Saturday, November 21, 2009

Frank Zappa Buffalo 2007

The Zappa Family Trust has been releasing some interesting items from the vault lately, and this show recorded live in Buffalo NY in 1980 is from an under-represented live touring band from Frank's past. A worthy addition to the Zappa catalog, this 2 CD live set includes many amazing guitar solos and a great track selection. Wonderful versions of Chunga's Revenge, Cosmik Debris, City Of Tiny Lights, Joe's Garage, and Dancing Fool delight. A 23 minute The Torture Never Stops is excellent, with solos from Zappa, Vinnie Colaluta on drums, and some fine keyboard work by Tommy Mars.

The band, like all of Frank's touring outfits, is capable of remarkable technical displays of musical prowess, but they also sound like they are having fun. Steve Vai (guitar), Ray White and Ike Willis (vocals and guitar), Tommy Mars (keyboards), Bob Harris (keyboards and trumpet), Arthur Barrow (bass), and the amazing Vinnie Colaluta (drums) play tight and mighty. Many of the arrangements are unique to this tour, and the set list is a blast. Hearing these songs in this relatively stripped-down group setting is big fun.

Not the place to start if you're new to Zappa, but essential listening for fans. Plenty of offensive moments mean you might not want to drive the kids to school while listening to this one.

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