don preston

Don Preston joined the Mothers Of Invention in early 1967.  He recorded and performed with The Mothers until  late 1969.
He did a couple of performances with the Mothers in May 1970, during the summer of 1971 and in the spring of 1974. He also recorded with Zappa on various albums.

In 1981, Rhino records announced a release by Noisuf, a band with Don Preston. Despite the announcement, the eponymous album never got released.

He was also part of the Grandmothers and toured with them, playing Zappa's music.  In 2002, he took part in the Zappanale festival in Bad Doberan, Germany and played Frank Zappa compositions in various line-ups, examples of which can be found on the Zappanale albums.

Don Preston took part in the 2007 edition of the Zappanale festival. He performed with his Akashic Ensemble, and performed with Project/Object.

In 2010, the Don & Bunk Show went on the road again for a number of gigs.

February 2011, the Don & Bunk Show did another series of concerts, followed by a tour with The Grandmothers (without Bunk).

June 29 & July 6, 2011, Bobby Marquis aired an interview with Don Preston on CKCU-FM, Ottowa's community radio station.
July 2011, Don released a book entitled "Listen, a Thought, Faster than Light - Poems and Stories".


2 the mothers of invention: absolutely free
    (1967, lp,usa, verve)

3 the mothers of invention: we're only in it for the money
   (1967, lp, usa, verve)

  aunt jamina and the united pancakes: candy bullets and moon
    (1967, 7", usa, dwr 6806) = meredith monk & don preston
5 the mothers of invention: cruising with ruben & the jets
   (1968, lp, usa, verve)

6 the mothers of invention: mothermania
   (1969, lp, usa, verve)

zappa_06.jpg (26926 bytes)

  captain beefheart & his magic band: trout mask replica
    (1969, 2lp, usa, straight)

  gto's: permanent damage (1)
    (1969, lp, usa, bizarre 73397 - straight sts 1059) - produced by frank zappa / feat.ian underwood, don preston, roy estrada, jc black, frank zappa

7 the mothers of invention: uncle meat
   (1969, 2lp, usa, bizarre)


the mothers of invention: burnt weeny sandwich
   (1970, lp, usa, bizarre)


the mothers of invention: weasels ripped my flesh
   (1970, lp, usa, bizarre)


the mothers: fillmore east, june 1971
   (1971, lp, usa, bizarre)

  bob smith: the visit
    (1971, lp, usa, virgo) - feat.don preston  //  re-released on cd in 1996

bobsmith_thevisit.jpg (17216 bytes)

  carla bley / paul haines: escalator over the hill
    (1971, 2lp, usa, polygram) - feat. don preston


the mothers: just another band from l.a.
   (1972, lp, usa, bizarre)


frank zappa: waka/jawaka
   (1972, lp, usa, bizarre)


flo & eddie: the phlorescent leech & eddie (1)
    (1972, lp, usa, reprise records) - feat.don preston, jim pons & aynsley dunbar

phlorescentleechandeddie.jpg (18573 bytes)

  john & yoko / plastic ono band: sometime in new york city
    (1972, 2lp, uk, apple) - feat. zappa & mothers


the mothers: the grand wazoo
   (1972, lp, usa, bizarre)


zappa / mothers: roxy & elsewhere
   (1974, 2lp, usa, discreet)

  bobbi humphrey: satin doll
    (1974, lp, usa, united artists / blue note bn la344-g) - feat.don preston

bobbi_humphrey_satindoll_lp.jpg (16453 bytes)


original soundtrack: apocalypse now
    (1979, lp, usa, wea lc 0192) - feat. don preston

apocalypse_now_lp.jpg (14411 bytes)

  the residents: eskimo (6)
    (1979, lp, usa, ralph records) - feat.don preston, chris cutler, snakefinger

residents_eskimo.jpg (17204 bytes)

  geronimo black: welcome back (2)
    (1980, lp, usa, helios recs) - feat. various ex-mothers of invention

  the grandmothers: grandmothers (1)
    (1981, lp, ger, line records 6.24636 ap) - feat. various ex-moi

grandmothers_st_lp.jpg (28012 bytes)

  the grandmothers: fan club talk lp (2)
    (1981, lp, us, panda 001)

gm_fct_pdvinyl.jpg (25941 bytes)

  gil evans: where flamingos fly
    (1981, cd, usa, artists house) - feat.don preston

  robby krieger: versions
    (1982, lp, usa, shangai records) - feat.don preston, arthur barrow, sal marquez

