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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Jazz or not. Argue or not. Frank was funny and like so much humour, it was full of truth. One of his best lines:

    Attachment 49941
    Shut up and play yer guitar

    Time to practice... fun thread!
    David
    Wonderfully fitting, he's pictured playing a Clownburst.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup
    ...... he remains the US's greatest satirist, at least to me as a foreign Brit.




    Dunno about greatest, but yeah, I liked his satire more than his music....

  4. #53

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    Frank was bigger than jazz. Much of his recording and touring was to make money to finance his serious art. Listen to his full body of work and you can tell the difference, even though there are places where the line gets blurry. He paid the Mother's a salary out of his pocket to work on his music even when they weren't recording and touring, that's dedication to your art, and darn expensive.

    He was not afraid to be a vulgar loud mouth fool in pursuit of artistic freedom, and freedom of speech. He was a crusader on the front lines in the battle against artistic censorship, because if corporate America had the freedom to make money any way it saw fit, he thought artists should be able to do the same without interference, feed their families too.

    Here's some Frank recorded before 1970...what other "rock" musicians were doing this then? Anyone who knows Eric Dolphy's work, especially OUT TO LUNCH knows this tune is no joke, it's an honest tribute, and it's no small coincidence that Zappa used vibes/marimba in the Mothers.

    Is it jazz enough?


  5. #54

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    Like him, loathe him or love him...Zappa was such a true "character" and that to me seems missing these days in genuine form.

    He surely was a truly great creative mind (one of many) from the San Berdoo/Inland Empire area...I'm sure his efforts blazed the way for many greats who followed.

    Jazz itself was being blown up, stretched and taken to places during his career that would leave the form of music hardly recognizable. I think from the sidelines he was part of that though never really entrenched in the classic sense...there were plenty of others already doing that...for him, with him, oblivious to him....

    So is the answer to the original question then is.... "N'Yes?" :-)

  6. #55

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    The last vinyl record I bought... I listened to this a lot which I think for some, like me, would be what it takes to really appreciate it. Zappa's last album.

    Zappa describes The Yellow Shark as one of the most fulfilling projects of his career

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfmando
    He surely was a truly great creative mind (one of many) from the San Berdoo/Inland Empire area...I'm sure his efforts blazed the way for many greats who followed.
    Actually Frank along with Capt Beefheart are from Lancaster CA, in the high desert north of L.A. which is where I live currently. A few around here remember Frank, Beefheart's drummer is living back out here again. A number of musicians move here cheaper and more laid back than L.A. but still can get to L.A. in 90 minutes depending on traffic. There is a house outside of town in the hills that is said to be Eddie Van Halen's hideaway to escape L.A. Carmine Appice was living here until a couple years ago, Carol Kaye lives up the freeway a bit. It was said Skunk Baxter lived here for awhile lots of musicians have spent time in Lancaster CA.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    The last vinyl record I bought... I listened to this a lot which I think for some, like me, would be what it takes to really appreciate it. Zappa's last album.
    I don't think FZ had much to do with that project, beyond letting them get on with it. I think it's the best of the various 'orchestral' projects though, really well executed and really captures the essence of his music

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by rahsaan
    I don't think FZ had much to do with that project, beyond letting them get on with it. I think it's the best of the various 'orchestral' projects though, really well executed and really captures the essence of his music
    I believe he composed all the music including reorchestrating the older tunes and writing new music for the project and had the ensemble come to L.A. to his studios for rehearsals. He is the only one with composer credits on the album (there are no orchestration credits on the album, had to be Zappa).

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfmando
    Like him, loathe him or love him...Zappa was such a true "character" and that to me seems missing these days in genuine form.

    He surely was a truly great creative mind (one of many) from the San Berdoo/Inland Empire area...I'm sure his efforts blazed the way for many greats who followed.

    Jazz itself was being blown up, stretched and taken to places during his career that would leave the form of music hardly recognizable. I think from the sidelines he was part of that though never really entrenched in the classic sense...there were plenty of others already doing that...for him, with him, oblivious to him....

    So is the answer to the original question then is.... "N'Yes?" :-)
    As for San Berdoo, check out this song from the 50s film His Kind of Women. Some nice backing guitar on this one.


  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    I’m not easily offended. I certainly don’t have any heroes . I think he would fit in perfectly for these times: he was an iconoclastic “Ironic” contrarian who like to offend everybody, one of those “enough about me what do you think about me ? “ types. That pretty much fits today like hand to glove.

