I know there are some Frank Zappa fans out there. He's just the kind of offbeat musician that appeals to our highly intellectual customers and geeks alike. With classics like "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" and "I'm the Slime" (and more that can't be printed in a family blog such as this), who wouldn't enjoy that?? (me.)
Personally, I never liked the "rock Zappa". But, I do like his Jazz fusion-y stuff and guitar playing. The music itself is incredibly challenging - no three chords and a cloud of dust for FZ! I certainly can appreciate the biting satire, sarcasm, and wit of his lyrics. I just never got into it heavily like some of my friends did.
However...if you also like jazz big band music, or only jazz, then you must check out The Ed Palermo Big Band. They play the music of Frank Zappa, arranged for a killer big band. Only their second CD is available now - Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. The arrangements are complex, interesting, demanding, and leave plenty of room for solos. I heard these guys on NPR a few weeks ago and finally found the CD in Tower Records in Harvard Square (going out of business sale, but that's another story). They are not on iTunes unfortunately, which is where I like to buy my music nowadays. You can hear them play on either the NPR story or an excerpt from someplace like Amazon or the band's own site.
Zappa + Big Band = Ed Palermo
And, that, my friends, is today's music tip.
Bonus tip: Saw Madeleine Peyroux last night at "the Berklee". Quite different from Ed Palermo, but very good nonetheless.