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Zappa Plays Zappa

Dweezil Zappa  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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DVD 2-Disc Version $21.38  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dweezil Zappa
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Razor & Tie
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 205 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015FK0CC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

2008 release of Amaray/fan pack two DVD/three CD set of Zappa Plays Zappa which is the name of a concert tour and band led by Dweezil, the oldest son of the late composer and musician Frank Zappa. The band debuted in 2006 with shows in Europe, Canada and the US. The shows is a collection of Frank Zappa's rock-oriented compositions from 1960s to 1980s. Apart from Dweezil on lead guitar, the band consisted of a mix of relatively unknown young musicians and older musicians who previously played with Frank. Among those, Napoleon Murphy Brock (sax, flute, vocals) was an integral part of the band, while drummer/singer Terry Bozzio and electric guitarist Steve Vai performed as guests. At several shows Frank performed a song posthumously via synchronized audio/video technology, notedly solos in Chunga's Revenge.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Village of the Son of Monster Magnificent May 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After weathering a plethora of FZ tributes, some of which are rather good but sometimes sloppy and self-indulgent, many of us fans were resigned to the fact that the man who left on his final tour in the early 90s was the only presence who could truly deliver this very particular musical content. Whether it was a Euro jazz group, a virtuoso chamber ensemble, or reunion of veteran band members, respectful and well-intentioned as it was, it all just seemed to come across as lip service. Something was missing.

After viewing this filmed performance of ZPZ, one may realize that what was missing was blood. Though Dweezil doesn't bleed in quite the same way as father Frank, it is apparent that here is the man who immersed himself in the music (not many others could have the same opportunity) to the degree where he could take it on the road and deliver what really feels like a Zappa concert. Not exactly 100%, but closer than anyone in this generation will experience elsewhere.

And that is the point. Dweezil's mission has been to reintroduce the inimitable music of Frank Zappa to a younger demographic starved for alternatives to the mind-numbingly insipid consumer sock stuffers that pass for popular music in this day and age. With little to compare it to, Zappa's music can't be anything but fresh, a challenging listen but always entertaining. To do this Dweezil has assembled an enthusiastic ensemble that comes close to looking like a group Frank would have hand picked. Scheila Gonzales in particular (a music teacher at a high school in Simi Valley of all places), who accompanies herself on keyboard while improvising on sax, is someone to watch for, both in this show and her future career. Percussionist Billy Hulting nicely fills the void left in the absence of Ruth Underwood.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an absolute must May 1, 2008
Just for everyones information, the fan pack consists a 2 disc DVD set combines with the a 3 disc audio cd of the same material.

There is also a 2 disc DVD only set.

The third product listed on Amazon contains an single audio cd compilation

I went to see these guys last year, and don't let the fact that Frank is not playing with them put you off. It was AMAZING! It was like going to see a Zappa's greatest hits show.
I have seen Frank twice live, and although I am a HUGE fan of his work, in my humble opinion there is a lot of detrius that you have to sit through, to get to the good bits. This show and disc set contained everything that I ever wanted to hear live.
The band are awesome and Dweezils guitar work is jaw droppingly good.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-droppingly intelligent music May 14, 2008
WARNING: at the time of this review, the product description here on Amazon is just plain wrong. It states that the band "duet" with Frank via video on the tune "Chunga's Revenge." Neither that song nor any other duet with Frank is on the dvd, cd, or dvd/cd version of this release.

That aside, this is an delightful release. Dweezil has selected some of his dad's most accessible tunes, assembled an utterly amazing band to perform them, toured the world for months, and captured for our video amusement and amazement the performances of two consecutive nights.

The songs are among the most popular from Frank's catalog, emphasizing the albums Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe', and Roxy & Elsewhere. That was a period in Frank's career when all of his skills hit their zenith together for the first time - his uniquely classical sensibility of long sections of composed instrumental complexity, interspersed with a jazzer's delight of great chord progressions underlying portions of free improvising, overlaid with pure rock band distorted tones, and pop vocal melodies, but minus most of the scatalogical explorations that alienated some listeners (and prevented radio play) a little later in Frank's career.

