Saturday, August 15, 2015

Big bands: Zappa and ELO

Two classics for you in a short post before time's up for the current theme:

I've posted more than once here about FZ and still - 40+ years on - revere the irreverence of Overnight Sensation. Zappa led a band large enough at most times to qualify for our theme's (6 or more band members) limit. And more. The man composed/orchestrated for the band. I've read that he could write musical score as fast as it came to his head - I imagine a scene from Amadeus where Mozart is scribbling away as he explores harmonic options. Yes, a certain amount of drivvel emanated from Zappa's musical mind. (Sheik Yerbouti maybe?) At any rate: Big Bands idea number one: my favorite Zappa orchestral work, from Hot Rats - well, not this version.
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As I postponed, delayed and thought through the Big Band theme possibilities, I found myself wandering back in the disco '70s. Alongside Fleetwood Mac and Steve Miller, there was the Electric Light Orchestra. Aka Jeff Lynne's ELO. Like many other Big Band candidates, ELO varied in size from year to year, with wind and string instruments/musicians in addition to Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan as staple/founding members.

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