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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:46 pm 
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Wondering if any UMRK rehearsal recording exist with Jeff Berlin on them. A cursory search revealed none but some of the traders (jayp maybe) might know better.

Also related to that, the timeline is a follows:

Vinnie leaves for no reason other than making more as a studio musician and not having to tour.

Logeman auditions and gets the job (there is another drummer in between these two but lasts about a week of rehearsals)

Then Vinnie returns, Frank fires logeman (as nicely as he can) and the spring 80 tour happens.

Then what?

Was the Berlin/Coliauta fiasco in 81'? I had read Logeman say he replaced vinnie AFTER the pay incident (this is not accurate).

Also, was Logeman invited/auditioned when Vinnie left again? I have always liked David's playing (he learned some stuff stuff in a short amount of time and had literally the biggest shoes in drumming to fill) and it would seem natural to see if this guy who is clearly a quick learner and has more groover than Chad, and knows a lot of the material already were free...

Lastly, is there a reason for no tour in '83. I know at the time he thought '84 might be the last tour, and '88 happening later with a gap makes sense.

I had read previously the incident with pay was in 83 but it makes no sense why Jeff Berlin would be auditioned to replace Thunes considering how highly Frank think of his and his playing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Vinnie left before spring/summer 80 because he received offers for studio work, and FZ couldn't/wouldn't match what those other artists (Pages and Gino Vanelli) would pay. I think David Logeman had this in mind when he mentioned Vinnie wanting a raise.

Then Vinnie came back for fall 80.

At the end of 1980, Arthur Barrow left, and then I believe the incident with Jeff Berlin coming into the band, and he and Vinnie wanting to be paid more than the others, happened in early 1981. (So in a sense there were two different money incidents with Vinnie.) There are no known circulating Zappa recordings with Jeff Berlin.

There is one early 1981 rehearsal tape out there where FZ mentions that David Logeman was a candidate for that tour. Of course, that didn't happen and Scott Thunes and Chad Wackerman became the new rhythm section.

I don't know why there wasn't a tour in 1983 although we know that FZ was angry about the band's experiences in Europe in 1982 and claimed for a while he would never tour there again, and he also may have believed that he could concentrate on working with orchestras until the various "stupidities" stories soured him on that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Thanks! Clears that up!

Another question, maybe I should start a new thread but what the hey...

Any reason Arthur stopped touring? I know he still ran rehearsals, laid down tracks, etc after 80.

I ask because Arthur is my absolute favorite Zappa band-mate. No one on this planet plays like him and I tend to listen 90% of the time to stuff that has Barrow and Mars.

Any reason for no Tommy in 84? Read he didn't want to synth it up in 88 wanting to play clean piano and so I guess they had creative differences. In 84 however I have no clue? Instead we get Zavod who happened to play keyboards in the worst year for keyboard sounds.... so it's borderline unlistenable when doing any "hip" sounds. (same goes for Chad, great drummer horrible era for MIDI drums)

I'm mixed on Tommys departure from 88. Him and arthur are the best but I'm so glad Mike Keneally was on the 88 tour at the same time. Glad Bruce and Walt got to tour with Frank but the 88 horn style is not my favorite, nothing like the Nappy/Bruce/Walt from 10 years of the Mothers tour or Nappy/Cap't/Bruce from the Zappa/Beefheart tour. Not funky, not improv heavy or loose. A part of me really wishes we had gotten the Flo and Eddie / Tommy Mars / Ray White version of this lineup. (Scott might have been easier to get along with sans horn section he notoriously was not a fan of)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:11 am 
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Arthur has said he was tired of touring. As for Tommy in 1984 I don't know, but FZ had talked for a while about wanting to find a different keyboardist and my guess is he decided to make good on the threat that year.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Interesting that you brought this up...I just learned that he spent some time with Frank. I shot him a note through Facebook, maybe he'll toss some info back at me about it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:57 pm 
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Zappa's horn matching style got a bit conservative: heavier on saxophones. No flutes used at all, apart from an occasional piccolo (mostly on "Bolero" I think). Kurt only got a baritone solo on "King Kong" and maybe "Pound", but nothing of note on contrabass clarinet. This is far far far different from the '73 amplified chamber ensemble where Ian Underwood would drop the alto in favour of bass clarinet and solo for quite a bit on that instrument. I'm sadly not a big fan of Napoleon's playing style: more steeped in pop/R&B and playing with the kind of sax sound that I don't think Adolphe Sax had in mind when he invented the saxophone.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:54 pm 
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I just Googled Jeff Berlin and Zappa and found one interesting quote from him about playing with Zappa:

"I did Zappa's band for a short time, and he gave me a chart once, and told me to learn it, and Steve Vai came over and helped me out because I didn't know how to read the stuff. He gave me a few hints and then I understood. A week later I went back to the rehearsal, I broke out the music, and we started playing. Frank stopped it immediately and said "What are you playing?" and I said "I'm playing this part you gave to me." It was "Pedro's Dowry." And he looked at it and "Oh man," he says "I gave you the guitar part by accident." So I learned the guitar part, in treble clef, and learned it in a couple days well enough to function in his band."

http://www.cosmik.com/aa-september01/jeff_berlin.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Got a quick response from him...he just said that he never recorded with him...no elaboration...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:45 pm 
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I suspect Jeff has mixed memories of his Zappa stint. Zappa putting the story about asking for a raise and getting fired in his book probably didn't help.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:00 pm 
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I remember Berlin talking about Zappa (probably in a Guitar Player Magazine). He said something like "Zappa was a great composer but as a guitar player he was 'an average rocker' ". Sounded a bit like sour grapes to me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:10 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
I'm sadly not a big fan of Napoleon's playing style: more steeped in pop/R&B and playing with the kind of sax sound that I don't think Adolphe Sax had in mind when he invented the saxophone.

Poor Adolphe - how could he have anticipated all the uses and abuses of his genial horn - Irish show bands, Swedish dance bands, Abba and Nappy, as well as the squinty-eyed cruiser David Robert Jones... And what would Adolphe have said of the whole free jazz saxophone tradition; Coltrane, Sanders, Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson - even Borbetomagus? I'm afraid mr. Sax has had many occasions to turn in his grave since Glazunov perfected his vision of a symphonic instrument. And of course that's just wonderful, that people have taken the instrument beyond the inventor's wildest expectations :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:13 am 
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KUIII wrote:
I remember Berlin talking about Zappa (probably in a Guitar Player Magazine). He said something like "Zappa was a great composer but as a guitar player he was 'an average rocker' ". Sounded a bit like sour grapes to me.



Yeah, I wasn't expecting much, giving what I learned about the whole affair. I was actually surprised that he even spent any time with him since he's a (from what another friend described) "a musical snob". Apparently his little stint in Yes (Nee...Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe) wasn't exactly the most pleasant of experiences, either....but Bruford was a good friend, and figured he'd slip in with little to no rehearsal, and it wouldn't sound like there was much of a bump in the road


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:27 pm 
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DC Boogie wrote:
And of course that's just wonderful, that people have taken the instrument beyond the inventor's wildest expectations :mrgreen:

Amen.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Ray Shasho: What about working with Frank Zappa?

Jeff Berlin: “I worked with him for a short time. Frank was a strange man but at the time I was also immature and young and did not behave in a way that I would behave today. I was unprofessional with him and asked him for more money and he fired me. I don’t blame him, when you’re a band leader you want to have cooperation from your musicians and I was young and stupid. I learned from those days and became a better man later on. But I played with a lot of guys, and the interesting thing is everybody that I ever played with taught me, I learned from every single source. As of late my main focus is me, Jeff as a bassist, and then with the different people I want to play with. I’m looking to play with Jeff Beck because he’s played with everybody but not with me. My hope is one day he’ll want to play because I would love to play with a brilliant guy like Jeff.”

june 2013 interwiew
http://www.examiner.com/review/jeff-ber ... -the-world


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:37 am 
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DC Boogie wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
I'm sadly not a big fan of Napoleon's playing style: more steeped in pop/R&B and playing with the kind of sax sound that I don't think Adolphe Sax had in mind when he invented the saxophone.

Poor Adolphe - how could he have anticipated all the uses and abuses of his genial horn - Irish show bands, Swedish dance bands, Abba and Nappy, as well as the squinty-eyed cruiser David Robert Jones... And what would Adolphe have said of the whole free jazz saxophone tradition; Coltrane, Sanders, Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson - even Borbetomagus? I'm afraid mr. Sax has had many occasions to turn in his grave since Glazunov perfected his vision of a symphonic instrument. And of course that's just wonderful, that people have taken the instrument beyond the inventor's wildest expectations :mrgreen:


I think it's safe to say that the way Bunk and Ian played the saxes in 1968 for Zappa, was pretty much how the saxophone sounded like, even the soprano sound on "Absolutely Free" is more reflective on how the soprano sax used to sound like. And then in the 80s you have Kenny G! And most people's perception was increasingly skewed towards the notion that the saxophone is basically a sleazy instrument that can ruin pop music.

