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Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York CD (album) cover

ZAPPA IN NEW YORK

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.17 | 179 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Some think this is Frank's best live album, but to me it can't compete with Roxy & Elsewhere. Originally planned to be a part of the 4-LP set Lather, this has been expanded on the CD version, including material not on the original vinyl release. There are some later overdubs added, but at least Frank admits this is the case. This set features the horn section of the Brecker Brothers and Ruth Underwood is here although she wasn't actually a member of Zappa's group at the time. Recorded in 1976, this wasn't released until 1978.

"Titties & Beer" is a musical skit featuring drummer Terry Bozzio playing the part of the devil. I never cared too much for this song. "Cruisin' For Burgers" is a very different arrangement than the original on Uncle Meat. Frank does some great soloing here. I like the sound of Eddie Jobson's synth. "I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth", despite the title coming from "Punky's Whips", is an instrumental. Short but very good. The song "Punky's Whips" itself here is not as good as the Belew line up version on Baby Snakes. A song about Angel guitarist Punky Meadows with Bozzio playing the part of a teenager singing about his obsession with Punky. The music is great and changes quite a bit.

Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo narrates the beginning of that song. Zappa appeared on SNL not long before this concert. "Honey Don't Ya Want A Man Like Me?" is one of the songs exclusive to this set. A tight performance from the band. Different members of the band doing some of the vocals. "The Illinois Enema Bandit" is based on a true story. Pardo does the introduction. The music is basically blues-rock with some jazz- rock thrown in. "I'm The Slime" is not as good as the version on Overnite Sensation. I like Jobson's synths here, they add some atmosphere. The best part is when Pardo 'sings' some of the lyrics.

"Pound For A Brown" has great synth soloing. Not sure if this song has anything to do with "Pound For A Brown On The Bus" from Uncle Meat. "Black Page #1" is mostly a very complex drum solo. #2 like "Punky's" was better during the Belew line up. This is the "easy teenage New York version". The title of the "Black Page" comes from the fact that Zappa's sheet music for this song had so many notes that the page looked like it had more black notes than white background. At the end you hear Frank ask the audience if anyone can dance. The famous dance routine of his shows is edited out.

"Big Leg Emma" was a single from 1967 that got included on CD versions of Absolutely Free. "Sofa" here is nowhere near as good as the song on One Size Fits All. "The Torture Never Stops" is at least as good as the Zoot Allures version. "Purple Lagoon/Approxiamate" is two different songs played against each other. This is a good live album, but does not feature one of Zappa's best back up bands. I think both Roxy and Baby Snakes are better than this. I'll still give this 4 stars anyway.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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