PART 2 of 4:
A journey through Frank's music can begin for anyone at any stage of his musical output and many people don't start from the very beginning. If you ever happen to have the opportunity to explore all of Frank's work chronologically I know you will be amazed by the metamorphosis that becomes evident. That's what happened to me in 2004 when I began preparing for this project. It gave me a great sense of the totality of his musical output and how it was all galvanized through thematic coherence.
It became obvious to me that if you circled back you would be able to recognize that he had all of the ingredients that made up his unique compositional style present right from the very beginning. He adroitly implanted the thematic clues of his project object like mile markers on an infinite highway. It mutated and refined itself while simultaneously becoming laser focused as he continued his musical journey.
Another one of Frank's great talents was his ability to recognize skills and talents that were present in musicians but remained untapped or under utilized. Frank was able to coax these abilities out of people and exploit them to great effect musically. George Duke confessed he never sang before Frank's band. He never had an interest in synthesizers until Frank encouraged him to explore their parameters.
What does this have to do with ZPZ in 2012?
Well, thanks for asking. When it came time to pull things together for the February run I wanted to do something that was unique for that tour. We needed a new bassist on short notice so I asked Scott Thunes to join us on bass for the whole tour. I have known Scott for many years and have always admired his musical sensibilities. On this tour I was able to appreciate his musical choices from a whole new perspective. It was an absolute pleasure to hear him play with this band each night and his energy and enthusiasm was not only captivating but it was contagious. In Scott's days in Frank's band he rarely soloed. Even when given the nod by Frank, Scott objected and evaded his body commercial time slot. On this tour it was a bit different. Scott's tone with the flat wound strings for the 60's material proved to be inspirational and Scott pulled off some pretty clever musical ideas with great tone. It was like Mahler inspired punk rock injected with Beefheart stimulated plutonic, super heated "thudlike" air pockets.
In any case I have the recordings to prove it. Don't threaten me... I might release an F.O.H. of a complete concert or at least a complete set list from that tour.