Truth is, the sound that most people today categorise as "smooth jazz" sax sound probably began in early 70s when R&B saxophonists began to sound a certain way. I can't give Napoleon too much credit for inventing a saxophone sound that was far removed from the established sound that Bunk and Ian could embody, so he had to copy someone when he put so much sleazy projection on his tenor saxophone notes. The only question is: who's responsible for that sax sound being popularised?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:52 pm 
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That sax explanation is confusing, care to name a few? Been a lot of great sax players still is, Bennie Maupin, Joe Farrell, Sonny Rollins, Wayne shorter, Pharaoh sanders, Gato B., Richie Cole, Phil Woods, Steve Marcus, Mike Brecker, should i go on, imho, Ian & Bunk, being good are NOT really representative of the majority of the sax world, maybe the Zappa sax world.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:05 pm 
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^ You forgot Kenny G.


KUIII wrote:
I remember Berlin talking about Zappa (probably in a Guitar Player Magazine). He said something like "Zappa was a great composer but as a guitar player he was 'an average rocker' ".


Jesus. What a fool Berlin sounds like here. Average rocker?

Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
The only question is: who's responsible for that sax sound being popularised?

If you're talking about the sleazy, pop/r&b sax sound, perhaps it was Cab Calloway's orchestra? Minnie The Moocher was out in 1931. Of course, that's based on Willie The Weeper from 1927 which is based on old vaudeville or burlesque numbers. Those Minnie horns are pretty sleazy.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:44 pm 
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berlin had his zappa chart framed & displayed on his wall, guy appears to be a dick, some funny off-topic zappa stories ...spotlight on ruth's titties

10 pages of interesting discussion on this thread

Image talkbass forums > bass guitar forums > bass guitar > bassists [bg]

Image jeff berlin fired by frank zappa

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:32 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Jesus. What a fool Berlin sounds like here. Average rocker?


As I recall, after FZ died one of the guitar magazines wrote about what a great guitarist he was, and Berlin responded with a letter to the effect that FZ was not great because he couldn't play over complicated chord changes. The criticism has some validity but of course that is only one of many factors in determining whether someone is a great guitarist.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:41 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
Berlin responded with a letter to the effect that FZ was not great because he couldn't play over complicated chord changes.

Zappa wasn't interested in playing solos over complicated chord changes. I'm sure he could have done it if he was interested. I mean, he had the skill. There is less room to express yourself in a solo if you are tied down to some complex chord structure. It's like a straight jacket. Coltrane, for example, soars much higher on a song like The Father The Son And The Holy Ghost then he could on Giant Steps.

With some players, all they have is the chord changes otherwise they'd be fluttering in the wind not knowing what to do. The complex changes are a crutch to make up for the soloists lack of imagination. The chord changes dictate your path for you. There's not much to think about once you've mastered the changes. You're basically playing it safe. Modal playing is more challenging.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:42 am 
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Fuck the Wanker a Bass Player saying a Guitarist Can't play over complicated chord changes,i bet that is why his ugly face players bass Failed Guitarist.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:55 am 
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cleon wrote:
Fuck the Wanker a Bass Player saying a Guitarist Can't play over complicated chord changes,i bet that is why his ugly face players bass Failed Guitarist.

The second phrase of your sentence makes no sense whatsoever.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:23 am 
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tiboudre wrote:
cleon wrote:
Fuck the Wanker a Bass Player saying a Guitarist Can't play over complicated chord changes,i bet that is why his ugly face players bass Failed Guitarist.

The second phrase of your sentence makes no sense whatsoever.

We'll it does too me Drummer boy 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:09 pm 
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There has to be some UMRK rehearsal recordings with Mr. Berlin. Would make a great "Joe's" release if you ask me. I've seen the guy live a few times in the last 10 yrs, w/ Scott Henderson/Mike Clark, and the BX3 tour with Billy Sheehan. Yeah, he's technically great, and has funny stage banter, but that's about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:29 pm 
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It's pretty hard to picture him in the Zappa context, though Scott was pretty "busy" as well. But it is especially hard considering the woodwind/brass aspects of the proposed tour. The whole thing seems rather more "delicate" than usual.

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