Frank Zappa: 200 Motels - The Suites
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On the evening of October 23, 2013, Walt Disney Concert Hall was the place to be in Los Angeles, as Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in a spectacular, sold-out orchestral performance of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (The Suites). Recorded for posterity, the acclaimed, one-night-only 13-suite performance of Zappa's 1971 masterwork will be released worldwide on November 20 by Zappa Records/UMe.
This 2CD release's expertly recorded audio brings the listener back to Walt Disney Concert Hall to experience the exciting 200 Motels (The Suites) spectacle, complemented by photos from the evening and essays by the show and recording's producers, Gail Zappa and Frank Filipetti, the evening's director James Darrah, 'Scoremeister' Kurt Morgan, and performers including Diva Zappa, Michael Des Barres, special guest 'Rock' rhythm section drummer Joe Travers, and former Zappa band member Scott Thunes. Essays by some notable members of the audience, including Steve Vai and Peter Asher, are also included.
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Contains lots of material that wasn't in the movie or on the CD/vinyl release
Excellent sound quality!
I wonder why they didn't get Howard and Mark to perform on it? I assume they are both still alive and can still sing
The crux of the biscuit is that the LA Phil and friends turned in something that brings me as much joy as my favorite recordings of the Rite of Spring. So there. He's in that class- and sometimes as the top of it.
This new presentation of 200 Motels was a one night only performance at the Walt Disney concert hall in October 2013. The number of talented people involved to create this one performance is not only mind boggling, but also appropriate for the task at hand. If you're going to perform 200 Motels, you might as well do it right, and from the outstanding results found within these two disc's, it was clearly a resounding success. I had the privilege of seeing a concert at this venue and the acoustics are just remarkable. I would have loved to be one of the lucky folks in attendance that night, but thanks to the Zappa Family Trust I can now enjoy this concert anytime I choose. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
The scale of this production must have cost a fortune, and some of those responsible for organizing this spectacle have added their thoughts and memories within the lovely booklet that comes with the disc's. The late Gail Zappa was the guiding force here, and she will always have my gratitude for the classy way she honored her husbands legacy. I'm convinced her children will continue the work with the same respect and love. I also must give credit to all the vocalists that performed the different roles in the story of 200 Motels. It's challenging to recreate something that was already imbedded into our subconscious minds, but everyone brought something new to the characters without compromising the integrity of the piece. The L.A. Philharmonic and the L.A. Master Chorale were equally brilliant in their performances. The score for this piece is challenging and I'm sure Frank would have been hard to please as he was a perfectionist of the highest order, but all the while I was listening I kept thinking he would have been happy with the work by these talented artists.
If you're a fan of Frank Zappa, and enjoyed the movie and or the soundtrack for 200 Motels I'm sure you will enjoy this fine release. It effectivly captures the intent of it's creator, telling the story of life on the road in a rock and roll band and how the shear absurdity of that life can make you crazy. This was a direct to digital recording and it captures the acoustics of the hall and the performances perfectly. The booklet is very informative with some nice photos of the event, and a complete list of all those involved. On the official Zappa web site there are some video clips of the actual show in the ad for this disc, so lets hope they filmed the entire performance and plan to release it on Blu Ray someday. I for one would love to see it. My heartfelt thanks to all involved.