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Zappa & The Purple Lagoon

Frank Zappa, “The Purple Lagoon,” first released in Zappa in New York (1977), then re-released in the same album (1978), and finally appearing in the posthumous album Läther (1996).

Frank Zappa (lead guitar), Ray White (rhythm guitar), Patrick O’Hearn (bass), Terry Bozzio (drums), Ruth Underwood (percussion), David Samuels (timpani, vibes), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Michael Brecker (tenor sax, flute), Lou Marini (alto sax, flute), Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax, clarinet), Tom Malone (trombone, trumpet, piccolo), Don Pardo of SNL fame (“sophisticated narration”–I guess that means the bit at the end). Frankly (pun unintended!) I’m baffled by who is playing what instruments and not sure I got the personnel right here. Also, apparently there is overdubbing with vocals somewhere, which may be Ruth Underwood. But however you parcel it out, it’s a monster ensemble. Exit question, often applicable with Zappa’s prodigy bands: Do the solos go on too long?

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3 responses to “Zappa & The Purple Lagoon

  1. I admit, I’ve never really understood Zappa’s music. This piece made me think, W.C. Handy, Stravinsky and Jimmy Hendrick’s were partying together in Seattle, picked up some of the instruments lying around and this was the result. But that’s just me.

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