Q - 8/95, pp.150-1513 Stars
- Good - "...offers extended highlights of the Mothers' Christmas 1976 concerts, a typical mix of virtuosity and vulgarity..."
Personnel includes: Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals); Michael Brecker (saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet); Terry Bozzio (drums).
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar); Eddie Jobson (vocals, violin, keyboards); Terry Bozzio (vocals, drums); Patrick O'Hearn , Ray White (vocals); Claus Wiedemann (guitar); Lu Ann Neil (harp); Lou Marini (flute, alto saxophone); Mike Brecker (flute, tenor saxophone); Tom Malone (piccolo, trumpet, trombone); Ronnie Cuber (clarinet, baritone saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet); Ruth Underwood (synthesizer, percussion); David Samuels (vibraphone, timpani); Ed Mann , John Bergamo (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Davey Moire.
Liner Note Author: Frank Zappa.
Recording information: Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Gail Zappa.
Arranger: Frank Zappa.
Many Zappa aficionados consider his backing band on the 1978 live release ZAPPA IN NEW YORK to be one of his finest. After all, the group included future Missing Persons/UK drummer Terry Bozzio, Jethro Tull/Roxy Music/UK keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson and a fantastic horn section that would gain notoriety in the Saturday Night Live house band (The Brecker Brothers), among others. Although the concert was recorded during a multi-night stand at New York's Palladium in December of 1976, the album's release was held up by Warner Bros. because of their objection to the homo-erotic track "Punky's Whips." Eventually the track was dropped, but was included on the Rykodisc 1991 re-issue, which also featured three other tracks not on the original version.
Surprises abound on ZAPPA IN NEW YORK, such as a cameo by Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo, who introduces the aforementioned "Punky's Whips" and other tracks. Fans of technically complex rock will surely love the epics "Black Page (Parts One and Two)" and the lengthy album closer "The Purple Lagoon/Approximate." Zappa manages to inject some of his trademark humor throughout the proceedings--look no further than the unbelievable true story of "The Illinois Enema Bandit" and the album opener, "Titties & Beer."