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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tangle Edge - Eulogy – If one doesn't count all the bootlegs of this that have been floating around for the last few years, then it's really not a reissue - as it's never been legitimately available before. This is Tangle...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues