Frank Zappa - Phase II - The Big Note



89 min.



Dweezil Zappa, Emile Richards, George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Tom Fowler, Bruce Fowler, Malcolm McNabb, Terry Bozzio, Steve Vai, Pierre Boulez, Gail Zappa, Nader Mashayekhi, Lale Fallah Passand, Mahnaz Saheb Jam
Frank Scheffer
Riekje Ziengs
Melle Van Essen
Harold Jalving
Allegri Film


“Without deviation from the norm, progress is impossible”, said Zappa. George Duke, Gail Zappa and Dweezil Zappa show us the artist as a musician first and foremost, and not as a freak or a natural-born troublemaker. Includes fascinating footage of a barefaced Zappa playing a bicycle.


“Without deviation from the norm, progress is impossible”, said Zappa. For your delectation: one of the most multi-faceted and unpredictable figures of 20th century pop. The valiant experimenter, the brilliant guitarist, the shocking figure and the iconoclast that seemed to laugh in the face of it all. All the Zappas are here. The artist tells us is in his own words how he was into “explosives and not music” as a youngster, which explains his interest in the thermonuclear sound of Varèse or the wrath of Stravinsky. “It would be very handy if someone would mix Varèse with Stravinsky”, asserts the musician. Classmates and bandmates discuss the young Zappa and his blues illumination. Incredible footage of an Australian TV show reveals Zappa directing the audience in an extensive piece of abstraction and pure Zappaism. Another delivers a barefaced Zappa playing music with a bicycle (!) accompanied by a full orchestra (“Flee from conventional notes”). And in the midst of it all are the Mothers, Captain Beefheart and “The Black Page” (a piece so jammed with notes that virtually nobody can play it). George Duke, Dweezil Zappa, Pierre Boulez and Steve Vai show the artist as a musician, freak icon, natural born provocateur, creator-destructor and fearsome joker. This is, quite simply, the definitive analysis.

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