robbykrieger_versions.jpg (14750 bytes)

  various artists: music from the 21st century
    (1982, lp, usa, gnp / crescendo records gnps2146) - feat.don preston & frank zappa

  the grandmothers: lookin' up granny's dress  (3)
    (1982, lp, us, rhino records  rnlp 804) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions

gm_lookinup.jpg (23374 bytes)


robby krieger: robby krieger
    (1985, lp, usa, shangai records) - feat.don preston, arthur barrow

robbykrieger_st.jpg (23375 bytes)

  michael mantler: alien
    (1985, cd, ger, ecm) - feat. don preston

  michael mantler: live
    (1987, cd, ger, ecm) - feat. jack bruce, don preston

  john carter: dance of the love ghosts
    (1987, cd, can, gramavision) - feat.don preston  

  john carter: shadows on a wall
    (1988, cd, can, gramavision) - feat.don preston

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

54 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.3
   (1989, 2cd, usa, ryko)

bobby bradford - john carter quintet: comin' on
    (1989, cd, switzerland, hat records art cd 6016) - feat. don preston

  ivo perelman: ivo
(1989, cd, ger, itm-pacific) - feat.don preston
  aurora: aurora (1)
1989, cd, jpn, nippon columbia cy-73148) - feat.don preston
  john carter: fields
(1990, cd, sw, gramavision) - feat.don preston

  zappa / mothers: electric aunt jemima
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71019)
  zappa / mothers: swiss cheese / fire !
    (1991, 2cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71021)
  zappa / mothers: our man in nirvana
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71022)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)  
  the mothers of invention: the ark
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70538)
  zappa / mothers: unmitigated audacity
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70540)
  the mothers of invention: 'tis the season to be jelly
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70542)
  zappa / mothers: electric aunt jemima
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71019)
  zappa / mothers: swiss cheese / fire !
    (1991, 2cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71021)
  zappa / mothers: our man in nirvana
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71022)


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)
60 frank zappa: playground psychotics
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  don preston: dom de wilde speaks - 1992 interview
(1992, k7, usa, electrik yak 006) = interview for "ptolemaic terrascope"
  jefferson airplane: loves you
    (1992, 3cd, usa, rca 07863 61110-2) - incl.'would you like a snack' (zappa, slick)
  yoko ono: ono box
    (1992, ??)
  ant-bee: with my favourite "mothers" and other bizarre muzik
    (1992, k7, usa, electrik yak 003) - cover drawing by cal schenkel / feat. gardner, preston, black, snyder


zappa / mothers: ahead of their time (61)
   (1993, cd, usa, ryko)
  the grandmothers: a mother of an anthology
    (1993, cd, us, one way records ow 28880)  = compilation + extra tracks  


don preston: vile foamy ectoplasm
    (1993, cd, ger, muffin records muffin cdmr 003) - feat. ex-moi and ex-zappa bandmembers 
  don preston: speaks! - 1992 interview
    (1993, k7, usa, electrik yak letc 1)  = a reissue  + some additional music
  eugene chadbourne: 10 most wanted
    (1993, k7, usa, chadbourne products)- feat jimmy carl black and don preston
        – incl. 'zappa medley' (frank zappa), 'neon meat dream' (van vliet) 
  ant-bee: snorks and wheezes
    (1993, k7, usa, electrik yak) - feat.bunk gardner, don preston, jc black, motorhead sherwood

  ant-bee: the *#!%%? of ant-bee - rarities vol.3
    (1993, k7, usa, electrik yak records 009) - feat.bunk gardner, don preston, jc black, motorhead sherwood

  the grandmothers: who could imagine (5)
    (1994, cd, nl, munich records netcd 53) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa & beefheart compositions

  ant-bee: the bizarre german e.p.
    (1994, 7", ger, lollipop shop bouncing splash 8) - feat.bunk gardner, don preston, jc black

  ant-bee: with my favorite "vegetables" and other bizarre music
    (1994, cd, uk, divine records divine 3) - feat.motorhead, black, gardner, estrada, preston, snyder

  eugene chadbourne + jimmy carl black: the jack and jim show - locked in a dutch coffeeshop
    (1994, cd, uk, fundamental rec) - feat.don preston /
incl. van vliet compositions
  sandro oliva: who the fuck is sandro oliva ?!?
    (1995, cd, usa, muffin records mrp015)
- feat. various ex-moi; incl.' genes' (frank zappa)

