Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Quote & Music of the day -- 12/8/04

"The word "freedom," of course, is also a grabber, and so another way to gain adherents in an age that exalts rhetoric over substance is simply to call yourself or your proposal "free market" or "free trade." Labels are often enough to nab the suckers." -- Murray Rothbard

Ensemble Ambrosius -- The Zappa Album

Not all Zappa fans may agree with me here, but I find this album to be a treat to listen to. It is a marvel in and of itself to hear a collection of Zappa tunes transcribed to fit the instrumental palette that these young musicians employ. Ensemble Ambrosius is a Helsinki based group that specializes in performing modern music with Baroque instruments. These guys don't disappoint, and they do no disservice to the legendary work of Frank Zappa.

Favorite pieces of mine include the short but sweet "Sofa", the rambunctious rendition of "RDNZL" containing some cool phrasing via the glockenspiel, a violin infused take on "Echidna's Arf (of You)", and a version of "Inca Roads" that features the chamber organ in place of George Duke's keyboard work that graces the original. Aside from the instruments already mentioned, I also highly appreciated the use of instruments such as the harpsichord and the lute, the latter of which fondly reminds me of a Middle Eastern instrument called an oud.

While I don't exactly care for every song in this collection, especially the version of "The Idiot Bastard Son", I'd declare that this album is still worth checking out if you're a music fan who not only admires Zappa's music but also is open minded enough to give such an unusual tribute to his work a chance. As I said at the top, I consider this album to be a treat.


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