Last year, Napoleon visited the Zappanale only peripherally and some may have asked: Why does he not join in? His visit last year was very spontaneous ... this year things are a little different: He's back !!!
Napoleon is one of the special guest of the shows of the Ed Palermo Bigband - and with exactly this band we will see him on stage at Zappanale #30.
On August 8, 1973, Frank Zappa was made aware by his road manager Marty Perellis that an incredible band with an outstanding lead vocalist was performing in town and that it would certainly be good if he would come and see it himself. When Zappa came to the club and watched the show, he saw a young talented guy sing, dance, play the saxophone, flute and keyboard, in a way that expressed that he had more fun than anyone else in the club.
After two hours of watching and listening to the young man and his highly disciplined band, he introduced himself as Frank Zappa, and the young man introduced himself as Napoleon Murphy Brock. The next words from Zappa's mouth were, "You're my new lead singer."
This singer and saxophonist is still closely associated with Frank Zappa's music, in particular because of the incredibly diverse compositions that Zappa has composed to accommodate the wide range of vocal talents and stage presence that NMB possesses. He is the only member of the latest formation of the Mothers of Invention, working with Zappa on four compositions:
“DUMMY UP", "THE BOOGER MAN", "THE ROOM SERVICE RAP", and "IT'S ALL RIGHT"- the last funky Blues song on ROXY AND ELSEWHERE.
In the first decade of the new century, he starred in shows on the first Zappa Plays Zappa Tour with Dweezil Zappa, in which Steve Vai (guitar) and Terry Bozzio (drums) also guested.
In 2009, both Napoleon and Steve Vai each won a Grammy for their performances of the title "Peaches En Regalia", which first appeared on Zappa's album "Hot Rats" in 1969.
In recent years, Napoleon Murphy Brock toured with the Grandmothers Of Invention and he toured with many acclaimed Zappa tribute bands. He was even chosen to be the lead vocalist, front man and dance 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 on his own, but still he tours and performs to let the brilliance of Frank Zappa's music of the 70s live on, in which he was directly involved. He calls it: Total Music Theater.
It can be considered as an honour that some of the ZFT's recent releases are focused on his involvement: FZ/OZ, JOE'S CAMOUFLAGE - a tour-rehearsal CD featuring Napoleon on keyboards and alto sax - as well the video release, now in digital form, of A TOKEN OF MY EXTREME, and finally ROXY BY PROXY.