Music » Livewire


Friday, April 21, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Frank Zappa once groused to an interviewer in the late '70s about the attitude of his sidemen. Zappa not so subtly insinuated that the main reason players signed on with him was to juice their résumés with a stint in his demanding, highly disciplined outfit. Frank might have sold his boys short that day. The Zappa alumni in Project/Object clearly regard navigating the complexities of the departed wizard's vast and challenging catalog as more than a career-building chore.

In existence in one form or another since the '90s, Project/Object features a dynamic lineup of mostly latter-day Zappatistas. Presenting this go-round is guitarist-vocalist Ike Willis; during Frank's final two decades, Willis fulfilled the role of mellow-toned crooner that Zappa had favored since the '60s (when doo-wop master Ray Collins fronted the original Mothers of Invention). Also expected is saxman Napoleon Murphy Brock from the mid-'70s Mothers, which some insist was Zappa's best band ever. It takes some effort to chase down Project/Object's existing discs these days, so catching the show is definitely the way to go.

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