Critic’s Choice

Thu Jan 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm

zappa in suit

Jello has been in the news this week, as in trying to pin something down that resists a clear definition. But it’s an enduring and fruitful metaphor for a substantial range of music and musicians that mixes elements of the classical avant-garde, rock, jazz, and improvisation into a unique emulsification.

One of the spiciest such will be featured at Roulette this Thursday and Friday, when the Ensemble of the Lucerne Festival Alumni and conductor/composer Matthias Pintscher bring a two-night series, “Frank Zappa: Rebel/Respect/Response.” A selection of Zappa’s chamber orchestra pieces, which still lie on the cutting edge of the genre-less avant-garde, are on tap and will be paired with sympathetic composer-partners like Olga Neuwirth, Pierre Boulez, Varèse, John Zorn, and recent MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey. Sorey himself will perform on Thursday, along with other guest musicians.

“Frank Zappa: Rebel/Respect/Response” takes place 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at Roulette.

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