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New Zappa book: Music of Frank Zappa 1978 - 1993  
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areyouhungup
Joined: 2012-08-18
Posts: 16
Post 2016-04-13 22:57   [Quote] 
Hi, last year I did a book on Zappa's output from 66 to 76. I've just put together a part 2 covering all work from 78 to 93 and have also done some really cool interviews for it too, with the likes of Scott Thunes, Mike Keneally, Warren Cuccurullo and others.

If anyone is interested the link to the book is here:

http://wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com/books.html

I think it's got some really interesting insights in it. It was so fun to write and I really enjoyed putting it together

Smile
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areyouhungup
Joined: 2012-08-18
Posts: 16
Post 2016-05-06 09:26   [Quote] 
Hi, I thought Id let people know that this book is on Amazon now:
http://www.amazon.com/Music-Frank-Zappa-1978-1993/dp/1326626604/ref=sr_1_4_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462522804&sr=1-4&keywords=chris+wade

Below is a bit from the book, thought people might like to read an interview with Malcolm McNab who talks about working with Frank...

AN INTERVIEW WITH MALCOLM McNAB

Trumpeter and session legend Malcolm McNab talks about working with Frank over the years.

Do you remember your first meeting with Zappa? What was it like?

I first met Frank Zappa at Mount Saint Mary's College in Brentwood on May 4, 1963 He was studying in the music department and one of his teachers was composer Matt Doran. In a program at the Little Theater at Mt Saint Mary's, Frank wrote a piece for orchestra with multiple conductors. Very free and avant garde with Frank fronting the orchestra with an amplified zither played with a soup spoon. There had been a reception earlier in an adjacent room and on the table were some decorative plastic trumpets. Frank insisted that we play them during the concert. Also he was very excited about having the English horn player suck through the bell of his instrument, creating quite a unique sound.

You first worked with him on the Grand Wazoo. What are your memories of that?

On March 7th 1972 I was invited to a rehearsal at 144 south La Brea in mid town Los Angeles. These turned out to be the beginning of rehearsals of the Grand Wazoo. The rehearsals continued, mostly on Friday afternoons until on April 14th when we went to record at Paramount Records on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood from 1-4pm and 5-8pm. The rehearsals continued through September 10th when we played the Hollywood Bowl. My wife at the time was bassoonist Jo Ann Caldwell and in September we both joined Frank leaving on the tour September 13th 1972. We flew to London. The Oval at rock festival with 14,000 in attendance. Returning to New York September 21st and played the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden. On to a Boston concert September 24th. Back to LA on the 25th.
Rehearsals started October 3rd, 4th and 5th at Frank's house and then on La Brea October 6th,9th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 19th, leaving on tour with the 10 piece Petite Wazoo on the 26th and returning November 12th. Petite Wazoo leaves on another tour November 30th returning on December 4th. Petite leaves again December 8th returning the 11th. San Francisco December 15th one-nighter. Also, in Columbia, South Carolina, because of an unfortunate event where the drummer and one of the trumpet players had to leave, we improvised the entire concert as we were unable to perform any of the rehearsed material.
What was it like working on a Zappa written piece? What kind of band leader was he?

He was a very challenging leader to work with. He demanded that his music was played absolutely correctly. He was a huge creative force and he did push his musicians as much as he pushed himself. All of the great musicians in his bands became even better musicians as a result of his demands. Most of the time you never knew if you were going have to perform the very complicated and difficult music we'd rehearsed or just improvise an entire concert. It was musically rewarding and always interesting. A superb musician and composer he was and I can only compare him with Stravinsky, who also got up every day and wrote new music. He loved music and he served the music.

You were on the Studio Tan sessions too. What are your memories of recording this music?

UCLA Royce Hall with a 37 piece orchestra. Same stage where I met and worked with Aaron Copland. I remember that during the concert Michael Zearott was conducting in white tie and tails and Frank removed his shirt and jumped on the podium dismissing Zearott and took over the baton. I think I remember also recording part of this at the Record Plant.

If you could choose a fave piece of music you made with Frank what would it be and why?

