ed mann


July 2004, Ed Mann took part in the Zappanale festival. He performed with various bands and did a concert as Ed Mann & Friends where he was backed by half of the Wrong Object band.
Parts of the concerts that featured Ed Mann as special guest where released on the "Zappanale # 15" album.

In 2006, Ed participated as special guest for 5 Sheik Yerbouti concerts in Germany.

Ed Mann and Ike Willis took part in the Zappa tribute concert by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, 2011/03/15. BT (Breakfast Televistion) did broadcast an interview with Ed Mann on this subject a couple of days prior to the concert.

June 1 & 8, 2011, Bobby Marquis aired an interview with Ed Mann on CKCU-FM, Ottowa's community radio station.

January 2013, Ed performed the music of Frank Zappa with Z3 in concert in Northampton.





  1976 moderns- moderns (marimbas, vibraphone, snare drum)   


frank zappa: zappa in new york
   (1978, 2lp, usa, discreet)

  andré heller: basta
    (1978, lp, ger, mandragora intercord int 460 110) - feat. peter wolf, terry bozzio, patrick o'hearn, ed mann, vinnie colaiuta

heller_basta.jpg (11773 bytes)

26 frank zappa: sheik yerbouti
   (1979, 2lp, usa, zappa records)

28 frank zappa: joe's garage act I
   (1979, lp, usa, zappa records)

29 frank zappa: joe's garage acts II & III
   (1979, 2lp, usa, zappa records)

30 frank zappa: tinseltown rebellion
   (1981, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

31 frank zappa: shut up'n play yer guitar
   (1981, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

32 frank zappa: shut up 'n play yer guitar some more
   (1981, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

33 frank zappa: return of the son of shut up 'n play yer guitar
   (1981, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

34 frank zappa: you are what you is
   (1981, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  frank zappa: shut up 'n play yer guitar - box set
    (1981, 3lp, eur, cbs)

35 frank zappa: ship arriving too late too save a drowning witch
   (1982, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

36 frank zappa: the man from utopia
   (1983, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: baby snakes
   (1983, lp pict.disc, usa, barking pumpkin)


the london symphony orchestra: zappa vol.1
   (1983, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: them or us
   (1984, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: thing-fish
   (1984, 3lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  repercussion unit: christmas party
    (1984, k7, usa, robey records rux) = john bergamo, feat.ed mann
  michael ward: emergency to order
    (1984, 12", usa, secret records 6521) - feat. ed mann, ray white, denny walley


frank zappa: frank zappa meets the mothers of prevention
   (1985, lp, usa, barking pumpkin) – american version
   (1985, lp, eur, emi) – european version


frank zappa: jazz from hell
   (1986, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  frank zappa: the guitar world according to frank zappa
    (1987, mc, usa, ??)
  repercussion unit: in need again
    (1987, lp, ger, cmp 31 st) = john bergamo, feat.ed mann


the london symphony orchestra: zappa vol.2
   (1987, lp, usa, barking pumkin)


frank zappa: guitar
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)

  1988 frank zappa- you can't do that on stage anymore (sampler)   
51 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.1
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: broadway the hard way
   (1988, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1988 ed mann- get up (3-song cassette demo)    
1 ed mann: get up
    (1989, cd, ger, cmp cd 38) - feat.bruce & walt fowler, chad wackerman

54 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.3
   (1989, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  bruce fowler: ants can count (2)
    (1990, cd, us, terra nova tnd-9002) - inside cover art by don van vliet  /  feat.
various zappa alumni
2 ed mann: perfect world
    (1990, cd, ger, cmp  cd 45) - feat.bruce & walt fowler, chad wackerman

