround Sound, a case of retooling the recordings to take advantage of a new consumer format. Music consumers who began their music purchases during the digital era may not be aware that an attempt was made at "more than stereo" recordings back in the '70s, utilizing a four-channel system known as quadraphonic.
Official Release #105. All Masters Produced by Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa For President? You betcha! We know at various times he wanted to run for office. In the spirit of the 2016 dramatic presidential election adventures, comes a release that gives us a glimpse into what could have been. This album is comprised of unreleased compositions realized on the Synclavier along with other relevant tracks mined from the Vault with a political thread tying it all together. Don't forget to Register and Vote!
3CDs OF INVALUABLE ZAPPA BROADCASTS. INCLUDES SETS FROM HIS 1973 TOUR, COMPILED BY THE MAN HIMSELF. This triple CD features three rare recordings, all originally broadcast on FM radio, and now available here in this superb fold out digipack set. Featuring performances made at; Central Park, New York in 1968, with the original Mothers Of Invention (and featuring numbers from both the early and late sets on the day in question); from the TV & simultaneous radio transmission from Udel in Holland in 1970 (the first live show by the second incarnation of the Mothers, and featuring Flo & Eddie in the ranks) and, on the third CD, a collection of live performances from Zappa s 1973 tour, from a tape put together by Frank himself and broadcast on New Year s Eve 1974. The tracks and shows represented on this set illustrate the spectrum of Zappa and his various groups live abilities across the first decade of the man s career, and in so doing reveal a quite fascinating trajectory of Frank Zappa's live work.
At the time of Frank Zappa's passing in late 1993, he left a number of projects in varying stages of completeness. Some of these had gotten no further than the so-called "build-reel" stage. It was at this preliminary phase that the artist had done little more than set aside various and sundry audio on the back-burner in his Utility Muffin Research Kitchen home studio. One Shot Deal (2008) is a single-CD compilation taken from a number of disparate sources – including a pair of tunes from Zappa's "build reels." As the set's co-producer Gail Zappa explains in her inimitable style in the brief liner notes essay "…the guitar was the main element for me…." With that as an unofficial mandate, the 5-plus minutes – which cover the meaty nine-year span of 1972 to 1981 – is undeniably fret-centric.
Official Release #109. Original Recordings And Mixes Produced By Frank Zappa. Little Dots contains more recordings of the under-documented Petit Wazoo Ensemble, which toured at the end of 1972 (previously heard officially on Imaginary Diseases). Again, the sound isn't pristine here, but it's quite listenable. The show starts with a very early version of "Cosmik Debris," but other than that and "Rollo" the material is all new (mostly due to being largely improvised). "Little Dots, Pt. 1" is a previously unreleased piece that features bassist Dave Parlato and drummer Jim Gordon in dialogue, joined by FZ on guitar about halfway though. "Little Dots, Pt. 2" kicks off with a Tony Duran slide solo, and heads into a trombone solo followed by another FZ guitar solo.
Official Release #94. Finer Moments is a curious but mostly excellent compilation of (mostly) instrumental odds and ends put together by FZ in 1972 that went (mostly) unreleased until 2012. Disc one concentrates on the 1968-1969 Mothers. The first four tracks are from a 1969 Royal Albert Hall show that was partially documented in the film Uncle Meat. "Sleazette" is a great guitar solo, but the Mozart piece loses quite a bit without the "ballet" visuals. "The Wailing Zombie Music" sounds part-composed/part-conducted improvisation. "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" is a nice jam from 1971 featuring some nice wah-wah alto sax from Ian Underwood and wicked soloing from FZ.