The Dangerous Kitchen

Pays Tribute to Frank Zappa (Hommage à Frank Zappa)

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The Dangerous Kitchen is actually a lineup of contemporary classical musicians disguised as rock musicians and led by Walter Boudreau, conductor of the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Quebec (the Quebec Contemporary Music Society) and dedicated fan of Frank Zappa. This tribute band is very well trained, with high musicianship standards. The repertoire is centered on Zappa's most difficult pieces from the mid-'70s to early '80s, such as "Florentine Pogen," all three parts of "The Black Page," and the closing section from the album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (the second half of "Drowning Witch," "Envelope," and "Teenage Prostitute"). The ensemble comprises, along with the rhythm section, keyboards, saxophones, and guitar, two classically trained singers, male and female. That's where it gets difficult: having them sing "Teenage Prostitute" works very nicely, but results are inconclusive at best on rock numbers like "Zomby Woof" and "Andy." The arrangements and performances were exactly cloned on the original studio recordings, except a few "live interpolations" Zappa used to do. "Inca Roads" is particularly disappointing: the whole guitar solo section has been cut and the marimba cadenza is performed by a programmed synthesizer. The Dangerous Kitchen surely is well-intentioned, but it does not add anything to the already existing music. This CD is for the Zappa collector only. Casual fans and newcomers should go for the master's original or compilation albums.

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