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15.10.11

Napoleon Murphy Brock



Napoleon Murphy Brock - After Frank: 1st Movement (Feat. Gregarious Movement) - 2008 - Crossfire

Napoleon Murphy Brock's three-year stint alongside Frank Zappa coincided with some of the main man's most contentious albums, at least if period reviews are anything to go by; 30 years on, of course, Apostrophe, One Size Fits All, and the Beefheart collaboration Bongo Fury are as well loved as the rest of the Mothers catalog, funky instincts and all. At the time, though, his willingness to study (say it softly) dance music, even if he did so quietly, raised many a quizzical eyebrow. After Frank takes those once-suspect rhythms and wraps them around your head. Recounting Brock's post-Zappa activities, it's a five-track disc recorded live in Santa Cruz in 1977 with his new band, Gregarious Movement, having such a wild time that even the vaguely muffled sound quality only packs on the ambience of the evening. Three Ohio Players covers dominate the set, but it's good times à go go regardless, as band interacts with audience, rhythms melt and float into one another, and Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" is as smooth and sultry as you could wish. In fact, the only criticism is -- can we have some more, please? © Dave Thompson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved. http://www.allmusic.com/album/after-frank-1st-movement-r1389238

A live 1977 recording of Gregarious Movement, the funk band formed by Napoleon Murphy Brock after leaving the Zappa band. This is the first part of Napoleon Murphy Brock's archival series of recordings made before and after his time with Frank Zappa. Three of the five extended tracks are Ohio Players classics done in Gregarious Movement's unique style: "Skin Tight," "Heaven Must Be Like This" and "Fire." Billy Ingram scores on The Five Stairsteps' "O-o-h Child", while Napi turns in a brilliant lead vocal on Al Green's "Let's Stay Together". Really good funk from NMB (ex-Zappa). The album has been called "cheesy" in some quarters, but the guys are covering songs by Al Green, The Ohio Players, and The Five Stairsteps - All soul/funk standards. There was a lot of very cheesy music about in the '70's disco/funk era, but NMB and his band members definitely brought something new to these songs. This is archive stuff, so don't expect perfect sound quality. It's good that these recordings have been preserved. Listen to Napoleon Murphy Brock's "Balls" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 101 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Skin Tight - Beck, Bonner, Jones, Middlebrooks, Ohio Players, Pierce, Satchell, Williams
Heaven Must Be Like This - Bonner, Jones, Middlebrooks, Satchell, Williams
Let's Stay Together - Green, Jackson, Mitchell
O-o-h Child - Stan Vincent
Fire - Beck, Bonner, Jones, Middlebrook, Ohio Players, Satchell, Williams

BAND

Napoleon Murphy Brock - Vocals, Saxophone, Percussion
Thomas Reed - Guitar
Clifford Coulter - Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, Keyboard Bass
Billy Ingram - Vocals, Drums, Percussion

SHORT BIO

Napoleon Murphy Brock is an American Grammy Award winning singer, saxophonist and flautist who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa in the 1970s, including the albums One Size Fits All, Roxy and Elsewhere, and Bongo Fury. His own most memorable vocal accomplishments are illustrated on the songs "Village of the Sun" and "Florentine Pogen." Napoleon Murphy Brock's numerous performances include the role of the "Evil Prince" on Zappa's Thing-Fish album. He has also performed with George Duke, Captain Beefheart and more recently with Neonfire and Robert Kramer. He remains a regular performer at Zappanale. Brock appeared in the 2005 film Rock School, a documentary about The Paul Green School of Rock Music, an extracurricular music program that he and Project/Object have closely supported for several years. In 2006, he toured with Frank Zappa's son Dweezil on the latter's Zappa Plays Zappa shows. He also regularly tours with fellow Zappa alumnus Ike Willis and others with Andre Cholmondeley's Project/Object. Other Zappa related projects he's been involved with include the Tampa, Florida based band Bogus Pomp, and the 16 piece Ed Palermo Big Band from New York City. He is most frequently seen fronting the Grande Mothers Re-Invented with Roy Estrada and Don Preston (the only Frank Zappa alumni from the Mothers of Invention regularly performing the music of Frank Zappa). They have over 91 performances since 2002. At the 51st Grammy Awards on February 8, 2009, Napoleon won a Grammy for his performance of the song "Peaches en Regalia" with the band Zappa Plays Zappa, which also featured Steve Vai. The song was originally written by Frank Zappa and released on the album Hot Rats © 2006 Tarnius Music Inc http://www.tarniusmusic.com/Soul/NapoleonMurphyBrockfeatGregariousMovement/AfterFrank-1stMovement/