King Kong – Frank Zappa

My interest in Frank Zappa was renewed this morning when I received notification that Jean-Luc Ponty and Ed Mann had joined with Jeff Lorber Fusion to record, “King Kong“.

I played “King Kong” on Hacienda from the Jeff Lorber digital edition on Spotify. The track is delightful I might add.

Lorber and company’s intriguing rendition of Frank Zappa’s “King Kong” – featuring Jean-Luc Ponty and Ed Mann on marimba – is the only cover on the record. “It’s a song I’ve always loved,” says Lorber. “What you hear on the record is actually just a really quick arrangement that I put together, but a lot of stuff happened spontaneously in the studio that became part of the arrangement. It was almost an accident, but it came out great, and it became one of my favorite songs on the record when Jean-Luc Ponty, who also used to work with Frank Zappa, and Ed Mann, who was a member of the Mothers of Invention, both agreed to play on it.”

I next went looking for “King Kong” by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. The rendition I ended up liking best appears on the album, Mothers of Invention Ahead Of Their Time  (Recorded live October 25, 1968).

Then to tie it all together I listened at length to King Kong, Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music of Frank Zappa  (Released May, 1970which is an earnest recording of  Zappa music that features the following musicians:

(Give this recording a listen and discover the masterpiece composition, “Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra 19 mins : 27 secs)

  • Jean-Luc Ponty – electric violin, baritone violectra
  • Frank Zappa – guitar (One track, “How Would You Like To Have A Head Like That”)
  • George Duke – piano, electric piano
  • Ernie Watts – alto and tenor sax
  • Ian Underwood – tenor sax
  • Buell Neidlinger – bass
  • Wilton Felder – Fender bass
  • Gene Estes – vibraphone, percussion
  • John Guerin – drums
  • Art Tripp – drums
  • Donald Christlieb – bassoon
  • Gene Cipriano – oboe, English horn
  • Vincent DeRosa – French horn, descant
  • Arthur Maebe – French horn, tuben
  • Jonathan Meyer – flute
  • Harold Bemko – cello
  • Milton Thomas – viola

 

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