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Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark CD (album) cover

THE YELLOW SHARK

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.89 | 131 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This album should be everybody's introduction to Frank Zappa's orchestral music. Better executed than the two London Symphony Orchestra album, and with short pieces, easier to digest than "The Perfect Stranger", this album it's an excellent way to discover Zappa's classical side.

It's good to know that in this concert, recorded in the final months of the master's life, he was able to have his music performed by a group of musician who "got it", who understood all of the different aspects of Zappa's music, even (maybe especially) the humor.

The music is a combination of Zappa classics ("Uncle Meat" seems to be quite well represented) and new works. The Ensemble Modern is up to the task of playing whatever Frank threw their way. In fact, the addition of the difficult G-Spot Tornado was the group's idea. And the pull it off marvelously.

The humor is most evident in Welcome To The United States where the music backs up a reading of a perticularly insipid U.S. Customs form. But those who know Zappa's music understand that some of the notes he throws into his compositions are meant to draw a laugh as well.

The sound quality is very good, although at many times the percussion section (important to Zappa's music) is too far in the background.

I suspect Frank was generally pleased with this performance.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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