sinclair lott

Sinclair Lott played the drums in Frank Zappa's 1980 band for a very short time.

He replaced Vinnie Colaiuta.

(June 2005) - Asked about his brief period with Zappa, Sinclair Lott said:
"The auditions took place under some duress because Frank was pressed for time to find a new drummer and start rehearsing ASAP for an upcoming tour. I heard about the auditions and decided to go down.

It was essentially a "cattle call" that lasted four or five days that every drummer in Los Angeles showed up at, and many more flew to LA for. Everyone played the same kit. I heard a lot of guys that lasted less that 30 seconds. Frank would stop the band if he wasn't hearing what he wanted, thank the guy, and move on to the next drummer.

When I got up there he quickly told me the rhythmic subdivision of the tune, which as I recall was odd groupings of 2's and 3's. I don't remember exactly, but it wasn't in 4/4.

After we finished the first tune, he counted off another. When we finished that, he gave me a copy of the Black Page and asked me if I could sight read it. I said, "Sure, no problem," which was complete BS. I'd never heard it, and had no intentions of sounding like crap while hacking my way through a piece like that.

Anyway, he told me to hang around and later asked me if I could start rehearsals in a few days. We rehearsed all the material that came out on "You Are What You Is" and then Frank called and said he had someone else that would do the gig.
It was a bit of a blow but within three weeks I was touring Europe and recording with Freddie Hubbard’s quintet.
I'm playing professionally in Los Angeles, and will release a CD of my material this September."


1964 coates, barry- move like a dancer (drums)

1980 hubbard, freddie- live at the north sea jazz festival (drums)

1986 echo park- echo park (percussion, drums, background vocals)

1991 pocket change- intimate notions (drums)

1992 hubbard, freddie- best of freddie hubbard [pablo] (drums)

1993 pocket change- mediterranean affair (drums)

1995 pocket change- higher altitude (drums)

1996 craig & company- imaginit (drums)

1997 day, doris- move over darling (drums)


random notes

     From: "Brown, Tom (RHINO)" (
The story is this. As we all know Vinnie was in the band when he discovered that he could remain in town and make twice as much as touring with Zappa. I remember Arthur coming over one night after rehearsal and playing me some of the stuff with a new drummer Sinclair Lott, …

NOTE:  It has been confirmed (thanks, pat) that there are two musicians named Sinclair Lott; one that plays drums, and another that's a horn player.  Here is a picture of a horn-playing Sinclair Lott:
Since the possibility of these musicians being one and the same has been ruled out, I've included only the discography of the drummer, as that is the musician of this page's focus.  For the record, Sinclair Lott Senior has played with the likes of Art Pepper and Sarah Vaughn.

     From: pat buzby (
I found the Freddie Hubbard live album listed in the discography.  The liner notes confirm that Lott's father is a horn player and even mention that he (the drummer) worked briefly with FZ.


additional informants:

bill lantz ( (research and photo acquisition)

frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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