The late Frank Zappa composed and performed some of the most unusual music that I have personally ever heard. I’m actually not sure if it should be called rock, jazz, fusion or just simply “Zappa.”
I file this entry under the “Classic Rock” category with some hesitation since Zappa certainly does not fall neatly into that category. However, I do certainly consider Mr. Zappa and his music “Classic.”
While the music is certainly unusual, it is at the same time extraordinarily creative and quite challenging from a performance perspective. Some of the arrangements are just mind-blowingly complex and demand musical ability not easily demonstrated even among professional musicians.
Although Frank Zappa passed away back in 1993, his music lives on through his son Dweezil who is touring under the banner Zappa Plays Zappa and is drawing Zappa fans all around the world who get an opportunity to once again enjoy a live Zappa performance. One that will be as authentic as they will likely ever see again.
The YouTube footage here is a bit dated and the current tour line-up does not include the drummer featured here. However, this particular footage is a good example of just how technically challenging it is to play some of Zappa’s compositions. This particular performance features drummer extraordinaire Terry Bozzio, a long-time favorite of mine who certainly ranks among the best of the best.
For more footage of Zappa Plays Zappa in concert, check out the official website for the tour. The sound quality, by the way, is quite excellent.