    I find myself always drawn to serious, thoughtful musicians to don’t take themselves seriously and have genuine humility in spades . I.e., the exact opposite of attention gathering iconoclasts .

    The comedy routine that was “have I offended someone” is interesting for like three seconds and gets old really fast. One can say he pretty much helped pave the way for a Beavis and Butthead world.

    That’s why I said I was pretty much drawn to a lot to his instrumental work from hot rats to most likely to the period of Babysnakes. As he entered the 80s, I lost interest but that’s not just because of him, mostly music sucked as we entered the gated reverb and Synclavier and DX7 World. He wasn’t unusual in that regard. Look at Joni Mitchell’s 1980s music compared to her amazing 1970s output.
    Thanks.
    It seems like a lot of people are annoyed by 80's music so we must have been doing something right.

  12. #61

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    I think Frank Zappa was a Frank Zappa

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    I’m not easily offended. I certainly don’t have any heroes . I think he would fit in perfectly for these times: he was an iconoclastic “Ironic” contrarian who like to offend everybody, one of those “enough about me what do you think about me ? “ types. That pretty much fits today like hand to glove.

    I find myself always drawn to serious, thoughtful musicians to don’t take themselves seriously and have genuine humility in spades . I.e., the exact opposite of attention gathering iconoclasts .

    The comedy routine that was “have I offended someone” is interesting for like three seconds and gets old really fast. One can say he pretty much helped pave the way for a Beavis and Butthead world.
    Hmmm... I see your point... But I think I give Zappa some more credit in his humour, and Mike judge too (need to rewatch B&B and King of The Hill....)

    Perhaps we can ultimately connect this internet meme culture and the 4chan world of trollery, but Zappa (like Mike Judge, Trey Parker and Matt Stone) I think had a deep sense of humanity and right and wrong.... South Park and B&B are all about nuance under the hood...

    Reading Zappa, there was a real sense of outrage at problems in the world, a distaste for state violence, prejudice and hypocrisy. His work was often political, but what he did not care about was peoples hang ups about sex or anything else.....

    At the same time, someone who was in sometimes politically to the left, sometimes to the right, but always worth listening to...

    True some the humour hasn't aged well and there's is an intrinsic misogyny to the rock band/groupie culture Zappa. In a sense, he commented on what was happening anyway. In any case, some of the humour is in poor judgement and offensive on a human level... I doubt Dweezil will cover the Illinois Enema Bandit anytime soon...

    But no reason to dismiss every joke he made. Sometimes he NAILED it.

    That’s why I said I was pretty much drawn to a lot to his instrumental work from hot rats to most likely to the period of Babysnakes. As he entered the 80s, I lost interest but that’s not just because of him, mostly music sucked as we entered the gated reverb and Synclavier and DX7 World. He wasn’t unusual in that regard. Look at Joni Mitchell’s 1980s music compared to her amazing 1970s output.
    Gated reverb is what the kids are into now...

  14. #63

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    the Illinois Enema Bandit is dope blues song though. What's wrong with it?

    And there you go, Dweezel, killing it!



    Also, ''intrinsic misogyny to the rock band/groupie culture''... What does it mean?

  15. #64

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    I stand corrected.

    It's also an extended rape joke based on crimes that actually happened. YMMV.

    Michael H. Kenyon - Wikipedia

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Lets just celebrate his legacy. At least I will.
    Me too. He will always be a great influence on me.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I stand corrected.

    It's also an extended rape joke based on crimes that actually happened. YMMV.

    Michael H. Kenyon - Wikipedia
    BTW - I say this not to be 'holier than thou' - this was one of my favourite tunes off Live in New York. And I would support FZ's free speech in writing words that people might find offensive for whatever reason.

    But when you start thinking about it.... Made me pretty uncomfortable liking it once it had been pointed out to me.

    Free speech doesn't mean things should go unchallenged, and just because I think FZ was one of the Good Guys and a musical genius doesn't mean I think everything he wrote is beyond reproach... But as I say YMMV....

  18. #67

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    Ah.. Frank Zappa...big smile! I saw 25-30 shows from the early ones to the last ones. Every one great but "Shut up" was amazing. I brought half a dozen of my friends who were not necessarily Zappa fans but every one still talks about that show. I do wish he was still with us now.
    thanks John

  19. #68

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    Only Zappa plays Zappa for me ... pretty amazing though!