  1991 summers, andy- charming snakes (with chad wackerman)    
55 frank zappa: the best band you never heard in your life
   (1991, 2cd, usa, barking pumpkin)

  frank zappa: saarbrucken 1979
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70543)
56 frank zappa: make a jazz noise here
   (1991, 2cd, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)  
  1991 isham, mark- mark isham (vibraphone)   
  1991 fowler, steve- last blue sky   
  frank zappa: as an am
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70537)

fooeeerecordsr270537_c.jpg (133936 bytes)

  frank zappa: anyway the wind blows - disc 1
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70541)

fooeeerecordsr270541_1_c.jpg (131698 bytes)

  frank zappa: anyway the wind blows - disc 2
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70541)

fooeeerecordsr270541_2_c.jpg (133317 bytes)

  frank zappa: saarbrucken 1978
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70543)
  frank zappa: at the circus
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71020)

fooeeerecordsr271020_c.jpg (127542 bytes)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.5
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
59 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1992 mighty flyers- essential collection (guitar, drums)   
  1992 cmpler 2- cmpler 2 (percussion, electronic sounds, engineer, mallets)   
  1992 karn, mick- bestial cluster   
  steve fowler: the last blue sky  (2)
    (1992, cd, usa, fossil records) - feat.walt, bruce and tom fowler, albert wing, chester thompson and ed mann

  ed mann & brian hand: global warming
    (1993, cd, usa, interworld music cd-809082)
  1994 sell, michelle- secret harbor (percussion, vibraphone)   
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa - live vol.1 & 2
    (1994, cd-pro, muffin records) - all compositions by frank zappa, feat. lots of zappa alumni

  the band from utopia: the band from utopia (1)
    (1995, cd, usa, muffin records productions)  - all compositions by frank zappa,  feat. lots of zappa alumni

  1995 frank zappa- strictly commercial    
  ed mann: have no fear
    (1996, cd, ger, cmp) - feat.tommy mars


frank zappa: frank zappa plays the music of frank zappa
   (1996, cd, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)

  1997 tavares- it only takes a minute: a lifetime    
  andy summers: a windham hill retrospective
    (1998, cd, uk, windham hill) - feat. chad wackerman & ed mann  //  = compilation

andysummers_windhamhillretro.jpg (14478 bytes)

       bruce fowler- ants can count   
  ed mann: gong - sound of being - vol.1
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa
    (2001, dvd, ger, ??) - all compositions by frank zappa

  the banned from utopia: so yuh don't like modern art  (2)
    (2002, cd, usa, favored nations) - various compositions by frank zappa; feat.various zappa alumni


frank zappa: halloween
    (2003, dvda, usa, dts entertainment 69286-01101-9-9)


frank zappa: quaudiophiliac
    (2004, dvda, usa, dts entertainment 69286-01125-9-9)

  various artists: zappanale 15
    (2004, 3cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 15 - retrospective
    (2004, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale # 15
    (2005, cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

zappanale15b.jpg (10950 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale 15 - bands in concert
    (2005, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  the wrong object: live at zappanale 2004
    (2005, cdr-pro, bel, maximalist records mr 0004 (private release)) - feat.ed mann, incl. lots of zappa material
  frogg café: fortunate observer of time
    (2005, cd, usa, progrock records) - feat. ed mann


frank zappa: trance-fusion
    (2006, cd, usa, zappa records)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa birthday bundle
    (2006, itunes, -) - feat. frank, moon, dweezil, ahmet & diva zappa

  jon larsen: strange news from mars
    (2007, cd, sweden, zonic entertainment) - feat.various ex-zappa bandmembers
  movie: arf society meets frank zappa
    (2007, dvd, ger, arf society) - feat.napoleon murphy brock, roy estrada, ed mann, ...


frank zappa: the dub room special
    (2007, cd, usa, zappa records)


frank zappa: one shot deal
    (2008, cd, usa, zappa records)

  j21: yellow mind : blue mind
    (2008, download, spain, private release) - feat. ed mann

