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Pianist Dementia: Music of Frank Zappa

by Dave Hartl

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brainwise Dave Hartl's playing is precise and passionate, the perfect tribute to Zappa. And much like stripping down a pop or rock song (a la acoustic or unplugged versions) can display some brilliance inherent in the original tune, playing Zappa on solo piano truly showcases the man's compositional genius. Thank you for these recordings, Dave!
Vairano thumbnail
Vairano I've been listening to the same old FZ material for 35 years or longer now and definitely needed a new approach to it. I love this album, stripped to the bone of lyrics that did not age well, keys and guitars that pile up, DH focuses on the wonderful melodies FZ composed. Toads is a fine example, I picked it because it is none of the songs that are repeated on every cover album. Favorite track: Toads of the Short Forest.
syncopatte thumbnail
syncopatte Amazing! 10 fingers to transmit about 10 musicians from the most inventive band!
Dave Harti, are you from outer space?
Zappa told in my dreams that he's very proud of this release (he's also saying that you should check the Roxy Performances...
Marc Mennigmann
Marc Mennigmann thumbnail
Marc Mennigmann No, it’s not Zappa easy listening ~ it’s Zappa with less words, which makes it less offensive for some people. I still love the text versions better, but these piano only tracks reveal a lot details that are otherwise unheard. An this is a Gift. Thank you, Dave! Favorite track: Black Napkins.
Tariq Saleh
Tariq Saleh thumbnail
Tariq Saleh Enjoying this album a great deal. Thanks Favorite track: Uncle Remus.
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    Comes in jewel case with notes and portrait of Frank Zappa by Al Moretti

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Tales of the Plague, Some Other Where: Music of Brian Groder, Pianist Dementia: Music of Frank Zappa, Busman's Holiday, The Night Café, Lab Work, Straight, a Head, Foreign Growth, and 1 more. , and , .

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Uncle Remus 02:52
Oh No 01:31
Big Swifty 04:06
Sofa #1 03:15


I've been playing Frank Zappa compositions as solo piano pieces for years. Stripped of the lyrics (where most people stop with Zappa), the music is filled with brilliant and innovative traits that suddenly become obvious: beautiful melodies, sophisticated harmony, and some of the most challenging rhythmic concepts every written.
But most of all, these are virtuosic, demanding pieces that, I hope, pay tribute to one of the 20th Century's most talented composers. "The present day composers refuse to die," indeed.


released December 10, 2019

Dave Hartl: piano
All compositions by Frank Zappa, Munchkin Music, except "Uncle Remus" by Frank Zappa & George Duke
Recorded at Morningstar Studios, East Norriton, PA
Dave Schonauer: recording, mixing, and mastering engineer
Al Moretti: portrait of Frank Zappa (www.almorettimusic.com)
©2019, Foaming at the Ear Music


all rights reserved



Dave Hartl Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dave Hartl is a life-long Philadelphian. He plays jazz, funk, classical, fusion, and more, using piano, organ, accordion, synths, Chapman Stick, guitar, and bass. Current projects include the Ronstadt Revue, work with Paula Johns, the funkjazz group Musical Collusion (check out their page here on Bandcamp), and arranging and playing accordion with The Divine Hand Ensemble. ... more

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