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Only Zappa plays Zappa for me ... pretty amazing though!
    what about Dweezil Zappa?

  21. #70

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    I guess Frank liked this Oliver Nelson tune enough to cover it. The guy had good taste in jazz, IMO.


  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    what about Dweezil Zappa?
    Zappa plays Zappa = Dweezil

  23. #72

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    As said above, Zappa was unique. He was not a jazz guitarist, but he played jazz fusion of the highest order. Several of his records--Grand Wazoo, Live at the Roxy, Overnight Sensation, One Size Fits All, are among the best fusion albums ever made, IMHO.

    His anarchic streak and ironic wit and scatophilia have made it a challenge for mainstream listeners to appreciate him, but there's no doubt he was the real deal.

    Who said Zappa can't play over chord changes? Listen to the albums listed above, also Hot Rats. The guy could play, but he wasn't coming from the Christian/Wes tradition. I don't know if he could play Giant Steps on request, but with his facile mind and talent I bet he could with a little woodshedding. He did prefer to play over straightforward vamps, as did Herbie Hancock, Miles and a lot of other jazzers, especially during the fusion period.

    He knew chord changes in and out, and orchestrated his own work for big band and orchestra, despite being entirely self-taught. A true savant of the musical world.

    Re' the Tedesco quote, remember Tedesco was payed to play crap like the Green Acres theme...not that I'm knocking him, he was a great guitarist. I have little doubt he could play Zappa but he would have to work at it like a Mother (pun intended), cause that s**t is hard. Looking at that picture I have to feel there is a lot of mutual admiration there.

    And not to put too fine a point on it, but Frank was more financially successful than virtually all jazz guitarists of his generation, with the possible exception of Benson.

    Last point--what's going on with the Zappa kids is very sad. I am highly sympathetic to Dweezil, especially as he played and recorded with his dad. Maybe Zappa didn't make the right preparations for what would happen to the music after Frank died--I suspect entrusting Gail with the legal authority was a mistake. But the crap going on now has nothing to do with the music Frank performed in his lifetime.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Who said Zappa can't play over chord changes? Listen to the albums listed above, also Hot Rats. The guy could play, but he wasn't coming from the Christian/Wes tradition. I don't know if he could play Giant Steps on request, but with his facile mind and talent I bet he could with a little woodshedding. He did prefer to play over straightforward vamps, as did Herbie Hancock, Miles and a lot of other jazzers, especially during the fusion period.
    This sort of thing I find very tiresome... Why do we have to label a player as one thing or another? Obviously there is such a thing as the 'jazz guitar tradition', but is it really encapsulated being able to burn Giant Steps on request? Could Wes or CC? Or Grant Green for that matter? (I doubt it actually.)

    I would always rather judge a musician by the music they make than some inferred 'jazz credentials' - if that's burning GS, so be it, if not, I'm not going to be thinking about it.

    OTOH Some 'jazz buffs' I've encountered actually seem to think that way, they want the jazz credentials... I think that odd... I mean Wayne Krantz can probably play the shit out of GS but I really don't see that as relevant to the music he is making now. Also, players can't always do the stuff they did 20 or 30 years ago....

    FZ was not a ‘Jazz Guitarist’ because he did not phrase or swing like one... He was kind of his own thing, and his sense of time and phrasing is pretty much unique to him. This is not a cat who was going to construct flowing eighth note lines... That would have been boring and tropish I think, for his particular musical imagination.

    Back in the day his music was classified as rock (albeit weird rock) and he played to rock audiences at rock venues (Miles would get into that too, later the fusion movement).... Nowadays, he'd be on the jazz circuit, because all instrumental Western non-classical music is apparently jazz.

    I think FZ had an ambivalent relationship with jazz - loved Roland Kirk, Dolphy and other individual artists - profoundly antipathetic to the world of straightahead gigs and ii-V-I's. In his autobio he mentions having done some fake book gigs lol.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-28-2018 at 09:11 AM.

  25. #74

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    What genre is this music?



  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    When Tommy Tudesco and Joe Pass met Frank Zappa at NAMM:

    "Taken from another angle: when Zappa met Tommy Tedesco and Joe Pass---Zappa is famous for making fun of jazz. The problem is: he couldn't play any.

    Excerpt:

    "The story goes like this according to Joe Pass and I'm paraphrasing: "Tommy and I were both very excited to hear the Frank Zappa would be gracing our small stage that day at the NAMM show." Joe went on to say "In fact I was nervous, my palms were sweating, I had read and heard that this man was one of the greatest guitarists and composers of all time, like a modern day Mozart."