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraaa birthday bundle 21 dec 2008
    (2008, itunes, -) - feat. frank, dweezil, ahmet & diva zappa

aaafnraaa2008.jpg (24142 bytes)

  ed mann: sing gong 24: dimensional sound experience
    (2008, cd, usa, ??)
  asani: listen
    (2009, cd, usa, meta 4) - produced by ed mann

asani_listen.jpg (20693 bytes)


frank zappa: hammersmith odeon
    (2010, 3cd, usa, vaulternative records 20101)

fz_vr20101.jpg (24690 bytes)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraaaa birthday bundle 21 dec 2010
    (2010, itunes, -) - feat. frank, dweezil, ahmet zappa

aaafnraaaa_2010.jpg (22223 bytes)

  j21: beyond the holographic veil
    (2011, cd, uk, floating world records freem5033) - feat. scott thunes, ed mann, robert martin, don preston, andrew greenaway & marco minnemann
j21_veil.jpg (34064 bytes)
  frank zappa: aaafnraa - 21 december 2012
    (2012, itunes, --, --)
aaafnraa2012.jpg (32945 bytes)
  jeff lorber fusion: hacienda
    (2013, cd, usa, heads up international hui-34476-02) - incl. 'king kong' (frank zappa), feat. jean-luc ponty, vinnie colaiuta and ed mann

jefflorber_hacienda.jpg (35114 bytes)

  various artists: rare episodes
    (2014, cd, uk, cordelia) - all compositions by frank zappa
rare_episodes_cordelia.jpg (36285 bytes)

wolfram klug: burt, the nerd
    (2014, cd, switzerland, private release)
- feat. ike willis, tommy mars, arthur barrow, robert martin, albert wing, ed mann  //  incl. 'chunga's revenge' (frank zappa)

wolframklug_burtthenerd.jpg (53044 bytes)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa 2014 birthday bundle
    (2014, download, --, barfko-swill)
aaafnraa2014.jpg (34969 bytes)
  ike willis & zappatika, feat. denny walley, ed mann and jeff hollie: zappanale 26
    (2015, dvdr, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions

z26_zappatika_dvdr.jpg (15921 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale 26 - good bye session
    (2015, dvdr, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, faet. ike willis, ed mann, mats öberg, jeff hollie, craig steward, denny walley

z26_goodbyesession_dvdr.jpg (15249 bytes)

  robbie 'seahag' mangano: full moon fever
    (2015, cd, usa, private release) - feat. don preston, napoleon murphy brock, ed mann
seahag_fullmoonfever.jpg (28823 bytes)
zappatika and friends: the pony suite - the ritzy 2016 spring tour edition
    (2016, cd, nl, private release) - feat. ike willis, jeff hollie and craig 'twister' steward, denny walley and ed mann

zappatika_theponysuite_cd.jpg (40480 bytes)

various artists: zappanale # 26
    (2016, 3cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. napoleon murphy brock, ike willis, denny walley, jeff hollie, craig twister steward, ed mann, robert martin, albert wing, ray white, tom fowler, robbie mangano, mats öberg

varart_zappanale26.jpg (27415 bytes)


frank zappa: frank zappa for president
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr 20021)
fz_fzforpresident.jpg (31217 bytes)
the muffin men feat. denny walley & ed mann, special guest candy zappa
    (2016, dvdr, ger, arf society) - compositions by frank zappa, don van vliet and jimmy carl black

muffinmen_z27_dvdr.jpg (16721 bytes)

paul green's rock academy feat. ed mann: zappanale 27
    (2016, dvdr, ger, arf society) - all compositions by frank zappa, feat. ed mann and denny walley

paulgreen_z27_dvdr.jpg (16019 bytes)

  the grandmothers & the yellow string quartet, feat. ed mann: zappanale 27
    (2016, dvdr, ger, arf society) - all compositions by frank zappa

grandmothers_z27_dvdr.jpg (15381 bytes)

various artists: zappanale 27 - good bye session
    (2016, dvdr, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions,
feat. ed mann, denny walley

goodbyesession_z27_dvdr.jpg (15492 bytes)

  documentary: frank zappa - eat that question
    (2017, dvd, ger, arsenal filmverleih) - includes interviews with frank zappa, tommy mars, arthur barrow, bruce fowler, tom fowler, ed mann, kurt mcgettrick, chad wackerman and robert martin

