the dangerous kitchen
random notes

the dangerous kitchen is a band gathered by walter boudreau, compositor and the quebec contemporary music society director for more than 20 years. i remember having put some of his music of the late 60 to fill up a cassette of "frank zappa and the mothers of prevention, european version". he collaborated with pierre boulez this winter to a musical event in paris. he is easy to recognize since he's always wearing red sneakers.
the tribute to frank zappa was presented few times over the last years: at the montreal jazz festival, at quebec music festival and was also broadcast on cbc, the canadian public and very serious radiostation.
i read somewhere on the net that the tapes were sent to the zappa family and that they liked it. unfortunally, the attempts to find back the site were unsucessful.
even though walter boudreau would often direct music written for traditional classical instruments, a la ensemble moderne, the band he put up for this tribute is very rock in essence: synths,saxophons, electric guitar, electric bass, sampler and of course drums. there are also percussions that are not rock by themselves but so zappaesque.
on the last page of "the frank zappa guitar book",  zappa wrote:
" ... if you should try to read these charts on your own instrument, please be advised that if i were standing next to you with a metronome and a baton (frowning and smoking a lot of cigarettes), i would insist that the rhythms be accurate, and that only the pitches which reside outside the basic tonality (the original wrong notes) could be altered."  this is were the experience of walter boudreau takes in. the music is exactly as frank intended it to be: all the little notes are there at the right time.  we can feel all the respect for the compositor that was zappa by the rendering of the songs.
but, that is not all. there are two classical singers on the album. they bring a whole new atmosphere to zappa music. their rigourousness in singing technique enhances zappa's musical architectures and musical genius.
if there would be something not to my liking in this album, it would have to be that synths are sometimes(two or three short lines on the album) having a sound that do not seems appropriate. and well the guitar doesn't have the zappa rauchy sound but this who would expect: zappa himself is inimitable.

     from: claude simard (
the dangerous kitchen premiered in montreal in 1993.  guided by its founder, acreq's artistic director alain thibault, the band soon toured in canada, the united states and in europe.

     from: zut bof (
--setlist of the show

walter boudreau                   conductor
pauline vaillancourt              soprano
simon fournier                    bariton
jacques drouin                    clavier
mathew mah                        clavier
simon stone                       sax flute wx7
*bruce pennycook                  sax wx7 computer
jean-maurice payeur               guitar
jacques roy                       bass
julien grégoire                   percusion
blair mackay                      drum
alain thibeault                   electronics mix

 *he plays sax, like frank plays guitar.

     from: the dallas morning news
composer's vision brilliantly presented [...] a brilliant evocation of zappa's musical vision, a collision of avant-garde classicism and rock'n roll.


acreq review

from: matthew j. cummings ( - date: 9/27/94 7:14 pm

re: acreq review
acreq: houston 9-24-94

the u.s. premiere of the association pour la creation et la recherche electroacoustiques du quebec (acreq) performance of "the dangerous kitchen", music of frank zappa, was held in houston's cullen theater on september 24, 1994.  the concert retrospective of zappa's career was originally performed by acreq in canada in october, 1993. fz collaborated on this project and had received a tape of acreq's cbc broadcast prior to his death.
"the dangerous kitchen" opened with a tape recording of "jonestown"(from the album "boulez conducts zappa" 1984), segueing into "are you hung up" (from "we are only in it for the money" 1967). the special sound system bounced music in all directions, leaving the listener wondering which direction the next sound or note was going to come from.
following the taped introductory pieces, acreq's eight musicians and conductor, walter boudreau, appeared on stage and performed "peaches en regalia" (from "hot rats" 1970).  drummer blair mackay and percussionist julien gregoire then teamed up for an astounding performance of "the black page" (from "live in new york" 1976). immediately following, came "the black page no. 1" (1976) and "the black page no. 2" ("the easy teenage new york version" 1976).vocalists pauline vaillancourt (soprano) and doug macnaughton (baritone) appeared, and sang "zomby woof" (from "overnight sensation" 1973), then took a seat while the band played "uncle meat" (from "uncle meat" 1970), and an audio tape of "the voice of cheese" (from "uncle meat" 1970) explained suzy cream cheese and why she came home to her mothers.
"outside now again" (from "boulez conducts zappa" 1984) and "drowning witch interlude" (from "ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch" 1982) followed, and the group went into exciting performances of "teenage prostitute" from "ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch" 1982) and "inca roads" (from "one size fits all" 1974), which spotlighted saxophonist simon stone and guitarist jean-maurice payeur.
opening the second set, the central scrutinizer took a moment to tell us that music is fucked up. a tape recording of "h.r. 2911" (1985) followed. ms. vaillancourt appeared with multi- instrumentalist and sometime saxophonist bruce pennycook to perform the humorous "the dangerous kitchen" (from "man from utopia" 1983).  "the girl in the magnesium dress" (from "boulez conducts zappa" 1984) was followed by "penis dimension" (from "200 motels" 1971). at the end of the "penis dimension", doug macnaughton delivered a sermon/seque into "dirty love" (from "overnight sensation" 1973). "alien orifice" (from "fz meets the mothers of prevention" 1985) followed, as did the taboo-ish, yet comical "brown shoes don't make it" (from "absolutely free" 1967), by blair mackay playing tubular bells and julien gregoire playing the saw.  the finale, "andy" (from "one size fits all" 1974), closed with a tremendous guitar solo during which the whole band left the stage, leaving jean-maurice payeur to thrash about, and finally drop his guitar, and run off stage, too.

the musicians, and walter boudreau came out twice to bow.  they finally accepted that they would have to perform an encore. since they had not prepared any additional pieces, they again performed "zomby woof." other musicians (i.e., those who were not yet mentioned) include midi keyboardists jacques drouin and david cronkite, and bass guitarist jacques roy.

the total performance lasted 2 hours.