Exposé Online banner

Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese? — More Light
(Fazul fm 0824, 2008, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

More Light Cover art

TZGIV is a band led by Swiss saxophonist Markus Strauss; the band’s name stands for “Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese?” so one might take a wild guess at who one of their chief influences is, although that connection is not readily obvious from their sound, which fuses free-jazz elements to a heavy rock groove with guitar shredding galore. Also on board are guitarist Michel Delville and drummer Laurent Delchambre, both members of The Wrong Object, and Damien Campion on electric and double bass. For the most part this is bristling with energy, driving hard, rocking up the jazz grooves and vice versa, occasionally breaking down for some intelligent improvisation that burns brightly but rarely approaches chaos. Perhaps with more cooks in the kitchen it indeed might, but with only two players at the top end, the ensemble seems to be right-sized for the best fit. Sometimes they take it down a few notches and get a bit introspective, occasionally employing electronic guitar-synth gimmicks; at these times the entire ensemble tends to go into free improv mode, but even at their most free moments they still don’t reach the Excedrin threshold. There are plenty of exciting moments herein, and most fans of the freewheeling side of jazz-rock should find plenty here of interest.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese? (TZGIV), Michel Delville

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Myrbein - Myrornas Krig – Myrbein's 1981 album Myrornas Krig is the latest re-release from the Swedish Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label, which also brought us Kultivator's Barndomens Stigar. Perhaps not surprisingly, the music...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues