A more than adequate introduction to the world of Frank Zappa's instrumental music. A great deal of attention was focused on Zappa's often infantile lyrics, sometimes to the extent that the quality of Zappa's music was ignored. From a performance standpoint, the music was often a challenge (becoming almost impossible once Zappa was composing for the Synclavier); from a compositional standpoint, Zappa's instrumental music shows its 20th-century influences in no uncertain terms. Strictly Genteel serves up music performed by orchestral ensembles as well as pieces performed on Synclavier and in a band context, with the common thread being Zappa's overall brilliance -- while sometimes an imperfect composer, his drive and talent resulted in a huge body of excellent work that may one day come to be appreciated by classicists.
AllMusic Review by Steven McDonald