Friday, October 04, 2019

FRIDAY MUSIC: Frank Zappa, by JD

Watching the Proms this year they featured something written 100 years ago which was dire, it was very loud and percussive and tiresome. The presenter Suzy Klein enthused at the end but it was obvious she didn't like it but the Beeb pay her so she had to be polite.

They have over the years been trying to broaden the scope of music. Big band jazz has become more or less a regular feature and there have been Proms devoted to the music of Motown with Sam Moore and William Bell among others. Musical theatre such as West Side Story (with all those 'evil' triads!) has become a staple also and I have already covered the first ever Tango Prom.

But sometimes the choice seems bizarre. If it is good music it is welcome but if it is for 'diversity' they shouldn't bother. (I am too polite to mention the guilty parties.)

My ever fertile brain thought - when will they have the nerve to devote a Prom to the music of Frank Zappa! He recorded with the LSO many years ago and I have been listening to his music recently. He is seriously underrated, he is not a rock musician he is a jazzer who uses rock instruments. Wiggia has already posted FZ's version of Ravel's Bolero so........... are your readers ready for a Zappa musical post? Ready to be Zapped?

(This was a comment on the Bolero video - "Interesting that Ravel was very taken by jazz and became one of the few composers to incorporate sax into his works, Bolero being a prime example. Here we see the four major saxes interpreting his work with great feeling. Classics meets jazz meets pop?")

This final video is his last professional public appearance, as the cancer was spreading to such an extent that he was in too much pain to enjoy an event that he otherwise found "exhilarating". Recordings from the concerts appeared on The Yellow Shark, Zappa's last release during his lifetime.

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