fz_eatthatquestion_dvd_ger.jpg (36144 bytes)

  the grandmothers of invention: free energy
    (2018, cd, usa, private release) - feat. don preston, bunk gardner and ed mann
  frank zappa: poughkeepsie
    (2018, cd, uk, smokin' smcd963) = 1978/09/21 poughkeepsie concert
  frank zappa: berlin 1978
    (2018, 2cd, uk, leftfieldmedia lfm2cd575) = 1978/02/15 berlin concert


semi-official releases

  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz
    (2014, 2cd, ??, goldfish records)
fz_puttinontheritz.jpg (24918 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz
    (2014, 4lp, uk, moonunit records) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_ritz_4lp.jpg (28740 bytes)
  frank zappa: teenage rockin' combo - dumb all over live 1981
    (2015, 2cd, uk, broadcasting radio records brr5011) = 1981/11/17 new york city concert
zappa_rbr5011.jpg (30898 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz - volume 1
    (2015, 2lp, uk, let them eat vinyl letv206lp) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_lp_letv205lp.jpg (26062 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz - volume 2
    (2015, 2lp, uk, let them eat vinyl letv206lp) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_lp_letv206lp.jpg (29227 bytes)
  frank zappa: teenage rockin' combo - dumb all over live 1981
    (2015, 3lp, uk, broadcasting radio records brr4011) = 1981/11/17 new york city concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
zappa_rbr5011.jpg (30898 bytes)





1979 Baby Snakes

1991 R.U. NUTS - Repercussion Unit Goes Abroad (with John Bergamo)



the friends of frank

Ed Mann (vibrafoon, percussie & electronica)
Frank van der Kooij (tenor-en sopraansax)
Michel Delville (gitaar, electronica & zang)
Guy Segers (basgitaar)
Ivo Sans (drums)

random notes
(contributors are anonymous unless identified.)

He teaches percussion at CalArts.  I had a friend who went there and I think Ed was one of his advisors.

Ed Mann has at least two solo releases (early 90s) "Get Up" and "Perfect World".
"Get Up" is totally instrumental.  "This is Tomorrow" is a composition based on a 19-bar improvised melody, or something like that.  The mallet phrase was in Modern Drummer a ways back.  "Get Up" and  "The Final Tone" are other good tracks.  The latter is a long, intense, slow tune that just explodes with gongs, chimes, cymbals and horns at the end.  Very cool.
"Perfect World" adds vocals, with varying degrees of success. 
The instrumentals are very good, and Ed's solo on "Working for Change" is incredible.  That's probably my favorite of the vocal tracks, although "Walking in Balance" is excellent as well.
Bruce Fowler, Walt Fowler, and Chad Wackerman play on
Ed Mann's Perfect World.

I'm pretty sure (90%) that he played on Mick Karn's album "Bestial Cluster".

Ed Mann's "Have No Fear" due out this year on Muffin (in arrangement with CMP)

     Brian Rost (brost@synnet.com) said:
Ed was a member of the Mighty Flyers, backup band for blues harmonica wizard Rod Piazza. He was in the band pretty early on, late 70s/early 80s maybe, he is on the Piazza album "From the Start To The Finish".

     From: Knut Skogstad (nospamknoot@online.no)
     Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999
     Subject: Ed Mann on norwegian tv
Ed Mann was on norwegian tv (NRK 2) just now. Demonstrating various gongs...


     From: Patrick
Ed speaks his mind!  The one and only Ed Mann (edmann@earthlink.net) was
nice enough to answer a few questions, including but not limited to:

Patrick : What was your experience prior to hooking up with Zappa?  Can you tell us about your musical history, education, and so on prior to that.

