Frank Zappa: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Track

Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Artist

Frank Zappa (guitar)

CD

Frank Zappa: The Lost Episodes (Rykodisc RCD 40573)

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Musicians:

Frank Zappa (guitar),

Chuck Foster (trumpet), Tony Rodriquenz (alto sax), Danny Helferin (piano), Caronga Ward (bass), Chuck Glave (drums)

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Composed by Frank Zappa

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Recorded: Cucamonga, California, 1961

Albumcoverfrankzappathelostepisodes

Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Although Frank Zappa is known for his acerbic comments about jazz, it’s interesting to note that when he made his very first excursion into a legitimate recording studio, the result was a piece of bona-fide jazz. And, at only 3’51”, it’s a little gem. This is the original, instrumental version of a song that later appeared on the album We’re Only In It For The Money: here it appears as a sprightly bossa nova, a year before Stan Getz made the form popular. Zappa assembled a group of musicians who were unknown at this time, but, nevertheless, they acquit themselves well. Trumpeter Chuck Foster makes a clean, arresting statement which reveals the influences of Clifford Brown and Kenny Dorham, while altoist Tony Rodriquenz is excitingly reminiscent of Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods. Danny Helferin’s piano style is somewhat like that of Jack Wilson, his West Coast contemporary, and Frank Zappa’s rhythm playing is perfect for the music, which fits right in with other jazz that was happening on the West Coast in the early 1960s: funky, soulful music played by people like Les McCann, Curtis Amy and the Jazz Crusaders. This track plays a significant but little-recognized part in Zappa’s oeuvre, and points the way to later jazz influences in his work.

Reviewer: Geoff Wills

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