Frank Zappa

Zappa Picks [Larry LaLonde]

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Frank Zappa died in 1993, and his music never got consistent airplay on the radio (aside from college stations), so Rykodisc, the label that acquired the rights to issue most of Zappa's recordings, sought new ways to market his music to a younger audience. Their ingenious solution was to have musicians such as Larry LaLonde of Primus put together their own anthologies of favorite tracks by Zappa. LaLonde is a true Zappa connoisseur, mixing 19 tracks from 16 different Zappa albums, primarily recordings made during the 1970s. Although many newcomers to Zappa's music are attracted to the goofy and sometimes controversial lyrics, as on "Dumb All Over," LaLonde also shares instrumentals like the blazing guitar feature "Five-Five-Five," the subtle "Little Umbrellas," and the wild "G-Spot Tornado" (performed on the Synclavier). The guest anthology producer's laudatory liner notes praise Zappa's influence on him as a musician, though he also mentions how much of a challenge much of the late composer's material is to perform. Even though Zappa himself produced several anthologies of his music prior to his death, and longtime Zappa collectors might prefer a different mix of tracks, this CD may prove an effective way to create a new generation of Zappa fans who were too young to enjoy his music while he was still recording.

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