Frank Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)
At Unique Squared Inc., there is an obsession; Frank Zappa. Almost daily, one can hear the sounds of a Frank Zappa & The Mothers EP being played through the web development section’s M-Audio BX5a monitors. (Just to let you know… they sound killer!) Albums such as Apostrophe (‘), One Size Fits All and Roxy & Elsewhere are a big inspiration to this section’s work and output.
Frank Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical.
He was a highly productive and prolific artist, and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock and jazz history. He is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
Today, December 21st, 2010, marks Frank Zappa’s birthday.
To celebrate Frank’s birthday, here are a few youtube videos of Frank & The Mothers at KCET studios in Los Angeles on August 27, 1974. These tunes are from the DVD, “Frank Zappa: The Dub Room Special.