GrandMothers of Invention carry Frank Zappa's legacy to the Cedar tonight

GrandMothers of Invention carry Frank Zappa's legacy to the Cedar tonight

Mother's Day comes a couple days early this year for freaks and fans of Frank Zappa. The Cedar Cultural Center hosts the Grandmothers of Invention making a stop on their current tour.

The show will include the group performing the 1974 landmark recording Roxy & Elsewhere in it's entirety and very likely an excursion of countless other Mothers of Invention classics.

Nearly 40 years on, Roxy and Elsewhere stands out as a masterpiece of satirical and tightly orchestrated rock and jazz fusion that presented as a live record comprised of 3 nights at the famed Hollywood theater and a set at Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania. Recorded during a period in Zappa's career at the dawn of the 70's that marked the end of the original "Mothers of Invention" as a group as a swell of additional members and cohorts were employed to execute the incredibly difficult music swirling in his head. Most notably Bay Area R&B singer and jazz floutist, Napoleon Murphy Brock who joined the Mothers that year quickly becoming the foil and vocal mouthpiece for Zappa adding a new flavor to the style of the band that would flourish and expanded upon for throughout the decade.

Zappa and the Mothers 1974
Zappa and the Mothers 1974

While Dweezil Zappa has given proper tribute with his excellent Zappa Plays Zappa group, formed in 2005 The GrandMothers of Invention have also kept his spirit alive showcasing the longevity of the music not to mention the performers themselves. Featuring Brock along with original Mothers bassist Tom Fowler, diverse keyboard player and magician Don Preston and Robbie "Seahag" Mangano who effectively embodies Zappa tectonically on guitar as much as in the band leader's traditional facial hair.

These guys aren't getting younger but as Zappa's appreciation and following always continues to grow he can be considered one of America's greatest composers past, right up there with Geroge Gershwin and Duke Ellington. What greater privilege to witness the music live in the flesh of the man's chief collaborators from an era long past.

The GrandMothers of Invention perform tonight at the Cedar Cultural Center 8pm $30 All Ages

City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >