The Band from Utopia — A Tribute to the Music of Frank Zappa
(Muffin MRP020, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
What we have here is basically a romp down memory lane by the members (mostly) of Frank Zappa's 1988 touring band ("Make a Jazz Noise Here", "The Best Band You've Never Seen in Your Life"), an all-in-good-fun tribute to the music of the man himself, just the way he would have wanted it. And who better to pull this off than the guys who spent night after night playing these tunes during the 80s: Tommy Mars, Ed Mann, Ike Willis, Chad Wackerman, Arthur Barrow, Bruce and Tom Fowler, Kurt McGettrick, Robert Martin... The entire event was recorded live at The Jazz Open Festival at Stuttgart, Germany, in July 1994. As one might expect – with this lineup especially – the sound and overall approach proximates the real thing, and although initially Zappa's guitar and voice are noticeably absent, one has to agree his spirit is alive and present. They take on many of the classics: "Take Your Clothes off When You Dance," "City of Tiny Lights," "Zomby Woof," and twelve others. No "Whipping Post" though; oh well, you can't expect everything in a single one hour performance. This one's a must-have for all fans of Zappa's music.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more