You missed him? So did we! Without him the Zappanales somehow would be…
Well, here you go: He´s back!
On August 8th, 1973, Frank Zappa was alerted by his road manager, Marty Perellis, that an incredible band with an extraordinary lead singer was performing downtown to a standing room only audience … and that it might be wise that he come and see this for himself. When Zappa went to the club and watched the show, he saw a young talent sing, dance, play sax, flute and keyboards, in a manner that clearly made it appear that he was having more fun than even the other patrons in the club.
After two hours of observing and listening to this young man and his very disciplined band of musicians, he introduced himself as Frank Zappa, and the young man introduced himself as Napoleon Murphy Brock. The next words out of Zappa’s mouth were, “You are my new lead vocalist.”
This singer and saxophone player still is connected tightly to the music of Frank Zappa, in particular due to the incredibly diverse compositions that Zappa has written to accommodate the large volume of vocal talent and stage presence that NMB possesses. He is the only member of the last formation of the Mothers of Invention, where he collaborated with Zappa on four compositions: “DUMMY UP”, “THE BOOGER MAN”, “THE ROOM SERVICE RAP” und “IT'S ALL RIGHT” – the last funky Blues song on ROXY AND ELSEWHERE. Together with the French band The Peach Noise Experiment, NMB will perform the more difficult pieces that Zappa wrote since the 70's and of course other favorites from the complete works of Zappa.
In the first decade of the new century he participated at shows of Dweezil’s first Zappa Plays Zappa Tour, where Steve Vai (Guitar) und Terry Bozzio (Drums) also joined. In 2009, both Napoleon and Steve Vai each won a Grammy for their performance of the title “Peaches en Regalia”, which first appeared in 1969 on Zappa's album “Hot Rats”.
In recent years, Napoleon Murphy Brock toured with the Grandmothers of Invention as well as with many highly acclaimed Zappa tribute bands. He was even chosen to act as lead singer, frontman and choreographer for the George Duke Funk/Jazz Ensemble - which included the world-famous Latin percussionist Sheila E - with whom he also toured and recorded eight successful albums.
Currently Napoleon is performing solo, nevertheless he is touring and performing to let the brilliance of Frank Zappa’s music from the 70s live on, where he was directly involved. He calls it: Total Music Theatre.
It can also be regarded as an honor that some of the recent publications of the ZFT, are focussing on his participation: FZ/OZ, JOE'S CAMOUFLAGE - a tour rehearsal CD with participation of Napoleon on keyboards and alto sax - and the video releases, now in digital form, of A TOKEN OF MY EXTREME, and finally ROXY BY PROXY.
He is accompanied by the high-energy Zappa tribute band from France, The Peach Noise Experiment Napoleon has chosen because they understand his own way to interpret the music. “It's everything to do with theater, it's all about the fans, it's all about THE SHOW”.
According to Napoleon, what you will see and hear now in the Zappanale #26, is the closest to the magical energy of the 70's Mothers of Invention, with the former line-up: Frank Zappa, George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey, Tom Fowler, Bruce Fowler, and Napoleon Murphy Brock. THAT'S RIGHT, HE'S BACK!!!