Dweezil's band is comprosed of mostly unknown musicians, of such a caliber that each of them could easily have been in any of Frank's bands. The one exception, and a brilliant decision on Dweezil's part, was to include Napoleon Murphy Brock on lead vocals, from Frank's band of the mid-70's, and indeed those three key albums listed above.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!! June 21, 2008
By WillieB
No one on this planet is composing music like this anymore. It's intricate, heartfelt, melodic, humorous, and takes talented musicians to play it. Too many people have closed their minds to Zappa's music just because of his lyrics, and that's too bad, because the music speaks for itself, and for me, lyrics are secondary.

Dweezil assembled a smoking hot band, hit the road, and now we have a document of some of these shows. This DVD has performances from two, maybe three, shows. The set list is phenomenal, although not one song from "Joe's Garage" or "You Are What You Is" (two of my favorite Zappa albums) is included. The audio mixes, stereo and DD 5.1, sound great. The video is clear and the editing is good, but there are plenty of spilt-screen shots, and the camera angle from the guitar headstock looking down on the strings, when used, doesn't show much. The video is presented in a widescreen format. Disc one is 1 hour 54 minutes long; disc two is 1 hour 34 minutes and has a ten-minute interview with Dweezil and "Cheepnis" as bonus features.

The only thing missing from this performance, that was routine at Frank's show, is the audience participation and general weirdness that was played out on-stage. And that's ok by me. I've had the pleasure to see Frank about a dozen times in concert and some of these theatrics were too much and I wished they had focused more on the music. You can only throw around an inflatable doll so many times before it gets boring. One gig I remember Frank did nothing but sit down in a chair facing the audience, smoke cigarettes, and conduct the band. I felt a bit ripped off that he didn't play his guitar or sing. But all I feel when watching this DVD is amazement and pleasure. This is such a killer DVD, the music is timeless, and hopefully Dweezil has sparked some interest for this music to a younger generation. Highest recommendation!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I saw Zappa plays Zappy when they were the opening band for Dream Theater a few years ago, and wasn't familiar with Zappa's music at all. Read more
Published 18 days ago by pennrj430
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
i had the privilege of seeing this show live at crossroads in kansas city... this was a great memory refresher ... the talent and musicianship is matched by very few... Read more
Published 3 months ago by gtrman1263
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa rocks!
Dweezil proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This is one of the tightest bands I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robert Scanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn!
Any kid-of-musician doing a tribute band is, most likely, destined to be mediocre. Now imagine that kid, or anyone for that matter, trying to master Frank Zappa material, with the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like a flashback to Frank
Great album and a fitting tribute. The cast of musicians is top shelf and the music can't be beat. A must for any Zappa fan.
Published 7 months ago by Russ Walling
5.0 out of 5 stars The best rock & jazz concert
I think it's the best rock & jazz concert that can be heard at this time, due to the complexity of the music of Frank and the very high level of the musicians, mainly by Dweezil... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Leonardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad Dweezil Redorded this - and I was there
I was at the Roseland Theater when parts of this DVD were recoded. It was cool to see Steve Vai in the lounge are just hanging out at a table talking to someone. Read more
Published 8 months ago by james r hird
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been wanting this for a long time...................WOW!!
As all good parents you lay a foundation down to start your Kids on, and then watch them grow. I would have loved to have been there to watch Frank tell Dweezil " Ok almost... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Victor Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Zappa is not dead!
Zappa's son playing his father's music is like seeing Zappa when he was young. Well does Frank Zappa ever been old, dying before 50. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rock Yours
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa plays Zappa
Outstanding. Can't get enough of it and the sound mix is exceptional. For all you Zappa fans you have to get this one!!!!!
Published 21 months ago by Coss Heating Ac
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