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Frank Zappa

Forget Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen and Buckethead. Late-model guitar shredders of all generations must bow down to Frank Zappa. The hallowed guitarist, satirist, free-speech advocate and composer of rock, jazz and classical music--who exited this plane 13 years ago last month--has a new album in stores.

But to some Zappa freaks, it'll already be familiar. Rumors flew about this record's release in 1999, 2003 and 2005, but until now, it has only been available as a bootleg. The tracks were recorded in concert between 1977 and 1988 at locations all over the United States and in Europe, with a variety of backing groups and engineers.

Fans of the classic FZ tune "Peaches en Regalia" and his Grammy Award-winning album Jazz From Hell will be drawn to this hour-long, 16-song collection of instrumental showcases from the man who sarcastically once named an album Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar.

With the exception of the Zappa standard "Chunga's Revenge," all of the solos are actually derived from live jams on other tunes. For instance, the fluid title track has been excerpted from a 1988 performance in Germany of "Marque-Son's Chicken." And the lovely closing song, "Bavarian Sunset," was born during a jam following "I Am the Walrus" a few days earlier.

Titles show evidence of Zappa's voracious interest in monster movies, theoretical physics and animated television series such as The Ren and Stimpy Show and The Simpsons. And Dweezil Zappa, no slouch on the six-string, appears with his father on two cuts.

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