    "We played a set, we waited, no Zappa, we played another set, still no Zappa. By this time, the suspense was killing both Tedesco and myself," (myself meaning Joe Pass.)

    "At last, we see a dark haired man wearing a black long cape surrounded by a flock of worshipers coming toward our stage. We had to stop playing because there was complete chaos around our booth as Zappa was signing autographs and his fans were trying to touch his garment."

    "After an hour of worship and autographs, he picks up a guitar and bangs out a couple of loud bar chords. Zappa turns to Tommy and asks, 'What do you guys what to play?'" Joe Pass started to rattle off tunes like Giant Steps, a John Coltrane classic, hey, Joe said, "we figured this Zappa guy is the best, lets play the most demanding music possible."

    "After requesting more then two dozen standards, we realized this guy couldn't play any standards, not one. We ended up playing a TOO loud 12 bar blues, that's all Frank could play. It was pathetic."

    I remember reading this too. No he WAS not a jazzer.

    Live at the Fillmore East (I think it was called) was something I played when my parents were at work, good heavens it was nasty. And funny. It would not go over in these PC times.

    I saw him live once. They played one blues tune. He played it very well, it was by far the most satisfying thing he played all night. I can't remember any other song they played, although Dinah Moe Humm was probably on the set list. Great lyrics on that one. Wow.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    When Tommy Tudesco and Joe Pass met Frank Zappa at NAMM:

    "Taken from another angle: when Zappa met Tommy Tedesco and Joe Pass---Zappa is famous for making fun of jazz. The problem is: he couldn't play any.

    Excerpt:

    "The story goes like this according to Joe Pass and I'm paraphrasing: "Tommy and I were both very excited to hear the Frank Zappa would be gracing our small stage that day at the NAMM show." Joe went on to say "In fact I was nervous, my palms were sweating, I had read and heard that this man was one of the greatest guitarists and composers of all time, like a modern day Mozart."

    "We played a set, we waited, no Zappa, we played another set, still no Zappa. By this time, the suspense was killing both Tedesco and myself," (myself meaning Joe Pass.)

    "At last, we see a dark haired man wearing a black long cape surrounded by a flock of worshipers coming toward our stage. We had to stop playing because there was complete chaos around our booth as Zappa was signing autographs and his fans were trying to touch his garment."

    "After an hour of worship and autographs, he picks up a guitar and bangs out a couple of loud bar chords. Zappa turns to Tommy and asks, 'What do you guys what to play?'" Joe Pass started to rattle off tunes like Giant Steps, a John Coltrane classic, hey, Joe said, "we figured this Zappa guy is the best, lets play the most demanding music possible."

    "After requesting more then two dozen standards, we realized this guy couldn't play any standards, not one. We ended up playing a TOO loud 12 bar blues, that's all Frank could play. It was pathetic."
    I missed this story and it made me chuckle. A real clash of cultures.

    I personally rate Zappa as a unique stylist and his playing was one of the things that got me into improvisation beyond - 'here are 8 bars, play all the notes you know' (as FZ put it.)

    But yeah, he himself said 'I am not a virtuoso' - he got other people, most famously, Vai on guitar, to play his music. He probably couldn't do it himself, or at least not without diverting time from his main focus - composition.

    His son, Dweezil, has put time into being both FZ and Steve Vai, so to speak....

    Joe, Tommy - professional guitarists... Virtuosos. And, a reminder of how even master jazz musicians can be very much filtered in their viewpoint.

    And Zappa regarded the kind of tin pan alley songwriting that forms the centre of the jazz repertoire as basically - formulaic. Read 'the Real Frank Zappa Book' if you are interested on his thoughts on that. And you know what - he's right. However, I enjoy the way the formulae are used to create beautiful songs that serve as material for improvisation....

    TBH I think FZ felt much the same way about tonal classical mussic.

    Frank did enjoy tropes, such as three chord rock, doo-wop and so on... But he enjoyed the tropes of his generation.... The rock'n'roll generation... Seems fair enough.

    Zappa's coronation as a 'great guitarist' was from others, not him. He thought of himself as a composer. His solos are compositions on his instrument. In his book he goes into great detail about important and difficult it was for him to find a rhythm section that understood what he was doing with polymeter. It's like his tunes, in seemingly simple comedy songs he would randomly insert polyrhythmic passages that would challenge any pro player. For how this ended up in his solos, take a look at stuff in the Frank Zappa guitar book...

