Ed Palermo's Big Band! Yes. Yes. Yes.
After many years – the legendary Z#13 – Ed Palermo is finally again visiting us with his band at Zappanale. And there's rather nothing more to say than: Have fun and enjoy!
But of course he and his band are worth some more words. Ed Palermo's Big Band - they are playing together since 1980 - belongs definitely to those Zappa cover bands who have left the "cover stadium". For Ed Palermo, saxophonist, band leader and arrangeur it's not a matter of reproducing the works of Frank Zappa but to interprete them totally in the spirit of Frank. He is arranging and mixing classic with jazz and R&B, enwrapping it with rich wind sections. His arrangements are peppered with unexpected twists and his band is keeping an easiness even at complex and speedy structures so that they are finding back to the main theme, which makes listening and watching a great experience. Ed Palermo's own works are in no way inferior to Zappa's interpretations, they fit seamlessly into the masterplan just like the conversions from other musicians.
„He was using the instrumentation of a traditional big band, but his arrangements and songs were anything else. When I thought that the music would take a particular direction it turned around the corner. Ed is able to keep this important balance between cohesiveness and unpredictability. Ed Palermo's music is vital and representing now.“ Gil Evans
After Zappa's death Ed,who got the Zappa virus from the „Mothers“, came up with the idea to give a tribute concert with his band. This show has been back then the most popular show of the big band – in the former club „The Bitter End“.
Thereupon the band was contacted from Alan Pepper from the club „The Bottom Line“, which lead to a nine year long engagement. During these year long engagements in the clubs of New York (after the „Botttom Line“ there were 10 years following at the „Iridium“) they performed mainly Zappa arrangements. At these shows it was inevitable that they met several Zappa alumni: Napoleon Murphy Brock, Gary Lucas, Mike Keneally, Ray White, Ike Willis, Candy Zappa, Denny Walley as well as Mats & Morgan have been guest musicians at these shows ... and because some of the musicians mentioned above will be guests at the jubilee Zappanale, too, it suggests itself to repeat one or another of those guest performances.
1997 they recorded their first Zappa album „The Ed Palermo Big Band plays the music of Frank Zappa“ which was published by Astor Place.
2006 they published under the label Cuneiform Records their second CD „Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance“.
2009 the band published their third CD „Eddy Loves Frank“, again on Cuneiform.
In February 2014 „OH NO!! NOT JAZZ!!“ was published and got enthusiastic write-ups, one 4 star rating from the Downbeat Magazine among them.
2015 the band released the album „One Child Left Behind“ with Napoleon Murphy Brock and „Candy“ Zappa, Frank's sister.
In the year 2016 the band published the albums „The Great Un-American Songbook“, Volume 1 & 2, with Napoleon Murphy Brock, and this album got a 4 star rating from the Downbeat Maganzine, too.
And also the actual (2017) release „The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren – The music from Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren“ is receiving enthused reviews.
„Eddy Loves Frank, „OH NO!! NOT JAZZ!!“, „One Child Left Behind“, „The Great Un-American Songbook“ and „The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren“ have been produced by Bruce McDaniel, guitarist and vocalist of the band.
Ed Palermo is teaching music at Hoff/Barthelson in Scarsdale, New York. He was recently named from the online magazin The Daily Beast as one of the 40 „fascinating musicians one should pay attention to“.
Unpredictability is a key element of Ed Palermo Big Band. The audience never knows what to expect, except total madness and brilliance.
Please „do sit down“ and enjoy it!