Dweezil Zappa, Return Of The Son Of… [Razor & Tie]

With this double-disc live album, prodigal son Dweezil Zappa isn’t just honoring his legendary father, Frank, as a guitarist.
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With this double-disc live album, prodigal son Dweezil Zappa isn’t just honoring his legendary father, Frank, as a guitarist. He’s following in his footsteps as a virtuoso bandleader, field-marshaling a formidable group of hotshot players who’ve been touring under the name “Zappa Plays Zappa” for the past five years. Among them is bassist Pete Griffin, a true-blue Zappa disciple and, as the disc reveals, just the guy for this demanding gig. Combining a thick, oldschool tone with modern technical facility (think Tom Fowler meets Patrick O’Hearn), Griffin navigates the tough Zappa unison runs and form in classics like “Inca Roads” and “Zomby Woof” as accurately as you’d expect. But an oft-overlooked part of the Zappa live experience is the sheer length of the guitar and other solos, requiring a near endless well of rhythm section stamina and creativity for two-hours-plus every night. Judging from the epic solo sections of “King Kong” and “The Torture Never Stops,” Griffin and drummer Joe Travers are in peak shape, forming a resilient and fertile foundation for Dweezil and his delightfully wacky (and often lyrically profane) musical compatriots to take flight again and again.

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