    And he could back it up. Here is a man who could write music in the tour bus, airport and wherever else and know exactly what it sounded like before a note was played.

  28. #77

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    yeah, I'm not disputing anything you've said there.

    Going back to the original topic question, on a philosophical level, it reminds me that learning to play guitar is very much a different thing than learning to play piano in the sense that learning to play the piano is learning to play the piano, more or less, regardless of the style of music to be played on the piano (Hal Galper said the same thing).

    Learning to play the guitar is not simply learning to play the guitar--it is often contingent on learning to play a specific type of music: for example, my teacher was a master jazz and classical player. But if you wanted to learn rock or flamenco, he would tell you to probably find another teacher.

    This instrument is a such a quirky thing--perhaps the most easy instrument to pick up and start playing, perhaps the most difficult instrument to master. I think in order to play jazz guitar, you have learn and spend much time learning jazz and the repertoire surrounding it.

    So, therefore, it's not really a stretch to say that Zappa or Hendrix (the other example I cited from that Jazz Times article from many years ago) are not jazz guitarists. They never grew up learning to play the music.

    Incidentally, my teacher and Joe P. would often joke to Tommy (who was the consummate studio musician, playing on probably thousands of sessions), "Tommy, every time you play jazz, your first note is spot on; and the last note is right there. But everything in between is....(you can guess what they would say)." And Tommy would answer: well, you know that, and I know that, but thankfully not many others do (whew!)".

  29. #78

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    Yeah I 100% agree.

    Tomorrow I am starting a period covering the guitar teaching at a university.... It's an interesting thing because when people come to study with me they are usually either beginners or want to learn to play jazz.

    So, now I have to coach people who play shred, blues, prog rock and singer songwriter stuff. There are a few jazzers in there, but the question it raises is - what fundamentals do I need to drill down into? I think the process of any musician is basically the same.

    Talking about FZ made me think about that....

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    What genre is this music?


    I'm not sure but I think M. Duchamp would approve!

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    I'm not sure but I think M. Duchamp would approve!
    yeah man...post modern classical..

    marcel d-


    cheers

  32. #81

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    Jimi was R&B;


  33. #82

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    Montana : Some of this has some psuedo jazzy stuff. Also a nice guitar solo starting around 2 min; definitely not jazz.




    And for just fun Zappa entertainment I always enjoyed these :




  34. #83

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    The guy was so zany. Find out what can happen to you if you choose a career in music.....


  35. #84

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    I was listening to about an hour's worth of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar today. Superb performances by the rhythm section. FZ was not a technically great musician, but he knew how to get sound out of that guitar--a virtuoso of tone. Not many people rival him for variety of tones.

    Sure, other guitarists were faster, more precise and even more fluent in scales and such. But FZ had an anarchic energy that propelled his solos. Listen to Heavy Duty Judy for instance...who else can make a guitar scream like that?



    And he knew how to structure a solo:


  36. #85

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    Frank had great imagination and jazz chops but he didn't play on changes! Whenever Frank would solo the band would go into a vamp or repeated chord so he could stretch out. In my opinion straight jazzers play on changes. But being a composer Frank was a great improviser. He could create a great composition instantly. But was he a jazz guitarist not technically tho he could've been. Some of his early 70s stuff is jazz fusion so you could call him a jazz fusion/progressive rock guitarist. But truth be told he's a one of a kind. There's not a category for him yet!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  37. #86

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    I have been listening to a heckuva lot of Frank recently thanks to this thread. Still amazing listening.

    Just reheard Hot Rats--probably my favorite Frank album, along with Overnite Sensation. Gives the band a chance to really stretch out. Very jazz fusiony.

    I appreciate all his different styles, though I prefer the fusion stuff best. His early stuff is worthwhile because of the Dadaistic structure, complex compositions and humor.

    In the 80's, his songs got shorter, and he got more into social commentary, and to me the songs suffered. I still enjoy the music, but the stuff he commented on just seems pretty silly at this point. "Beauty knows no pain?" "I'm a beautiful guy?" He should have shut up and played his guitar.

    And some of his "gimmick" songs like Ya hozna and Teenage Prostitute were just odd.

    His later social commentary really went off the rails toward libertarian crankery IMO. When you're making fun of Jesse Jackson, you're out of good targets. And it wasn't even very funny.