One of those evenings in 1972, Frank called me to come up to his house and said to remember to bring my D trumpet. I showed up with my D trumpet; the "Pixie Trumpet" as Frank called the smaller trumpets like the D and the piccolo trumpet. On the music stand there was a sheet of music that he had composed on his guitar. The title on the music said "The Malcolm McNab". Frank said, "Can you play this?" "I hope so" was the only thing I could say as I perused one of the most difficult lines of music I had ever seen. He advised me that the solo was played to a tango beat. I struggled through it and did the best I could in reading it for the first time. He was so excited about it and I just felt like I was "on the ropes" all the way through the piece. I left his house that night with my work really cut out for me. I had no idea at that time that he would eventually include this piece on the road with the Petite Wazoo as part of a larger piece entitled Further Oblivion. I could not believe it when he asked if I could dance while playing it. I think that Bruce Fowler spoiled Frank with his great dancing on the road. The BeBop Tango as it was eventually named in the early 1980s, was one of my biggest challenges in music. Of course, I never stopped practicing it for the next 34 years. With Gail Zappa's permission I recorded it on my 1st CD, The Artistry of Malcolm McNab in 2006 ,released on my own record label Kinnell House Records. Quite a few Zappa alumni were featured on the recording. Bruce Fowler, Earl Dumler, Ruth Underwood, Vinnie Coliutta et al.

How can you describe Zappa as an artist, having worked with him so closely?

A masterful guitarist as well as an icon as a composer. I so admired his talent and creativity and I feel very blessed that I was able to work with someone of his magnitude. He was brilliant. He didn't miss a thing. When the Grand Wazoo played in a sports arena in Berlin there was a moment of spontaneity on the stage during the concert. Frank had definitely picked up on the fact that two of his musicians had been arguing quite a bit on the tour. I was shocked when Frank announced "Now we are going to feature the Fighting McNabs'" and then he proceeded to conduct me and my then wife, bassoonist Jo Ann Caldwell McNab, in a musical dialogue. He conducted us in his unique way in this exchange which became more and more heated. As Frank made his specific indications to us and as the opus rose to a big crescendo, I really did feel that we were in therapy.
Frank was one of the most special people in my life. I can remember when Bruce Fowler told me of a conversation he had with Frank. He told Bruce that he had heard this trumpet player Malcolm McNab who was the only musician who could play his music correctly. I was so proud and very touched by that. Among musicians all over the world, if you worked with Zappa, you were considered quite special. I treasure the time I was able to spend with him.

How does his compositional skill compare with other artists you've worked with?

I have worked with Aaron Copland, Bernard Hermann, Alex North, John Williams, and many many more on over 2,000 motion picture and television scores. As one of the greatest American composers in history, Zappa will be remembered as a true innovative original. The late composer Pierre Boulez certainly held Frank in very high esteem.

What comes into your head when someone mentions Frank Zappa?

Innovator, brilliant, original, challenging, social commentator, genius, superb guitarist.
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brainpang
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Joined: 2007-02-01
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Post 2016-05-07 10:53   [Quote] 
Thanks for that.

Diarist or savant?
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Mr_Green_Genes
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Post 2016-05-07 13:07   [Quote] 
Thanks and congrats on the book, I will surely try to pick it up sometime. Is it in the e-format as well?

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areyouhungup
Joined: 2012-08-18
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Post 2016-05-07 20:00   [Quote] 
Hi, thanks guys., Yeah it's as an ebook on Amazon too
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boguspomp
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Joined: 2004-11-30
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Location: Somewhere in Italy
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Post 2016-05-15 19:20   [Quote] 
Just bought it for my Kindle.

Will report later
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boguspomp
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Post 2016-05-19 18:48   [Quote] 
Well,

This was a waste of money. Took me all but 1 hour 37 mins from front to end. Somebody writing about what he thinks of FZ's albums. Nothing less, but also nothing more. 2 of the interviews were good, 2 were ok, the speedy one with AB absolutely useless.
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areyouhungup
Joined: 2012-08-18
Posts: 16
Post 2016-05-21 12:39   [Quote] 
boguspomp wrote:
Well,

This was a waste of money. Took me all but 1 hour 37 mins from front to end. Somebody writing about what he thinks of FZ's albums. Nothing less, but also nothing more. 2 of the interviews were good, 2 were ok, the speedy one with AB absolutely useless.


Sorry you feel that way boguspomp. Some people do enjoy my books, but I guess they're not for everyone. But I do like the precise 1 hour 37 minute thing.
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