Tag Archives: Frank Zappa

Early Zappa and former Mothers Rarities Now Available

Previously Unheard Early Frank Zappa Recordings Released As Pal Recording Studios’ Archives Are Unearthed After 43 Years, and Ex-Mothers Don Preston and Bunk Gardner’s New CDs Find Them Still Joined At The Hip!

6/4/07 – New York – Formidable record label and publishing company, Crossfire Publications, is in the process of releasing a series of recordings from the pre- and post-Mothers of Invention eras, with many unreleased tracks featured. The Pal Recording Studios recordings are of enormous historical value, as they were Frank Zappa’s very first studio tracks. The symbiotic relationship Zappa had with Paul Buff and Pal formed the core of his later output.

Paul Buff and Frank Zappa pioneered many of the recording techniques and musical styles that continue on today by using the studio itself as a dynamic music instrument, rather than a static capture environment. At Pal, the classic divide between engineer and musician was non-existent.

As the most anticipated releases in Crossfire’s release schedule, the Pal Recording Studios CD series was developed by Crossfire’s owner Greg Russo along with Paul Buff , owner of the Cucamonga, California-based studio from 1957-1964. This exclusive series will feature many highly prized rarities and unreleased tracks drawn from Paul Buff’s mixdown tapes and reference discs.

When Pal was not booked for artists on Buff’s record labels (Pal, Emmy, Yukon, Plaza and Vigah), a rotating crew of musicians, The Pal Studio Band , regularly laid down tracks with the hope of placing them with major record labels. The band featured regular appearances by young guitarist Frank Zappa, who learned recording studio operations from Paul Buff.

Records cut by Buff and guitarist Ronnie Williams were issued on Buff’s in-house Emmy label as by The Masters, with one track (“Breaktime”) featuring dual lead guitars by Zappa and Williams. Other releases with Zappa involvement from this period include The Tornadoes, Ron Roman, Baby Ray And The Ferns, Brian Lord & The Midnighters, The Heartbreakers, Ned And Nelda and Bob Guy, among many others. Over a half dozen unreleased titles with Zappa as part of The Pal Studio Band will be covered in the series along with the aforementioned singles.

Concurrent with his Pal activities, Paul Buff started working with Art Laboe, owner of Original Sound Records. After the sale of Pal Studios to Frank Zappa in 1964, Buff became Original Sound’s studio engineer. Besides recording many Original Sound artists, Buff made his own recordings for the label. This output started in 1963 as The Bongo Teens, followed by The Hollywood Persuaders, The Rotations, Mr. Clean, The Catalinas, Lori Allison, The Buff Organization, The Friendly Torpedoes (with The Music Machine’s Sean Bonniwell) and Ricky Dean. Non-Original Sound clients, such as the entire output of the All American label (known for Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense And Peppermints”) and Sugarloaf, were also engineered by Buff.

Between the Pal Studios masters and Paul Buff masters for Original Sound, Crossfire is expected to release about a dozen CDs.

Keyboardist Don Preston and woodwind player Bunk Gardner, members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention from 1966-1969, are represented by Crossfire Publications’ collections of their output before and after that group: Vile Foamy Ectoplasm (Don Preston) and It’s All Bunk! (Bunk Gardner).

Bunk Gardner’s CD is his first-ever solo release, while Preston’s disc is a revised and expanded edition of his 1993 collection. Gardner’s CD spans the commercial jazz of Bud Wattles & His Orchestra from 1959 to free jazz improvisations to a live Grandmothers recording from 1981. Don Preston’s collection covers equally interesting exploratory ground from 1967 to 1993.

All of these Crossfire releases will be available at retail and through dozens of paid download services.

For more Information: http://www.crossfirepublications.com