Album review of Dweezil Zappa’s ‘Return of the Son Of …’

Dweezil Zappa
“Return of the Son Of … “
Z Tornado/Razor & Tie (7930183102-2)

By Michael Popke

Dweezil Zappa continues his diligent efforts to keep the music of his father alive with this two-CD live album of Frank Zappa compositions. Although not billed as Zappa Plays Zappa, this large collective features members of that band, with Dweezil handling lead guitar and sharing vocal duties.

Dweezil Zappa Return of the Son OfThe majority of the 14 songs — including “The Deathless Horsie,” “Broken Hearts Are For Assholes” and “Inca Roads” — was captured during a three-night residency at Chicago’s now-shuttered Morse Theatre in October 2008. They offer newcomers a glimpse into Frank’s world and allow longtime fans to experience again the man’s musical depth and satire (especially the demanding 27-and-a-half-minute version of “Billy the Mountain”).

Dweezil cuts loose on guitar, connecting most with his father’s music during the solos. “Each time I play a solo, I try to imbue my own playing with some of my Dad’s idiosyncrasies,” he writes in the liner notes. Why begrudge him that?


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