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This Is Where To Start
on 13 March 2009
Many years ago I was encouraged to 'get into Zappa' and was advised to start here. After all, Frank Zappa produced some pretty opaque music that could bother the uninitiated listener so to get a handle on his style it's best to begin with something fairly straightforward.
So I bought Apostrophe and never looked back. Over the years I've bought around 30 Zappa albums and have derived enormous pleasure from (almost) every one of them.
Apostrophe (') contains some easy to swallow bits of Zappa that show you the way ahead. It's also a damn fine album not least for the title track in which we hear an extended guitar and bass jam between Zappa and Jack Bruce. The sound here is fantastic with both men producing some aggressive, mind blowing improvisations on top of a solid and hooky riff.
Also present is Zappa's unique and bizarre storytelling and some absolutely gorgeous melodies. The track 'Uncle Remus' is something quite outstanding for Zappa in that it has both a moving, soulful tune and a serious social statement. In fact all the track on offer here are good. His guitar parts are also particularly exciting. There's no 'spare' on this album. It's all lean and accurate, concise and to the point.
It comes from a distinctly fertile stage in Frank's career in which he produced some of his finest work - notably the excellent 'Roxy and Elsewhere' album. It was also during this period that he worked extensively with the hugely talented George Duke - and this stuff has George all over it.
Sharp and precise, exciting and funny, this is proper Zappa. The door through which the casual punter can go to achieve further enlightenment if he or she should choose.
Who knows where this album could take you?