Frank Zappa is one of the great icons of rock music. Born in 1940, he was properly placed to be at the forefront of the birth and subsequent explosion of rock and roll. Influenced by the avant-garde artists that he listened to, he gathered such styles into his own developing musical war chest. Frank Zappa was inexhaustible in his output, producing a mass of music over many albums, with sources pegging the issue at 60 before his death in 1993 at the age of 52.
Frank Zappa was not only a rock star, he was an innovator. He not only produced his own music under several names (always Zappa) including The Mothers of Invention, he also composed jazz pieces and classical works, designed artwork, formed labels and cultivated bands, produced films, even dabbled in politics. His music transcended the music of the time in which it was recorded. Frank Zappa heard music differently than anyone around him. He heard it create amazing things in his head and possessed the miraculous ability to recreate it into recordable works that could be enjoyed by others. Zappa became a visionary, one who influenced the future of rock and roll in many directions.
Zappa tirelessly recorded much of everything he did, including his many live concerts. In the years since his death, his family trust, which governs his works and their eventual releases, have posthumously issued albums of material previously unheard. This is a delight to Zappa fans, of which there are many. On October 31, in Zappa’s favorite holiday month, the Zappa Family Trust will release a previously unheard four-CD set of his marathon two complete live sets at Carnegie Hall that famously took place on Monday, October 11, 1971.
The shows featured the Mothers of Invention with Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of Turtles/Flo & Eddie fame, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Jim Pons, and notable drummer Aynsley Dunbar. For the new CD set, these shows will be available in mono, having been cleaned up, “tweaked and tweezed,” to sound as good as they possibly can.
Every second of both shows, “warts and all,” are on Frank Zappa - Carnegie Hall. If you’re a Frank Zappa aficionado, then rearrange your shelf space to make room for the four-CD document that is currently available for pre-order.