Posts tagged FZ

Before Bruce Dickinson, there was FZ


Zappa Cowbell

Roxy and Elsewhere is one of my favorite Zappa albums for many reasons. The humor, the compositions, the line-up including Napoleon Murphy Brock; George Duke; Bruce, Tom, and Walt Fowler; and the percussion section consisting of Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey, and Ruth Underwood. Great, inspiring stuff.

In addition to great lines like “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny,” is this gem at 1:35 in “Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church)”:

“The cowbell, as a symbol of unbridled passion, ladies and gentlemen!”

If you, too, are aching for more of the ubiquitous percussion instrument, check out to superimpose a cowbell over any song!

FZ on Crossfire


Zappa on CNN 1986, tellin’ it to The Man. And that turd Robert Novak…

Cool Stuff on NPR


Yeah, I’m a nerd. When I’m not rocking out to Blind Guardian in the car, I’m listening to NPR. The other day I heard two back-to-back stories of particular interest to me and the Dominion.

The first was an interview with one of my favorite bass players, Dave Holland:
“Dave Holland: A Jazz Bassist’s Bassist”

Next, a memorial to Daniel Schorr:
“Daniel Schorr and Frank Zappa Were Friends. Really.”

Also, NPR will often play a bit of segue music leading into station identification breaks or between programs. Every once in a while—no joke—they play Mastodon‘s “Joseph Merrick”.

Travis Orbin: One of My New Faves


I’m very excited when I get my YouTube subscription update and there’s a new Travis Orbin video link inside. In a sea of Internet “superstar” poseurs, this guy’s the real deal. It doesn’t hurt that the production of his videos is excellent either!

His influences are clear, and comparisons to Mike Mangini are inevitable, but he nonetheless has a very unique style. I’m particularly impressed with his dynamics, ambidexterity, and super-clean feet-and-hands runs around that cool Mangini-meets-Bruford set-up. There’s a lot of really inspiring stuff here that makes me wish I could lock myself in a practice room for a week straight!

Here’s a video of a session Travis did with Pete Peterson. It’s a really neat, complex tune in the vein of Zappa / Mike Keneally / Mike Patton (the Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, and solo stuff). I’d love to see a chart for this thing. It’s rife with meter changes, polyrhythms, and metric modulations—and that’s just the rhythmic stuff!

More Travis vids here.

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