The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #595


Frank Zappa, Philly Joe Jones, Earl Freeman, Louis Moholo, John Dyani, Grachan Moncur III and Archie Shepp.

(Editor's Note: I would dearly love to know what blow-out this is from)

21 comments :

Pop9 said...

(Reader's note : so do I!)

Geoff said...

epic

Arthur Gilroy said...

I dunno where it's from, but I will guarantee that Zappa was so far out of his class in that company that he might as well have been holding an unamplified ukelele.

Bet on it.

AG

Sock MonKey 1 said...

1969 Amougies (Belgium) festival

http://www.united-mutations.com/s/archie_shepp.htm

http://www.guitars101.com/forums/f90/zappa-october-24-27-1969-actuel-festival-amougies-belgium-67008.html

Maureen said...

There's an amazing series of youtube videos of Zappa (in short hair and a suit) on Steve Allen playing music on a bicycle. Really fantastic.

michaelE said...

Amougies Pop & Jazz Festival in Belgium Oct., 1969.

Nate said...

Amougies Festival, Belgium, October(?) of 1969.

Nate said...

The Amougies (sometimes called the Actuel) Festival was organized by Zappa. There is a scarce quantity of video on YouTube, but none of this particular jam. No extant audio tapes of any of the festival either. Truly mythic.

Christopher said...

Amougies Festival 1969

Fred said...

Hey! Who's dat honkey with the guitar?

de Selby said...

Arthur Gilroy -

I'm not about to fall into the silliness of arguing over matters of taste, but are you sure that you're fully informed about Zappa and Jazz?

Timmy said...

I'll take that bet, AG & raise you twenty...

Christopher said...

Peaches en Regalia is my fave Zappa musical arrangement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-cEkk-n8OA
and this theres this version of a classic..heh heh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9yVcwXJa08

Arthur Gilroy said...

de Selby said...
Arthur Gilroy -

I'm not about to fall into the silliness of arguing over matters of taste, but are you sure that you're fully informed about Zappa and Jazz?
=========================

Timmy said...
I'll take that bet, AG & raise you twenty...

==============================

AG answers:

Ain't about "taste", fellas. It's about idiom and further about sheer numbers of hours playing in an idiom. How do I know? I've been a working jazz and latin musician in NYC for over 30 years. (Don't bother googling...Arthur Gilroy is a pseudonym. If what I am saying doesn't resonate as true, just forget about it and write me off as a quack. But it is true.) Zappa didn't pay that particular set of dues. Not ever. Talented? Sure? A few thousand nights playing with world class jazz players? Not a chance. And without that set of dues being paid, there is no way in the world that he could play on the level of Philly Joe Jones or Grachan Moncur. Ain't happening. Sorry. Neither could Philly Joe play the percussion parts that Zappa wrote for Ruth Komanoff/Underwood. It's different sports. Different leagues. Now...there were fine jazz players who played with Zappa, but they were basically functioning as studio musicians. It's been a strong tradition for about 70 decades that the best big-time general business musicians have mostly been people whose roots were in jazz. It's just the way things work. if you can really play jazz and you are a good reader, you can damned near play almost anything.

The reverse is not true.

So it goes.

AG

Arthur Gilroy said...

That's "70 years". Duh.

Sorry.

AG

Loye said...

@Arthur Gilroy:

Tell it like it is.

Timmy said...

Tell it like you are mentally convinced. The reverse IS true. Jazz is some kind of sacred cow that no one else can ever possibly slaughter & eat??? When did you become the all knowing guru of music in this tempoaral world, AG? We should all of course, bow to your words of Truth? Wake up & smell your roses, they're rotting.

de Selby said...

Arthur Gilroy said...
"It's different sports. Different leagues."

That's fair enough. Zappa never displayed an affinity for traditional jazz, and it's unlikely that he clicked with the august assemblage in the photo (though we'll probably never know).

However, he is one of only 114 musicians in the Downbeat Hall of Fame.

He's certainly not the head of that particular class, but he's in it.

de Selby said...

Oh, by the way...

At least one of those guys, Archie Shepp, thought enough of Zappa to appear with him in concert in October of 1984. You can hear a bit of that on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4.

Just sayin'

narlus said...

gee...someone read _Outliers_...

zajal said...

AG has it dead on. Zappa was a top session guitarist who transformed himself into a rebel icon. Of the many self-promotional alternatives to mainstream rock, his was the most industrious. His late music was derivative and pretension. I know no professional musician, of any genre, who takes him seriously. His audience, clearly, is still smitten.

As a contemporary of Zappa, I conducted the first performances of Edgard Varese's music in Los Angeles, concerts Frank attended. 15 or so years later, he claimed to have premiered the music.

As a serious musician/arranger of that era, I again defer to AG: he knows the world of studio players. You can get almost any famous jazz musician to appear with you if you have the money. (I was told by a prestigious recording artist to hire Earl Hines for one song. I did. And the studio paid through the nose.)

Regardless, whatever Frank Zappa's virtues, he was patently not a jazz musician.