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Zappa - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark album

Zappa - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark album
  • Performer Zappa
  • Title The Yellow Shark
  • Date of release 1993
  • Country US
  • Style Post-Modern, Contemporary, Avantgarde
  • Other formats VOC AU AHX DTS ADX WMA MP4
  • Genre Classical
  • Size MP3 1108 mb
  • Size FLAC 1131 mb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 812

Released in a standard digipak with a 60-page booklet, both enclosed in a cardboard slipcase. Opening of the slipcase is to the left of Zappa portrait on the cover. Art direction & design: for Command A Studios, Inc. Japanese release (US disc and artwork as described above + Japanese booklet and ob.

The Yellow Shark, the title at least, was based on a piece of artwork hanging on Zappa's wall by Los Angeles artist Mark Beam, who carved a marlin out of a yellow surfboard and had it sent to the artist's house as a present. The initial sessions for Shark came about when the Ensemble flew out to Los Angeles in the summer of 1991 and spent two weeks in rehearsals with Zappa at his Joe's Garage home studio. Then, in a technique that’s been expanded upon by such modern visionaries as hip-hop producer Madlib and jazz drummer Makaya McCraven, Zappa would "play" the entire orchestra on the keyboard, only to-with the assistance of copyist/arranger Ali N. Askin and synth specialist Todd Yvega-translated printouts of the Synclavier works’ raw numerical material into written sheet music to give. back to the Ensemble.

The Yellow Shark, an album of orchestral music, was released only a few weeks before he succumbed to cancer (the computer music/sound collage album Civilization Phaze III was released a few months later). This CD, named for a plexiglas fish given to Zappa in 1988, culls live recordings from the Ensemble Modern's 1992 program of the composer's music.

Frank Zappa explained that the album title was a political reference: "Things in America can be from hell. 1987's Video from Hell is titled similarly. A music video was made for the song. G-Spot Tornado", assumed by Zappa to be impossible to play by humans, would be performed by Ensemble Modern on the concert recording The Yellow Shark (1993).

Frank Zappa x Ensemble Modern The Yellow Shark. Frank Zappa - Ensemble Modern Welcome to the United States. Frank Zappa Get Whitey // 1992, Performed by Ensemble Modern conducted by Peter Rundel at Alte Oper Frankfurt. Ensemble Modern Plays Frank Zappa The Advantures Of Greggery Peccary. Ensemble Modern Plays Frank Zappa The Beltway Bandits.

Frank Zappa Dog Breath Variations (The Yellow Shark 1993). Frank Zappa Pound For A Brown. Zappa & Ensemble Modern The Yellow Shark (Live 1992 Full Concert).


A1 Intro 1:43
A2 Dog Breath Variations 2:07
A3 Uncle Meat 3:24
A4 Outrage At Valdez 3:27
A5 Times Beach II 7:31
A6 III Revised 1:45
A7 The Girl In The Magnesium Dress 4:33
A8 Be-Bop Tango 3:43
A9 Ruth Is Sleeping 5:56
B1 None Of The Above 2:17
B2 Pentagon Afternoon 2:28
B3 Questi Cazzi Di Piccione 3:03
B4 Times Beach III 4:26
B5 Food Gathering In Post-Industrial America, 1992 2:52
B6 Welcome To The United States 6:39
B7 Pound For A Brown 2:12
B8 Exercise #4 1:37
B9 Get Whitey 7:00
B10 G-Spot Tornado 5:17

Companies, etc.

  • Phonographic Copyright (p) – Zappa Family Trust
  • Copyright (c) – Zappa Family Trust


  • Arranged By – Ali N. Askin (tracks: 2, 3, 7 to 9, 19)
  • Art Direction, Design – Brian Johnson , Jesse Di Franco
  • Artwork [Yellow Shark Original] – Mark Beam
  • Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone – Wolfgang Stryi
  • Bassoon, Contrabassoon – Veit Scholz
  • Cello – Friedemann Dähn
  • Clarinet – Roland Diry
  • Conductor – Frank Zappa (tracks: 14, 15, 19), Peter Rundel (tracks: 2 to 11, 13, 16 to 18)
  • Contrabass, Contrabass [Electrocontrabass] – Thomas Fichter
  • Engineer [Concert Audio Engineer] – Harry Andronis
  • Engineer [Recording], Mixed By [Cd Mixer] – Spencer Chrislu
  • Engineer [Stage Monitor Engineer], Coordinator [Technical] – Dave Dondorf
  • Flute – Dietmar Wiesner
  • Guitar, Banjo – Jürgen Ruck
  • Harp – Ellen Wegner
  • Horn – Franck Ollu, Stefan Dohr
  • Liner Notes – Rip Rense
  • Mandolin – Detlef Tewes
  • Oboe, English Horn, Didgeridoo – Catherine Milliken
  • Orchestra – Ensemble Modern
  • Percussion – Andreas Böttger, Rainer Römer
  • Percussion, Cimbalom – Rumi Ogawa-Helferich
  • Photography By [Cd Book] – Hans Jörg Michel, Henning Lohner
  • Photography By [Digipak] – Richard Avedon
  • Photography By [Front Cover, Ensemble Portraits] – Fritz Brinckmann*, HERZ°*
  • Piano, Harpsichord, Celesta, Harp – Ueli Wiget
  • Piano, Harpsichord, Celesta, Read By [Dramatic Reading] – Hermann Kretzschmar
  • Producer, Composed By – Frank Zappa
  • Technician [Synclavier Assistant] – Todd Yvega
  • Trombone, Euphonium, Didgeridoo, Alphorn – Michael Svoboda
  • Trombone, Soprano Trombone – Uwe Dierksen
  • Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Piccolo Trumpet, Cornet – Michael Gross , William Formann*
  • Tuba – Daryl Smith
  • Viola, Read By [Dramatic Reading] – Hilary Sturt
  • Violin – Claudia Sack, Mathias Tacke, Peter Rundel


Manufactured in Canada
Printed in USA

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 014431056048

Other versions

Category Artist Title (Format) Label Category Country Year
R2 71600 Zappa* - Ensemble Modern Zappa* - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark ‎(CD, Album) Barking Pumpkin Records R2 71600 US 1993
0238882 Zappa* & Ensemble Modern Zappa* & Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark ‎(CD, Album, RE) Zappa Records 0238882 Europe 2012
CDZAP 57 Zappa* - Ensemble Modern Zappa* - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark ‎(CD, Album, Dig) Zappa Records, Barking Pumpkin Records CDZAP 57 UK & Europe 1993
RCD 40560 Zappa* - Ensemble Modern Zappa* - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark ‎(CD, Album, RE, RP, Dig) Rykodisc RCD 40560 Europe Unknown
CDZAP 57 Zappa* - Ensemble Modern Zappa* - Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark ‎(CD, Album) Barking Pumpkin Records CDZAP 57 UK 1993