    I have always liked his orchestral compositions--creative and iconoclastic. Not bad for a self-taught guy. And his complex instrumental pieces like Envelopes, Black Napkins or Sinister Footwear.

    He was a genius, and he may be one of the few rock-oriented musicians we will be talking about 50 years from now. Well, some of you younger whippersnappers may, not me.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I have been listening to a heckuva lot of Frank recently thanks to this thread. Still amazing listening.

    Just reheard Hot Rats--probably my favorite Frank album, along with Overnite Sensation. Gives the band a chance to really stretch out. Very jazz fusiony.

    I appreciate all his different styles, though I prefer the fusion stuff best. His early stuff is worthwhile because of the Dadaistic structure, complex compositions and humor.

    In the 80's, his songs got shorter, and he got more into social commentary, and to me the songs suffered. I still enjoy the music, but the stuff he commented on just seems pretty silly at this point. "Beauty knows no pain?" "I'm a beautiful guy?" He should have shut up and played his guitar.

    And some of his "gimmick" songs like Ya hozna and Teenage Prostitute were just odd.

    His later social commentary really went off the rails toward libertarian crankery IMO. When you're making fun of Jesse Jackson, you're out of good targets. And it wasn't even very funny.

    I have always liked his orchestral compositions--creative and iconoclastic. Not bad for a self-taught guy. And his complex instrumental pieces like Envelopes, Black Napkins or Sinister Footwear.

    He was a genius, and he may be one of the few rock-oriented musicians we will be talking about 50 years from now. Well, some of you younger whippersnappers may, not me.
    I'm kinda the opposite. I do like Overnite Sensation a lot, but aside from that 60's and most 70's is just ok for me. Starting from Sheik Yerbouti, that's my fav period.

    I think Terry Bozzio made all the difference! Correct me if wrong, but FZ bands became more tight, hard rockish in the 80's, which is a big plus for my liking.

    As far as social commentary, before I could even understand English like I do today, I liked the tunes as are. Now even more, because after I red his auto biography I understand the humor even better, where he was coming from, and I think America does need this kick up its social butt so to speak, lol. Unfortunately, no FZ-like today on the scene.

  39. #88

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    The man Frank Zappa must be seen as a synthesis of the arts, a Gesamtkunstwerk - not isolated as a guitar player.

    Obviously, Frank didn't want to play out as a "jazz guitarist"; I do not know if he would have been able to do that at all.
    Does a universally valid definition of what jazz could be about exist? Jazz greats, especially the black cats, like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, and many others, didn't like the term jazz, they simply talked of and played 'music'.

    In terms of his compositions, IMO, FZ undoubtedly was a great. Piano players do not have so much trouble dealing with him in that regard, like, for example, Dave Frank's in-depth look into FZ's music shows .




    FZ's song lyrics are unique. A study of his critical attitude towards the state, politics, the music industry, society - the essence of the weaknesses of his fellow human beings in all conceivable professional and private life situations - may be difficult for non-Americans to grasp, but is rewarding.
    Art and authentic subculture, for some also the hallmark of genuine jazz music, has always been inherently political and activist when it comes to questioning the consciousness and the moral judgment.

    FZ was a great philosopher - I'm not talking about academic philosophy to which FZ might well have said: 'pure reason' is of little use without love and sex. Even when he only paraphrased Albert Einstein, his quote "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life" is proof enough.

    Ok, Frank was cynical, but the increasing ideological and dogmatic harshness of politics, economics, public life and religion is far worse than the acidity of cynicism: the cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. (Thukydides)






    >> It's more the mind 'that thinks jazz' than the instrument 'that plays jazz' that interests me. << - Bill Evans

    >> The world is more than cynical. It is indifferent, selfish and shameless. [...] The art world is like a club. They caress each other, make sure that everyone feels well, or have a small dispute. This is not an interesting, rather a boring scene. << - Ai WeiWei

    >> Once the artists followed what the church commanded them, today they follow what democracy commands. But it gets lost what makes art important: the opposition. << - Georg Baselitz

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret


    >> Once the artists followed what the church commanded them, today they follow what democracy commands. But it gets lost what makes art important: the opposition. << - Georg Baselitz
    That's brilliant, I shell scribble it on my wall!

    I actually found a Zappa's song that kinda offensive: 'Yo Mama' from Sheik Yerbouti.