Ed Mann: I was a drummer and piano dabbler since childhood - Ken Aronoff and I went to HS together and inspired each other to excel creatively. Then I went to the U of Hartford/ Hartt College of Music (1973) where I met Tommy Mars (Mariano) - we formed an  band called "World Consort" which played experimental jazz etc - we played a lot of gigs in New England.
    In late 1973 I moved to SoCal to attend CalArts and study with John
Bergamo - did the whole World Music, avant-garde thing which led to the formation of the Repercussion Unit.

Patrick : Who were the Moderns?

Ed Mann: The Moderns was the name of a movie the Mark Isham scored - he choose to use a band - which he organized for the project.

Patrick : How did you get the job with Zappa?  It would seem like you were hired to do percussion overdubs on Zappa In New York.  How did that arrangement first come about?

Ed Mann: In 1977, FZ asked John Bergamo to do some overdubbing on the NY album - John in turn recommended me (I guess that Frank asked if there was another player that he might recommend) - we got to play with Ruth on those sessions, which was great.

Patrick : How much of those overdubs were you, and how much were John Bergamo?

Ed Mann: We always played together - Ruth did some mallet stuff by herself.

Patrick : How did it come about that you became a full-fledged band member? When was it?

Ed Mann: Several months later (June 1977) Ruth told me that Frank was looking for a 2nd keyboard player -  I called to recommend Tommy - and right then and there Frank invited me to "come up to the house" (it was midnite - the only time when you could reach Frank by phone). I went over - Terry and Patrick and Adrian were there jamming with Frank - and by 2:00 am I was "in the band" - it took a few days for that all to sink in.

Patrick : To what extent were you a Zappa fan before you joined?  Some folks, like Duke I think, knew of him only as the guy sitting on a toilet in a poster. While others, like Keneally, knew most of the catalog before ever auditioning.

Ed Mann: I liked Frank's music  - knew some records but not others - appreciated him as a composer and iconoclast - never learned to play his music until joining his band.

Patrick : Was that you playing the majority of the Syn-drums on Sheik Yerbouti?

Ed Mann: ALL the syndrums - even at the time I thought it was too much - but FZ loved them - one night I was just hanging around the studio and Frank asked me to put "a few syndrums noises on "Flakes" - 4 hours later there were many syndrums noises on most of the tunes - far more than were in the live performances, but it was fun, and I figured "hey- if the composer likes it..."

Patrick : Recording Joe's Garage.  How were the sessions?

Ed Mann: Fun. The actual story line came together in a spontaneous way as a result of contributions by Frank and various band members in humorous discourse during the recordings. Of course it was Frank who concieved of most, and wove it all into a story - but I do remember bringing up the idea of a monitoring presence - which FZ found particularly funny at the time and i believe developed into the Central Scrutinizer. Frank was fun to work with - he inspired band members to be creative, but thru his lens.

Patrick : Can you identify the following musicians from those albums?
    1. Jeff- tenor sax
    2. Marginal Chagrin- baritone sax
    3. Stumuk- bass sax

Ed Mann: 1. friend of Ike's from St. Louis
      2. probably a studio player - maybe Marty Krystal?
      3. A carpenter who worked for Frank. Could have also been a brother in law
(same person)

Patrick : What was your impression of the LSO sessions?

Ed Mann: OK - a little stiff

Patrick : Why no '84 tour?  You did LSO in '83, and I assume you did studio work in 84, maybe 85, why exactly was the lapse?

Ed Mann: No '84 tour - no room on stage!  FZ hires (too?) many vocalists in '84. I was also touring with a different band (Shadowfax) at that time and music and really into it - missed FZ but also needed to do something different - but, would have been there in a minute if FZ had requested my presence.

Patrick : 1988.. it's a touchy subject with everyone involved, and if you want to leave it alone I'll understand entirely.  However I think very few people have heard your side of it, so if you wanted to speak your mind on how it ended, here's as good a forum as any.

