The Zappa You Don’t Know

Zappa SynclavierFrank Zappa has made several appearances in past playlists, but has not gotten a playlist all to himself. It would be trivial to put together a playlist of his well-known satirical pieces, and certainly worthwhile for those people unfamiliar with his work — but why not go a bit further afield? Much of Zappa’s musical exploration was inspired by his discovery as a teenager of the music of Edgard Varèse, as well as other avant-garde classical and jazz composers. While these musical influences can be heard in all of his work, they become particularly important in his jazz, classical, and crossover works — here are a few examples:

1968: Zappa and the Mothers of Invention perform Varèse’s Octandre
1968: Lumpy Gravy
1969: Uncle Meat Variations
1969: Peaches en Regalia
1971: Envelopes
1975: Inca Roads
1978: The Adventures of Greggery Peccary
1984: Dupree’s Paradise
1986: G-Spot Tornado
1993: Dio Fa