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Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere CD (album) cover

ROXY & ELSEWHERE

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.39 | 326 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Until recently, the only album that I have listened to from FRANK ZAPPA was to "Joe's Garage, Act 1" (1979), an album which maybe I only listened to twice many years ago. That album has some interesting moments and some funny moments too. Then, in late 1993 one TV channel in my city broadcasted one of his concerts (I can't remember now the place or the name of the concert). I found the music to be very complicated for my taste. But also many years ago (maybe in 1980- 1981) I saw this "Roxy and Elsewhere" album in several record shops in my city. I never bought it.

This album was recorded in December 1973 and in May 1974.

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to this album. And this album is in fact very good. The music is sometimes very complicated, but it shows how good were Zappa and the musicians of his band . Some parts of the music really made me think that maybe this band really had to rehearse the songs a lot, because there are a lot of tempo changes which had to be played together by the members of the band without losing a beat or a note because if this happened the songs really could fall in chaos. Maybe some of the most complicated parts are the parts played by the drummers (Chester Thompson and Ralph Humphrey) plus percussionist Ruth Underwood. So, maybe every musician in the band had to write and / or read their parts in scores to learn them and to rehearse them alone and with the other members of the band. Also, humor is very present despite the complicated musical parts, with Zappa chatting a lot with the audience and with the other musicians, telling jokes and funny stories while the band don't play or while the band plays. Zappa also tended to have some funny titles for some of his songs or albums. So, sometimes one really laughs while listening to him telling these stories and jokes or while he chats or even while reading some of the tiles of his albums and songs. Some of the cover designs are also funny.

The best songs in this album are (for me): "Echidna's Arf (Of You)", "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?", "Cheepnis", "Son of Orange County " and "More Trouble Every Day" . All the songs in this album have a mixture of Jazz-Rock, Blues, Rock, Prog Rock and Avant -Garde music. Zappa's music is maybe not very accessible for everybody. But I liked thiis album. Very well played and funny. His discography is very long, like the list of the very good musicians who played with him.

Chester Thompson became the tour drummer for GENESIS in late 1976 after Phil Collins listened to him playing in this album, and asked him to join the band, without even doing an audition! (As he said in some interviews). His talent made him play with the band on their tours from 1977 until 1992, and also in their last tour in 2007. He also has played with Collins on tours, with Steve Hackett on albums and tours, and also with Tony Banks and a lot of musicians. He is a very good session drummer. One of the best drummers I have listened to.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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