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Zappa music as teaching material
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cookie_manager
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Post 2016-02-03 20:39   [Quote] 
uncle max wrote:
cookie_manager wrote:

You know this riff?
https://youtu.be/vCVJcdQXJ14?t=2m55s
At least St. Vincent fans will say it's "the best riff evva". Smile


If you like this kind of riffs, I think you better refer directly to the "God of riffs":

Mr. Tony Iommi Guitar Solo Baz

I find that St. Vincent track quite good, but not that riff in particular.

I have the discography of Black Sabbath up to Sabotage (except probably later archival releases), Live Evil and Born Again were played a lot in my teens as well, so I'm very familiar with Iommi & Co. headbanger

I actually learned to appreciate Iommi more after going through sound-oriented noise makers from the avantgarde department... I mean Iommi has a big ugly guitar sound too, often playing quite far out stuff... he has his little noisy "avantgarde" moments too. Plus I love Geezer Butler's bass sound; if I'd played bass that would probably be my starting point. Now I'm talking about Black Sabbath as teaching material. Smile

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Twilkes
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Post 2019-06-11 18:03   [Quote] 
Don't know the best thread to post this in, but Martin Herraiz, what's your take on the difference between 75 Naval Aviation and 84? I've always preferred the earlier arrangement, feels more compact and dissonant, 84 seems a little too polished to me. Are they harmonically very similar?
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drdork
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Post 2019-06-11 20:12   [Quote] 
Twilkes wrote:
I've always preferred the earlier arrangement

So has Andrew Digby, though perhaps you figured that, since you're downloading his version right now.
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Twilkes
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Post 2019-06-11 20:23   [Quote] 
I know I once sent you a sock with my surname initial on it but that's no reason to stalk me. :)

Yes I'm seeking out orchestral recordings currently - one thing I'm concluding is that The Perfect Stranger is a fairly mediocre piece to my ears, whereas Mo & Herb's Vacation may just be FZ's masterpiece of composition, maybe the only thing that would confidently stand up to any other piece of 20th century music you could pit against it. It isn't diluted or compromised by the typical FZ humour that permeates a lot of his other work (and delightfully so), and the second movement in particular rarely lets the tension drop for a second. Maybe it's the airhorns.

I'm interested in Naval Aviation because it's quite dissimilar to a lot of other FZ compositions, maybe a bit closer to Webern, but with a lot of 'cayenne pepper' in it. I find None Of The Above to be along similar lines, maybe no coincidence that they're both on the short side.
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yetanother
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Post 2019-06-11 23:27   [Quote] 
Twilkes wrote:
Don't know the best thread to post this in, but Martin Herraiz, what's your take on the difference between 75 Naval Aviation and 84? I've always preferred the earlier arrangement, feels more compact and dissonant, 84 seems a little too polished to me. Are they harmonically very similar?

They're harmonically identical. Personally I prefer the 1984 arrangement, which better realizes the concept of the piece.

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drdork
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Post 2019-06-11 23:37   [Quote] 
For a longer version of Martin's answer, see The Big Note, p. 398.

Or, even better, see O Estranho Perfeito: A Música Orquestral De Frank Zappa, pp. 211Ė227.
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franktomatozappa
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Post 2019-06-11 23:42   [Quote] 
Twilkes wrote:
Mo & Herb's Vacation may just be FZ's masterpiece of composition, maybe the only thing that would confidently stand up to any other piece of 20th century music you could pit against it.


I concur. The only other piece that may be comparable is Sinister Footwear 1 2 and 3 but there's not been a proper performance / recording of it (other than the Berkeley with Kent Nagano IIRC?)
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Twilkes
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Post 2019-06-12 08:37   [Quote] 
Yep read both of those, including the phrase Ďstatic masses disputing the space between themí from the latter, which I have tried to take into one of my compositions without ripping off NAIA. ;)

And as much as I love Sinister Footwear it does have some compositional weaknesses, in that a lot of the first movement is just (just!) a melody either played in unison or harmonised across a lot of instruments, with some fairly simple rhythmic section backing, and almost zero shared material between any of the movements. Whereas everything in Mo & Herbís fits together like it should, and everything has a reason to be there, and is developed throughout the piece, especially the last movement that brings everything together. Itís maybe only ever had four performances (LSO concert, LSO album, Zappa Affair x 2?), all with David Ocker playing solo, and I wonder if itís the difficulty or maybe even size of orchestra that means no-one even considers programming it. [understatement]I admit that it can also be difficult to listen to.[/understatement]
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drdork
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Post 2019-06-12 15:01   [Quote] 
Twilkes wrote:
Itís maybe only ever had four performances (LSO concert, LSO album, Zappa Affair x 2?), all with David Ocker playing solo

Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice (cond. Peter Rundel) - 2005 10 09 Venezia Italy, with Ernesto Molinari on solo clarinet.
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rubbershirt
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Post 2019-06-12 17:18   [Quote] 
franktomatozappa wrote:
Twilkes wrote:
Mo & Herb's Vacation may just be FZ's masterpiece of composition, maybe the only thing that would confidently stand up to any other piece of 20th century music you could pit against it.


I concur. The only other piece that may be comparable is Sinister Footwear 1 2 and 3 but there's not been a proper performance / recording of it (other than the Berkeley with Kent Nagano IIRC?)


Make sure to check out Marc Ziegenhagenís sequence of Sinister Footwear hosted on this tracker. Itís great to hear the phrases in strict time
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brainpang
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Post 2019-06-13 05:14   [Quote] 
Ah Hah! Didn't know about this performance. This may actually to get me to grab something here.*

*meaning Moe/Herb
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Twilkes
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Post 2019-06-13 22:25   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:
Personally I prefer the 1984 arrangement, which better realizes the concept of the piece.


Having listened to a few other versions of each arrangement, I probably agree - the performances of Andrew Digby's arrangement both sound like poor cousins to the 1984 recording. BUT, it's the attitude of the 1975 recording that I think hooks me on it, even in the live concert version, it's densely frenetic even when it's not going anywhere, maybe because of the huge vibrato on some of the strings. I've always kind of discounted the Royce Hall endeavour, but hearing the live concert is changing my mind.
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yetanother
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Post 2019-06-14 02:12   [Quote] 
Twilkes wrote:
the performances of Andrew Digby's arrangement both sound like poor cousins to the 1984 recording.

Is that the one the EM recorded on the Greggery Peccary album? If so, I detest it. It totally misses the point of the piece, removes everything that's interesting about it and turns it into a boring, nondescript mass of sound.

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rubbershirt
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Post 2019-06-14 03:38   [Quote] 
You just verbalized why I never listen to it, although Iíve always wished it kicked ass.
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Twilkes
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Post 2019-06-14 04:08   [Quote] 
Never heard that version, it is the ones from the NDR and WDRSO concerts.
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