(Zappa Records)

Spun: Frank Zappa

Publication YearIssue Date 

This latest CD from the Zappa Family Trust marks the 79th official release by composer/guitarist Frank Zappa. It's a project that Zappa had in the works and actually produced, but failed to release before his untimely death in 1993.

Trance-Fusion is essentially a collection of Zappa guitar solos edited from various live performances between 1977 and his final tour in 1988. The disc follows in the impressive footsteps of his two other guitar-jammed double CDs, Shut Up 'N Play Your Guitar (1981) and Guitar (1988). The songs from which the solos were originally played in onstage are not included. Assembled in such a manner, the solos stand on their own as improvised pieces and were given new titles to reaffirm this.

Zappa played guitar solos like no one else. His singular technique required a specialized rhythm section to play over. The band needed to understand unique polyrhythms, or as Zappa described it, "playing Monday and Tuesday in the space of Wednesday."

The results are staggering. Zappa improvises his way through self-termed 'air sculptures,' strangling his guitar with a seasoned attitude one moment and soaring majestically the next.

Zappa referred to his entire musical output as being part of a larger whole he called 'project/object.' Trance-Fusion stands as a welcome addition to his massive catalogue.

..Ken Clarke