  ant-bee: lunar muzik
    (1995, cd, uk, divine records divine 20) - feat. gardner, preston, black, estrada, sherwood, bob harris


frank zappa: the lost episodes
   (1996, cd, usa, ryko)
  michael mantler: the school of understanding
    (1997, 2cd, ger, ecm records ecm 1648/49 537 963-2) - feat. don preston

mantler_schoolofunderstanding.jpg (12296 bytes)


don preston: hear me out
    (1997, cd, us, echograph 9601-2)


frank zappa: mystery disc
   (1998, cd, usa, ryko)

the muffin men: god shave the queen (8)
    (1999, cd, eec, efa 03447-2) – incl.compositions by don van vliet and by frank zappa, feat. zappa alumni

the grandmothers: eating the astoria (6)
    (2000, cd, i, obvious music om gm0100) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions

  the don and bunk show: necessity is...
    (2000, cdr, usa, brain records) – incl. ‘eric dolphey memorial barbecue’ (frank zappa) / re-released in 2011 as "the don & bunk show"

  don preston: music from blood diner & other films
    (2001, cdr, usa, brain records)

  the grandmothers: 20 year anthology of the grandmothers
    (2001, cdr, ger, private release) - anthology

  the grandmothers: the eternal question
    (2001, cdr, ger,
inkanish records) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions


the don preston trio: transformation
    (2001, cd, usa, cryptogramophone cg107) – incl. 'the eric dolphy memorial barbecue' (frank zappa)

  don preston: io landscapes
    (2001, cdr, usa, brain records) - feat. frank zappa
  don preston: corpus transfixum
    (2001, cdrom, usa, brain records)
  levin, bradford & preston: asymmetrical construct
    (2001, cdr, usa, brain records) - re-released in 2011

  don preston: trans form
    (2001, cdr, usa, brain records) - re-released in 2011 as "transcend"

don_preston_trans_form.jpg (18341 bytes)

  various artists: eyeinhand sampler volume 1
    (2001, cd, spain, vaso music vm 032) - all zappa related artists

  the don and bunk show: joined at the hip
    (2002, cdr, usa, brain records) - incl. 'little house' (frank zappa)

db_joine.jpg (64155 bytes)

  the grandmothers: who could imagine
    (2002, cdr, usa, brain records) - re-released in 2010


  don preston's akashic ensemble: tetragrammaton
    (2003, cdr, usa, brain records br014) - incl. 'brain police' (f.zappa), 'help i'm a rock' (f.zappa)

donpreston_tetragrammaton.jpg (24345 bytes)


don preston's akashic ensemble: the inner realities of evolution
    (2003, cd, usa, brain records br016) - feat. bunk gardner & andré cholmondeley

  various artists: zappanale 13
    (2003, 3cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 13 - the lewinskys - grandmothers west
    (2003, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 13 - retrospective
    (2003, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale # 13
    (2003, cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  jefferson airplane: crown of creation
    (2003, cd, eu, rca / bmg 82876 53226 2) - incl.'would you like a snack' (zappa, slick)
  the grandmothers: a grandmothers night at the gewandhaus
    (2003, cd, ger, warner classic 2564600682) - incl.various frank zappa compositions

  arthur barrow: on time
    (2003, cdr, usa, private release) - feat.vinnie colaiuta, tommy mars, bruce fowler, robert williams and don preston
  various artists: assemblage 2004
    (2004, cd, usa, cryptogramophone) – incl. the don preston trio: 'the eric dolphy memorial barbecue' (frank zappa)


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

  sandro oliva: heavy lightning
    (2004, cdr, i, private release) - feat. various ex-moi; incl.zappa compositions

  the muffin men: muffinz moovies (1990-1997)
    (2005, dvd, uk, private release)
- incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. zappa alumni

  jimmy carl black: when do we get paid?
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire) - feat. don preston, walt & tom fowler
  the grandmothers: boulder theatre – us tour, 2000
    (200?, 2cdr, italy, obvious music) -, don preston, bunk gardner
  don preston: vile foamy ectoplasm
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire publications) - feat. frank zappa, ex-moi and ex-zappa bandmembers 

  bunk gardner: it's all bunk!
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire publications) - feat. various ex-moi


don preston: works
    (2007, ger, usa, crossfire publications) - feat.bunk gardner

  don preston's akashic ensemble: zappanale 18
    (2007, dvdr, ger, private release) - incl. 'who are the brain police?' & 'help, i'm a rock' (f.zappa)