    ''Maybe you should stay with yo' mama
    She could do your laundry 'n' cook for you
    Maybe you should stay with yo' mama
    You're really kinda stupid 'n' ugly too

    You ain't really made for bein' out in the street
    Ain't much hope for a fool like you
    Cause if you play the game, you will get beat''

    Thing is, it aims at the most vulnerable subconscious of probably every man at the time of self doubt and fear of failure... I know it's sarcastic and funny, but damn if any of us didnt ever think 'hey, is he talking about me?!'.

    Also, it's got of one of his best solos, it's so good it's offensive to the rest of us who would never come up with such powerful sh.t.

  41. #90

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    Gesamkunstwerk is my word of the day. Is it a Wagner thing?

    Anyway, I have a massive soft spot for the Mothers.... ‘Oh no I don’t believe it you say that with your love you can save the world, I think you’re probably out to lunch...’

  42. #91

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    Well put, Ol Fret. He was definitely an intellectual...I have a book called The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play that goes into great detail about his philosophy and mindset. And Europeans have always appreciated him much more than Americans (Vaclev Havel, for example, a great friend and supporter of Frank).

    I agree with about 80% of everything he's ever said and written. 10% I think is overdone (antiunion stuff for instance) and 10% just wrong or cranky (some of his AIDS theories as I recall). But that's better than most people I read.

    Sheik Yerbouti was the first Zappa album I ever bought and a sentimental favorite. I LOVE "Mama." Nothing really offensive to me in any of his stuff, except I don't really appreciate his weird attraction to black dialect. Seems anachronistic to me, and I guess I don't really get the point.

    While his politics became more acute over the years, I think he lost his edge comedically. Like I said, I just don't find the later stuff very pointed or funny. Some things don't age well, and topical humor is one of them.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Hmmm... I see your point... But I think I give Zappa some more credit in his humour, and Mike judge too (need to rewatch B&B and King of The Hill....)

    Perhaps we can ultimately connect this internet meme culture and the 4chan world of trollery, but Zappa (like Mike Judge, Trey Parker and Matt Stone) I think had a deep sense of humanity and right and wrong.... South Park and B&B are all about nuance under the hood...

    Reading Zappa, there was a real sense of outrage at problems in the world, a distaste for state violence, prejudice and hypocrisy. His work was often political, but what he did not care about was peoples hang ups about sex or anything else.....

    At the same time, someone who was in sometimes politically to the left, sometimes to the right, but always worth listening to...

    True some the humour hasn't aged well and there's is an intrinsic misogyny to the rock band/groupie culture Zappa. In a sense, he commented on what was happening anyway. In any case, some of the humour is in poor judgement and offensive on a human level... I doubt Dweezil will cover the Illinois Enema Bandit anytime soon...

    But no reason to dismiss every joke he made. Sometimes he NAILED it.



    Gated reverb is what the kids are into now...
    Hey this isn't about FZ just wondering did you study music at all in college or just astrophysics? If not are you completely self taught?

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  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    I’m not easily offended. I certainly don’t have any heroes . I think he would fit in perfectly for these times: he was an iconoclastic “Ironic” contrarian who like to offend everybody, one of those “enough about me what do you think about me ? “ types. That pretty much fits today like hand to glove.

    I find myself always drawn to serious, thoughtful musicians to don’t take themselves seriously and have genuine humility in spades . I.e., the exact opposite of attention gathering iconoclasts .

    The comedy routine that was “have I offended someone” is interesting for like three seconds and gets old really fast. One can say he pretty much helped pave the way for a Beavis and Butthead world.

    That’s why I said I was pretty much drawn to a lot to his instrumental work from hot rats to most likely to the period of Babysnakes. As he entered the 80s, I lost interest but that’s not just because of him, mostly music sucked as we entered the gated reverb and Synclavier and DX7 World. He wasn’t unusual in that regard. Look at Joni Mitchell’s 1980s music compared to her amazing 1970s output.
    Most musicians prefer Frank's instrumental work but it also depends on mood and age heh!

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  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    This sort of thing I find very tiresome... Why do we have to label a player as one thing or another? Obviously there is such a thing as the 'jazz guitar tradition', but is it really encapsulated being able to burn Giant Steps on request? Could Wes or CC? Or Grant Green for that matter? (I doubt it actually.)

    I would always rather judge a musician by the music they make than some inferred 'jazz credentials' - if that's burning GS, so be it, if not, I'm not going to be thinking about it.