Ed Mann: There is no simple explaination for 1988. Frank made some decisions at that time which I think reflected his exhaustion and general poor health, and which yielded very unfortunate but predicatable results. There was a lot of negativity and a lot of hard feelings. But ironically (at the core) there was a lot of love for Frank and his music, which only intensified the emotional tone of the experience.
   You could tell Frank was tired and not feeling well. He never ever would
have set up and permitted a situation like that to exist back in the 70s or early 80s. Wherever Frank was at, his band would be at. When Frank was up and feeling good, it was contagious. When Frank was not well, the band was not well.
    I think for some of the new guys it was hard to understand how there could
be this intense conflict within the band - but for those who had a longer history it was hard to understand how Frank could let something like that go on and on. It hurt, because Frank knew that everyone was suffering and he was the only one who had the power to correct the situation, but he didn't.
    For all of the 1988 band members, I think the goal became just trying to
survive each day. It was devastating. I think everyone involved would do it differently if they had it to do all over again.
    I do not bear anyone involved in 1988 any ill will.  It was just a very
unfortunate confluence of events.
    I do not intend any disrespect toward Frank in this description. He was
consumed by an illness, it was unfortunate and very sad, and I miss him every day.

Patrick : What was your favorite FZ band lineup or tour.  Least favorite?

Ed Mann: Loved them all. 1977-78 band very cool.

Patrick : You must have some outstanding tour stories.  Can you throw us fans a bone and give us an example of "life on ze road"?

Ed Mann: There was the time the Tommy and I got picked up in the hotel lobby by 2 attractive women in their 30's who got us up into their suite and were pouring drinks with Tommy Jazz-dancing on the bed in a toga and his welding goggles when their convention-attending husbands walked in... no, not that one. How about the time after a very late night when Tommy and I were having breakfast in a Bloomington, Indiana truck stop and Tommy took a particular dislike to our waitress, who happened to be a long-time favorite friend of all the regular patrons, all of whom began to take noted exception to Tommy's sarcastic barrage  - no, I guess not that one either. How about in London that time when - no definitely not that one. I guess not, no stories to tell at this time. :(

Patrick : I have so many questions, this could get away from me, so I'll leave them at that for now.  I'd also like to ask about what you've been up since Zappa.

Ed Mann: Produced and created a CD "Global Warming" (all percussion) in 1991 - went on the Road and recorded with Rickie Lee Jones and Kenny Loggins (1992-94) Made another CD - "Have No Fear" - for CMP in 1996 which has never been released - too bad because it is worlds better than GU or PW -  created the Gong CD - since 1997 I have been composing electronic and doing sound design - mostly for E-mu - starting to compose now for other clients - hope to do some film work or other - I have a studio here at our house.

Patrick : THANK YOU ED!!!

     From: John Henley (jhenley@mail.utexas.edu)
Ed:  I saw you with Frank several times and each time you seemed to be doing
a lot of "winging it."  Was that impression correct, and do you feel that Frank gave you more room to improvise on your accompaniments than he gave, say, to Ruth?  What was the proportion of "strict charts" to "improv" in the parts that Frank gave you?
-- John

     From: ed mann (edmann@earthlink.net)
Hi John.
My approach to playing in Franks band was to first learn the music as written,
and then use my percussionist sensibibities to orchestrate the Percussion parts. I always felt as tho I had the best job in the band - because of having so many instruments to choose from.
So - it was kind of like "improvised orchstration" based on the movement of the music and Frank's stylistic trendencies as a composer - after a while I learned what Frank liked and didn't like, so I would take that into acount in  creating the percussion parts.
Once a general part was established, I always felt as though I had from 10% to 30% room to change the part for a given performance. Frank and I never talked about it -  he would occasionally give a "thumbs up" occassionally a "thumbs down" but usually say nothing. I never asked because I enjoyed working that way - and I didn't want to lose that good thing.
I developed this way of realizing Frank's music because I am an improviser- I think that Frank liked that element as long as there was some musical consistancy to the part.
I think that Frank would let each musician function in the way that best suited them. Ruth is a brilliant conservatory trained musician.

thanks for your interest 
-- Ed

     From: Greg Henry  (greg@greghenry.com)
I would like to have heard more about his audition but obviously Frank
liked him and kept him on for quite a while so......

