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Frank Zappa - Trance-Fusion CD (album) cover

TRANCE-FUSION

Frank Zappa

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think it's time for the Zappa family trust to realize its over with the guitar albums. When Frank himself released Guitar, I'm sure he knew that was that. Trance-Fusion could pretty much work as third and fourth discs for Guitar. Most of the songs sound the same so I'm not going to review every single song because it would be a waste of time. However, I am going to point out that if you liked Guitar, you should still buy this album because songs like "Diplodocus", "Ask Dr. Stupid" and "Soul Polka" bring a whole new element of Frank's playing to the scene here. Another excellent example of Zappa's guitar genius.

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Send comments to Chris H (BETA) | Report this review (#104768)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well the present issue is almost equal to "Imaginary Diseases" - talking about its power of invention - as well as a very good recording which has been re-mastered by Bob Ludwig in a remarkable manner!! Of course the inventiveness of the early period is more evident, but here is a sense of emotional music breath which is hidden behind the corner: thanks for instance to the drumming by Chad Wackerman - a genius (often inspiring the style of a few great drummers such as Terry Bozzio and Bill Bruford for example ) or regarding of Dweezil Zappa guitar with his fine solo within tracks 1 & 16 (except perhaps toward the final part of "Chunga s Revenge", being just a little bit uneven); therefore think of the magical touch of "Light is All That Matters" and ""Bowling on Charen", where the inventiveness of the guitar is great!! The tour dated 1988 and 1984 witness the last period concerning the career of an immortal artist, even though the majority of his fans is more involved with his old stuff...never mind, this is another "must-have" for the fans and one of the best live performances by Frank...remember him!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#133181)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is official release #79... During the 80's Zappa has revisited his giant recorded work. Zappa has taped nearly everything he could and filed everything in the famous vault in his house. After having choosen the material, he released about twenty CD's most of them double and mostly live. This material was often edited, one track was often combined with one from a different concert with different musicians etc., all according to Z's criteria: is the material interesting enough to be released? Since Zappa's death the Zappa Family Trust releases regularly material from the vault. Up to now I haven't been convinced one single time of the quality of the new releases, compared to what the man himself had already released and keeping in mind that we are not speaking about undiscovered material but variations of ..... Trance Fusion is a 2006 deliverey and follows the guitar solo extract series that Zappa himself had already covered with one triple 'Shut Up and Play 'yer Guitar' and one double CD 'Guitar'. The tracks contain all guitar solos that are extracted fom the original songs and were renamed by Zappa. Same procedure for Trance Fusion, apart from Chunga's Revenge the other tracks received new names. The main part of the tracks come from the 84 and 88 tour bands. I find it still somehow strange to have a new Frank Zappa record with brand new tracks but one.... In the liner notes Gail explains, that this compilation is/was indeed a record project of his late husband, without going into detail about the non-release.... The music itself is as good as the material already released, but in case you already have the other five CD's....

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Send comments to Alucard (BETA) | Report this review (#179928)
Posted Monday, August 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars It might be obvious by the number of his albums I have reviewed so far that I love Frank Zappa's music. I also love his guitar solos. I consider him one of the great masters of the guitar, and one of the most distinctive players ever. But these albums of guitar solos without the rest of the songs around them are starting to get tedious.

These tracks, mostly edited together into a long, bluntly changing solo. Many of the riffs are obvious. You can recognize The Torture Never Stops (more than once), Inca Roads and Easy Meat, as well as others of Zappa's favorite rhythms to solo over.

His solos, as usual are remarkable. But Zappa usually seemed to prefer to solo over very simple chord progressions. That's where the problem of this album lies. His backing bands were great, and could sometimes make the simplests riffs into something special, but an hour of this gets tiring.

The best parts of the album are the opening and closing tracks, both featuring Frank playing guitar solos along with his son, Dweezil. Their styles are different, but they mesh amazingly well.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#452370)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I'm not sure how many casual Zappa fans were clamoring for a third volume of Zappa guitar solos (this time a 1-CD set, as opposed to the 3-CD set of Shut Up and the 2-CD set of Guitar), but I guess the 2007 batch of archive releases was intended for the devoted fan anyway (it should be noted that this was another volume that Zappa was putting together until soon before he died). Unless somebody who buys this is expecting something different from a collection of guitar solos (which is possible: at least the last two volumes told you exactly what you were getting in the title), I can't really see how a fan that comes into this with high hopes would be disappointed. The album mostly focuses on Zappa's last tour (though some tracks go back as far as 1977), and this is nice because it keeps the collection from feeling redundant (Shut Up mostly focused on the late 70's and Guitar mostly focused on the 80's) and it gives a chance to observe the consistent evolution of Zappa's soloing approach over the years. The backing is often even more technophilian than on Guitar, but it sounds ok, and it never gets in the way of Zappa's talents.

Naturally, of course, I can't get through this in one sitting, but then again I never could with the first two volumes either. Also naturally, I mostly can't match the performances to their names, except for being able to pick out the opening "Chunga's Revenge" and the 1:30 "Good Lobna" (named after a Season 4 Simpsons quote), and usually that would be a sign of giving an album a bad grade. Yet while this album is certainly destined only for background listening and contributing tracks to the shuffle function of my iPod, it's a blast in filling both of those purposes. Zappa continues to show endless invention in his solos, and never once do I feel the album is just repeating itself with the same ideas over and over. And ultimately, that's enough for a collection like this. If you don't like Zappa's guitar solos, stay far away, but if you're at all warm towards them, you should be all over this.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#457631)
Posted Monday, June 06, 2011 | Review Permalink

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