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Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger

Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger by Frank Zappa
Released: Aug 1984
Title aside, the French composer-conductor only leads his ensemble through three of these pieces. (Other tracks are Zappa's own Synclavier efforts.) And so "Naval Aviation in Art?" gets another flight, post-Orchestral Favorites, as does "Dupree's Paradise" (familiar to Zappa fans from other contexts). They're fine, but the big draw is the 12-minute title track, which Frank wrote in a style after Boulez's own heart. "The Perfect Stranger" is severe stuff, with dissonant brass and pitched percussion tweaks. There may not be typical Zappa guffaws in this music, but an abstract wit is alive here.
Seth Colter Walls

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