When Frank Zappa died in 1993, he had spent much of his remaining time and energy completing a number of projects before the end finally came. Why the majority of them are still unreleased as of late 2006 is anybody's guess, but perhaps the long awaited release of Trance-Fusion is a good sign. Trance-Fusion is another collection of guitar solos, forming something of a trilogy with the Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar set and Guitar. As FZ fans know, Frank had his favorite vehicles for soloing and careful listening to the albums as a group gives you a good idea which songs these are.
After being thrown 15 feet off of the Rainbow Theater stage in London on December 10, 1971 by unstable concert attendee Trevor Howell, Frank Zappa spent the better part of the following winter and spring in rehearsals for what would become the Waka/Jawaka (1972) and Grand Wazoo (1972) platters and related live shows. Joe's Domage (2004) – the second in a series of never-before-available material from the luminous Frank Zappa tape vaults – gathers 50 minutes from these closed-door sessions, during which Zappa was confined to a wheelchair as he recuperated. The incident left the guitarist with some permanent damage, with a lower voice from a partially crushed larynx, and a fractured right leg which ended up shorter than the left, as referenced in the lyrics of "Zomby Woof" and "Dancin' Fool." Being off the road resulted in some of the Zappa's most involved fusions of jazz and rock.
Official Release #83. 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 #93. Conceived, Composed & Produced by Frank Zappa. The two-disc compilation of alternative takes titled Understanding America is intended for devoted fans only. It's scattershot material, tied together loosely by one theme: Zappa's acerbic mistrust of American culture. Throughout the '60s, '70s, and '80s, social satire made up a huge amount of his catalog, so Big Brother, media outlets, organized religion, and recreational drugs are all subject to attack here. The gold nugget is the unreleased 25-minute "Porn Wars Deluxe," a Negativland-esque collage that pairs together samples of music with clips from the 1985 PMRC Senate hearings, for which Zappa played an integral role defending against censorship.
This is an unusual disc from Norwegian label, Lawo Classics: Perfect Strangers. Coupling the works of Heiner Goebbels and Frank Zappa, and performed by The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Søndergård, it is recorded onto SACD in surround sound. Frank Zappa’s music crosses all boundaries, with fans in all musical camps. The recordings of his own band are legendary, but with the release of The Yellow Shark featuring Ensemble Modern, Zappa’s music became standard repertoire for symphony orchestras — or at least those that dare to accept the challenge! This is intense and demanding music, but who is better equipped for the task than the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, celebrated for the diversity of its repertoire and collaborations?
Official Release #102. Directed, Written, Music Composed & Performed by FRANK ZAPPA. Frank Zappa s concerts at the Roxy Theatre in Holywood in December 1973 are legendary. Frank and the Mothers played three nights on December 8th, 9th & 10th and these shows formed the basis of the Roxy & Elsewhere album that was released in 1974. However the performances were also filmed in 16mm and this footage has been sitting in the Zappa vault ever since. Now fully restored by the Zappa Family Trust this live concert film is being made available for the first time. It captures Frank and the Mothers at the height of their powers and includes material that is unique to these performances. This is a highly anticipated release for Zappa fans who have waited many years for the concert footage to finally be released.
Official Release #100. The LAST album by Frank Zappa. The last album that guitarist Frank Zappa worked on prior to his death in December 1993 will finally be released this June. Titled Dance Me This, the LP is considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's 100th and final official release, ending a legacy that began with the Mothers of Invention's landmark 1966 album Freak Out! In talking to Guitar Magazine prior to his death at the age of 52, Zappa described his final LP as "a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups. It's probably not going to come out until next year," the Guardian reports. The album was ultimately shelved indefinitely, and while a steady stream of posthumous releases and reissues have satisfied Zappa fans in the following decades, Dance Me This was all but forgotten until Zappa's widow Gail Zappa began hinting at the final album's eventual arrival in 2011.
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, composer, activist and filmmaker. His work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist…
The Legends of Lancaster (California) converge. Two albums Produced by Frank Zappa are registered with the National Preservation Board (Library of Congress). This is one. Note: We here at UMRK determined that the TMR Master was damaged somewhere in the years of it's return orbit. The Vaultmeister created almost in its entirety a new Master from our own Vault safety copies. And as if that wasn't enough chocolate for your Sunday sundae, we had Bob Ludwig remaster the Work for you. What you now have available to you is the definitive TROUT MASK REPLICA. Be the judge. Be the jury. Be the bongo. Be the fury!!!
Official Release #64. A 30-track compilation of rarities, spanning much of his career, but in the main confined to the 1960s and early '70s (some date from as early as the late '50s!). Much of it's previously unreleased, or extremely hard to locate. It's not just a collection of fan-oriented odds and ends, though. The material, for one thing, is extremely diverse, ranging from collaborations with Captain Beefheart and primitive teenage garage recordings to comic dialog to progressive instrumentals and orchestral pieces.