This 72 minute long album features 18 Zappa compositions. Some pieces were written in the late sixties, but it's mostly material from its present. Everything old, though, is reworked and orchestrated for Ensemble Modern who do a GREAT job performing the music throughout the album. It's a very fresh, well performed and hi-tech sounding recording. It starts off with a nostalgic "Dog Breath/Uncle Meat" medley, continues with a beautiful ballad called "Outrage at Valdez".
The classic "Bebop Tango" is also performed but reworked featuring a new part written specifically for this recording.
"Ruth Is Sleeping" is an advance six minute piece written for, and performed on two pianos - truly inspiring as is "Get Whitey" (definitive highlight).
"Food Gathering..." and "Welcome To The U.S." are hilarious pieces of musical comedy - Cracks me up!
The album rounds off with Zappa conducting the ensemble playing "G-Spot Tornado"; a strong and perfect finish that was appreciated with a 15 minute standing ovation according to a FZ interview I read some time ago (on the recording the applause fade after two minutes).
The booklet is very informative - 30 pages featuring a lot of photos from the recoding and the rehearsals plus a LONG story about the whole project as well as commentary about EVERY PIECE from both Frank Zappa and the conductor Peter Rundel.
This recording is perfect proof that Frank Zappa was way more than a rock'n'roll guitar player, which unfortunately is the only way many saw him, and still do. He was and is an underrated composer and this is some of best work. This recording MIGHT not appeal to you if "Bobby Brown Goes Down" and "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" are your favorite Zappa songs, but deeply recommended to fans of "Civilization Phaze III", where Ensemble Modern is partly featured by the way. "C.P.III" is a must for those who like this recording and vice versa. Too bad Zappa didn't have enough time to record more music like this. Recently released, though, is a CD called "Everything Is Healing Nicely", consisting of recordings from the "Yellow Shark" rehearsals. Also worth checking out.