    OTOH Some 'jazz buffs' I've encountered actually seem to think that way, they want the jazz credentials... I think that odd... I mean Wayne Krantz can probably play the shit out of GS but I really don't see that as relevant to the music he is making now. Also, players can't always do the stuff they did 20 or 30 years ago....

    FZ was not a ‘Jazz Guitarist’ because he did not phrase or swing like one... He was kind of his own thing, and his sense of time and phrasing is pretty much unique to him. This is not a cat who was going to construct flowing eighth note lines... That would have been boring and tropish I think, for his particular musical imagination.

    Back in the day his music was classified as rock (albeit weird rock) and he played to rock audiences at rock venues (Miles would get into that too, later the fusion movement).... Nowadays, he'd be on the jazz circuit, because all instrumental Western non-classical music is apparently jazz.

    I think FZ had an ambivalent relationship with jazz - loved Roland Kirk, Dolphy and other individual artists - profoundly antipathetic to the world of straightahead gigs and ii-V-I's. In his autobio he mentions having done some fake book gigs lol.
    Chick Corea could burn through Giant Steps on request, granted on a different instrument but he could burn thru it nevertheless!

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  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    This instrument is a such a quirky thing--perhaps the most easy instrument to pick up and start playing, perhaps the most difficult instrument to master.
    Words to remember. My own teacher, the late Raj Rathor, said pretty much the same thing to me.

    That's the beauty of guitar ... it sucks people into making music.

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Well put, Ol Fret. He was definitely an intellectual...I have a book called The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play that goes into great detail about his philosophy and mindset. And Europeans have always appreciated him much more than Americans (Vaclev Havel, for example, a great friend and supporter of Frank).

    I agree with about 80% of everything he's ever said and written. 10% I think is overdone (antiunion stuff for instance) and 10% just wrong or cranky (some of his AIDS theories as I recall). But that's better than most people I read.

    Sheik Yerbouti was the first Zappa album I ever bought and a sentimental favorite. I LOVE "Mama." Nothing really offensive to me in any of his stuff, except I don't really appreciate his weird attraction to black dialect. Seems anachronistic to me, and I guess I don't really get the point.

    While his politics became more acute over the years, I think he lost his edge comedically. Like I said, I just don't find the later stuff very pointed or funny. Some things don't age well, and topical humor is one of them.
    Just to be clear, when I said Yo Mama was offensive, I said it jokingly of course, because at could be directed at anyone who might feel insecure... But the song is one of my favs too.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I'm kinda the opposite. I do like Overnite Sensation a lot, but aside from that 60's and most 70's is just ok for me. Starting from Sheik Yerbouti, that's my fav period.

    I think Terry Bozzio made all the difference! Correct me if wrong, but FZ bands became more tight, hard rockish in the 80's, which is a big plus for my liking.

    As far as social commentary, before I could even understand English like I do today, I liked the tunes as are. Now even more, because after I red his auto biography I understand the humor even better, where he was coming from, and I think America does need this kick up its social butt so to speak, lol. Unfortunately, no FZ-like today on the scene.
    Terry Bozio on drums and Patrick Ohearn on bass!

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  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017
    Hey this isn't about FZ just wondering did you study music at all in college or just astrophysics? If not are you completely self taught?

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    I didn’t study music at college. I have studied music of various kinds with teachers and tutors (though not many straight up guitar lessons funny enough - I think I’ve had about 6 or 7 jazz guitar lessons in my life. The most regular thing I ever did was classical singing lessons.)

    No musician is completely self taught (even FZ had books and records to help him), and every good musician I’ve met is more self taught than their resume might suggest.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I didn’t study music at college. I have studied music of various kinds with teachers and tutors (though not many straight up guitar lessons funny enough - I think I’ve had about 6 or 7 jazz guitar lessons in my life. The most regular thing I ever did was classical singing lessons.)

    No musician is completely self taught (even FZ had books and records to help him), and every good musician I’ve met is more self taught than their resume might suggest.
    That makes sense I can definitely see that. At some point your going to have to retain the information on your own I suppose.

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  51. #100

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    Yep those 6 or 7 lessons were all HUGE. I worked on the stuff from them for years.

    I’m pretty independent in my study... tbh I think most jazz students are. But some students do benefit from constant contact and realignment and making sure that they are doing the exercises correctly.

    I believe this can save time, which is why I recommend people to get a teacher - BUT - it’s not necessary if you have the passion and attention to detail.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-02-2018 at 06:21 PM.