     From: ed mann (edmann@earthlink.net)
We basically jammed - Frank played some licks on the guitar and asked me to
play them back on the marimba - Frank put music to MONTANA up in front of the marimba and asked me to read it - the room was kind of dark with red lites on so I didn't do a very good job but I guess he thought it was OK - we talked for 10 minutes and then Frank said - OK - you want to join the band? After I gathered myself up off the floor and managed to get some air into my lungs I gasped - "SURE!"

     From: Greg Henry  (greg@greghenry.com)
On another note and for what ever it's worth to anyone, I am happy to
announce formally on this here group that I am over the '88 tour. I understand all I need to understand about it. It no longer has any relevence to my love of Frank Zappa's music. It's over, it's done and I moved on.

     From: ed mann (edmann@earthlink.net)
Right on - and, its important to note that there was a lot of GOOD stuff
that happened on the 88 tour - all of those vocal samples became the humorous outlet for everyones frustrations - we all laughed together many times. That was good.

From: "Ed Mann"
Newsgroups: alt.fan.frank-zappa
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003
Subject: Repercussion Unit Plays ZAPPA

Greetings Everyone -

Some news w/re to yet another FZ cover band - although this one is a little different.

I just returned from Germany with my old friends Repercussion Unit where we played an unusual set of Zappa music at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival- all percussion, and not particularly loud, but with a big groove played mostly on hand drums and some nice melodic and harmonic elements from the mallets. Different than of course Frank would have done it - but we worked hard to make the performance up to standards that Frank would have been happy with. Anyway - this is a new branch of activity for this 30-year old band, and it came off so well that we have decided to continue to bring Frank's music to venues and situations that may desire an alternative approach to keeping the music of FZ alive with musical integrity and respect for the composer and his family. Any interested parties can contact me directly: edmann@paiste.com

the one thing that occurs to me at this time - based on  my own perceptions and noticing those around me - is that even though we all think we understand Frank and his music - I am starting to think that now we are just beginning to get it.  FZ was so far ahead of his time that I think it will literally take the world a good century from the time of his professional activities to REALLY just begin to get it. It goes way deeper the stuff you see on the surface - and I believe that those concrete things (notes on paper and words in verse ) are serve as a gateway to a bigger picture that transcends language and the execution of musical passages. Anyway the guy was a genius - and the message is good, and having had the opportunity to hear other non-traditional renditions of his work (there was a sax 4tet that played a killer FZ set) I think we are entering a new phase of vitality for Frank and his great body of work, in both duplicate and alternative instrumental situations.
-- Ed

from the 2004/03 newsletter:

The fabulous Idiot Bastard Son Of T'Mershi Duween (UK Frank Zappa News Site) presents a very fine interview that Andrew had with Ed Mann.
Mr.Ed Mann, as you should know, will be featured at this year's Zappanale.

Read all about it at: http://www.idiotbastard.supanet.com/you-call-that-news-/odyframe.htm

And, of course, there's lots and lots more to read at the Idiot Bastard's site. Be sure to check it out !!

2008/04/12, Ed Mann and friends performed at the Berkshire Music School.

Ed Mann and friends perform at BMS
04/09/2008 05:16:43 AM EDT


Noted percussionist Ed Mann will bring Frank Zappa's revolutionary "Black Page" piece to the Berkshire Music School at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

The performance, organized by the BMS and Fran Curley, is a fundraiser for the school's percussion department.
Deconstructed jazz standards and free forum improvisations complete the event.
Mann performed and recorded as percussionist, synthesist, electronic sound designer, vocalist and programmer for more than a decade in Zappa's world of innovation. Mann also worked with Rickie Lee Jones and Kenny Loggins.

2009 01 15

J21 interviewed ED MANN

J21 conducted a very interesting interview with Ed Mann about Ed's new CD, some Zappa stuff and other interesting things.

You can read it on J21's myspace:





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