Frank Zappa

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More

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As the title implies, this disc continues the instrumental-centric madness that Frank Zappa began on its predecessor, 1981's Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, and would continue on the third and final installment released the same year, Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar. The original LP pressings were among the first on the artist's in-house Barking Pumpkin Records label and, prior to being offered as a box set, the albums were considered as separate entities within the context of the larger series. Admittedly, it takes a fairly specialized audience to absorb over 30 wall-to-wall minutes of Zappa's wholly unique fretwork. However, evidence of why these titles are uniformly indispensable listening is directly correlated to the remarkable diversity within each solo. Recorded primarily in live performances -- with studio overdubs thrown in -- during 1979 and 1980, Zappa is aided by rhythm guitarists Warren Cuccurullo, Denny Walley, Ike Willis, Ray White, and Steve Vai; keyboardists Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf, and Bob Harris; bassist Arthur Barrow; percussionist Ed Mann; and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. There are two notable exceptions, one of which is the 1976 lineup with keyboardist Andre Lewis, bassist Roy Estrada, and drummer Terry Bozzio on "Ship Ahoy." The other is the short-lived incarnation circa 1977 with White, Bozzio, keyboardist Eddie Jobson, and bassist Patrick O'Hearn -- as heard on the definitive rendition of "Pink Napkins." In the same deeply penetrating and emotive vein is quite possibly the finest rendering of "The Deathless Horsie." If not, it is certainly a wonderful place for interested parties to commence their discovery of the (dare say) many moods Zappa imbued in carefully constructed yet thoroughly improvised compositions such as the seven found here.

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