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Frank Zappa: A serious man by Geoffrey Himes in DownBeat, May 2013  
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scoobie
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Post 2013-04-16 01:26   [Quote] 
FZ got a whole article to himself in this month's issue of DownBeat. If I get a chance this weekend, I could "quote" it here. In the meantime, try this link or visit your local newsstand.

For my two cents' worth, the article doesn't actually say much, insomuch as DownBeat articles are usually terrific, but the author seems hard pressed to relate Zappa to jazz listeners. Most of the article covers how FZ has been prolific following his death, thanks to efforts of his wife and sons. Following are selected quotes from interviews with Dave Morgan, Adrian Belew, George Duke and Ronnie Cuber, focusing on how challenging it was to work in the Zappa band. A few paragraphs with Gail and Dweezil describe reclaiming the catalog from Ryko/Warner, and the role of ZPZ in carrying a torch for the faithful. At the end, FZ is described as a composer and bandleader who, while always incorporating the rock and roll edge, needed the flexibility of jazz musicians and the proficiency of classical musicians to perform his music. I think anyone in the DB pool who is not familiar with Zappa would have benefited from a sidebar or link to recommended listening.
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franktomatozappa
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Post 2013-04-16 13:20   [Quote] 
A really nice article! In Downbeat no less! YEE HAW! headhammerheadhammerheadhammerheadhammerheadhammerheadhammerheadhammer
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Dark Clothes
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Post 2013-04-16 18:49   [Quote] 
A fair read, although the journalist doesn't really have a personal view and relies too uncriticially on the ZFT storytelling.

DB ran a story about Zappa presenting Varese back in the early Eighties. Only issue I've ever bought.

Thanks for the download.
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scoobie
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Post 2013-04-16 20:56   [Quote] 
There was an interview, I think, in 1973 which is also on the web. Downbeat does a lot of stuff tangentially related to jazz (world music, "indie" rock, various art musics, etc.) but each time I see FZ in there I can't shake the feeling that despite some of the crossover, it's an odd fit.
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syncopatico
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Post 2013-04-18 15:23   [Quote] 
Billy Cobham played with Zappa?

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scoobie
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Post 2013-04-18 16:53   [Quote] 
syncopatico wrote:
Billy Cobham played with Zappa?


You're right, I think he made a mistake. Maybe he got Cobham mixed up with Chester Thompson who did similarly aggressive funk/fusion infused jazz on the Black jazz label, or George Duke who played with Cobham.
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goldenache
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Post 2013-04-20 07:13   [Quote] 
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scoobie
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Post 2013-04-20 17:33   [Quote] 
That link is in the OP.
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hoops
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Post 2013-04-20 18:28   [Quote] 
scoobie wrote:
FZ got a whole article to himself in this month's issue of DownBeat. If I get a chance this weekend, I could "quote" it here. In the meantime, try this link or visit your local newsstand.

For my two cents' worth, the article doesn't actually say much, insomuch as DownBeat articles are usually terrific, but the author seems hard pressed to relate Zappa to jazz listeners. Most of the article covers how FZ has been prolific following his death, thanks to efforts of his wife and sons. Following are selected quotes from interviews with Dave Morgan, Adrian Belew, George Duke and Ronnie Cuber, focusing on how challenging it was to work in the Zappa band. A few paragraphs with Gail and Dweezil describe reclaiming the catalog from Ryko/Warner, and the role of ZPZ in carrying a torch for the faithful. At the end, FZ is described as a composer and bandleader who, while always incorporating the rock and roll edge, needed the flexibility of jazz musicians and the proficiency of classical musicians to perform his music. I think anyone in the DB pool who is not familiar with Zappa would have benefited from a sidebar or link to recommended listening.


Cheers for posting Smile

..but yeah, i think i agree with your assessment of the article, Scoobie...more of an advert for the ZFT/reissue programme than anything else, which is now bad thing...but certainly could've been better

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scoobie
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Post 2013-04-20 21:33   [Quote] 
hoops wrote:
scoobie wrote:
FZ got a whole article to himself in this month's issue of DownBeat. If I get a chance this weekend, I could "quote" it here. In the meantime, try this link or visit your local newsstand.

For my two cents' worth, the article doesn't actually say much, insomuch as DownBeat articles are usually terrific, but the author seems hard pressed to relate Zappa to jazz listeners. Most of the article covers how FZ has been prolific following his death, thanks to efforts of his wife and sons. Following are selected quotes from interviews with Dave Morgan, Adrian Belew, George Duke and Ronnie Cuber, focusing on how challenging it was to work in the Zappa band. A few paragraphs with Gail and Dweezil describe reclaiming the catalog from Ryko/Warner, and the role of ZPZ in carrying a torch for the faithful. At the end, FZ is described as a composer and bandleader who, while always incorporating the rock and roll edge, needed the flexibility of jazz musicians and the proficiency of classical musicians to perform his music. I think anyone in the DB pool who is not familiar with Zappa would have benefited from a sidebar or link to recommended listening.


Cheers for posting Smile

..but yeah, i think i agree with your assessment of the article, Scoobie...more of an advert for the ZFT/reissue programme than anything else, which is now bad thing...but certainly could've been better


There's been a rash of these articles lately, which seem to be based on other articles rather than anything original. It sounds canned. Too bad Himes didn't delve into the catalog and interview the musicians about what they played, rather than spending three pages on how they got the catalog back from Ryko. Another missed opportunity.

Well... at least this month's interview with Cristina Pato is good. She sure gives Kathryn Tickell a run for her money Very Happy
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Thing-Chris
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Post 2013-04-21 00:20   [Quote] 
Himes used to write reviews for The Washington Post. I read enough of them to realize he was just another critic that got by by making sure he put some negative criticism in there. I quit reading his shit a long time ago, 'though I did read this.. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Just my opinion.

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scoobie
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Post 2013-05-09 04:51   [Quote] 
For anyone interested: It's basically minutiae but this month's DownBeat featured a reader's lengthy flogging of last month's FZ article. It echoes many of my sentiments for the weak article that was heavy on ZFT back story but said little of FZ's music. I'm happy they printed the response!
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