There is now way in hell you could stuff Frank Zappa into a nutshell. Yes the guy was a fuckin' nut, and sure, there are people who would like to push his legacy into some kinda shell and never crack it open. Screw them. If you want a fresh slice of his often misunderstood genius, the Baby Snakes DVD is a good bid. Culled from a freakish Halloween in the late-70s, this offering is Zappa through and through. There are sections that lose momentum and get a bit boring: the recurring blow up sex doll and the claymation Frank likes so much for instance, and there is a bit too much chatter from time to time. But when it boils down to the music, it's pure unadulterated platinum.

There may never have been a better band leader, and the glory can clearly be seen as Zappa leads these mad men through musical calisthenics that 99.9 percent of the bands who tour wouldn't even consider attempting. Speaking of the mad men that make up this amazing incarnation of the Mothers of Invention, we find Zappa backed by Terry Bozzio, Roy Estrada, Adrian Belew, Ed Mann, Partick O'Hearn, Tommy Mars, and Peter Wolf. The feats of musical acrobatics these cats pull off is mouth open shocking at times. Written, produced, directed and composed by Frank Zappa, this is the chestnut you're looking for. If you dig Zappa you will love this, if you don't; it's time to get the hell outta here.

The Kayceman
JamBase | Head Quarters
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[Published on: 4/30/04]

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