  project/object: zappanale 18
    (2007, dvdr, ger, private release) - all zappa material / feat. don preston, napoleon murphy brock &

  jimmy carl black: where’s the $%&§#@’ beer?
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire publications 9508-2) - feat.various mothers of invention

  flo & eddie: the phlorescent leech and eddie  /  flo & eddie
    (2008, 2cd, ??, floedco / manifesto mfo 48001) = reissue
  various artists: zappanale 18
    (2008, 2cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 18 - retrospective
    (2008, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale #18
    (2008, cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  geronimo black: welcome back
    (2008, download, -, crossfire publications) - feat. various ex-mothers of invention / downloadable version of the 1979 album, with six bonus tracks
  the grandmothers: it happened here
    (2008, 2cdr, ger, arf society) = the grandmothers (with special guests) concert at zappanale in 2002

grandm_ithappenedhere.jpg (26054 bytes)

  todd grubbs: time, space and the electric
    (2008, cd, usa, ls089365) - feat. don preston
grubbs_timespace.jpg (42270 bytes)
meredith monk: beginnings
    (2008, cd, usa, tzadik) - incl.
aunt jamina and the united pancakes (= don preston / meredith monk) : 'candy bullets and moon'
  don preston: retrospective
    (2009, cd, usa, crossfire publications  9514-2) - feat.various mothers of invention

project/object: zappanale 20
    (2009, dvdr, ger, private release) - all zappa material / feat. ike willis, don preston, robert martin, denny walley &

  the grande mothers: zappanale 20
    (2009, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa

grandm_dvdr_z20.jpg (29332 bytes)

  don preston: original soundtrack - the gary plays
    (2009, cd, usa, msmusic productions stm 33101)

preston_garyplays.jpg (18769 bytes)

  tony palmer's film of frank zappa's 200 motels
    (2010, dvd, uk, tony palmer)

  bunk gardner: it's all bunk! (reloaded)
    (2010, download, -, crossfire publications)
= revised edition - download only

bunk_itsallbunk2010.jpg (13823 bytes)

  geronimo black: welcome back geronimo black (revised)
    (2010, download, -, crossfire publications) = revised edition - download only

wbgb_2010.jpg (18948 bytes)

  don preston: colliding galaxys
    (2010, download, -, zonic entertainment) - download only

donpreston_collidinggalaxys_c.jpg (11917 bytes)

  movie / documentary: let's hear it for jimmy carl black
    (2010, dvdr, ger, arf society) - feat. moni black, geronimo black, helmut king, napoleon murphy brock, roy estrada, don preston, bruce bickford, ike willis

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  ant-bee: electronic church muzik
    (2011, cd, usa, barking moondog records bmr1) - feat. various zappa & beefheart alumni

ant_bee_electronicchurchmusic.jpg (29175 bytes)

  frank zappa: penguin in bondage - the little known history of the mothers of invention
    (2011, download, usa, zappa records)

fz_penguin2011dl.jpg (32087 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)

  candy zappa: be perfectly frank...
    (2011, cd, usa, porterville records / crossfire publications) - incl. various frank zappa compositions  //  feat. frank zappa, ike willis, don preston

candyzappa_tobeperfectlyfrank.jpg (24641 bytes)

  the don and bunk show: the don & bunk show
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-011) – incl. ‘eric dolphey memorial barbecue’ (frank zappa) / re-released in 2011 as "the don & bunk show"

  the don and bunk show: joined at the hip
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-012) - incl. 'little house' (frank zappa)

  the grandmothers: who could imagine
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-100) - re-release of the 2002 album

  don preston: transcend
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-101) - re-release of the 2001 "trans form" album

  don preston: blood diner - music from films by don preston
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-102) - re-release of the 2001 album

donpreston_br102.jpg (19310 bytes)

  don preston, bobby bradford, elliott levin: asymmetrical construct
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-103) - re-release of the 2001 album

  don preston: io landscapes
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-104) - re-release of the 2001 album  //  feat. frank zappa

donpreston_br104.jpg (28616 bytes)

  harry scorzo & don preston: twenty six pieces for violin and piano
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-107)

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  don preston: filters, oscillators & envelopes
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-108)

donpreston_br108.jpg (24373 bytes)

  don preston / andrea centazzo: escape from 12/2012
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-109)

donpreston_br109.jpg (33528 bytes)

  don preston / andrea centazzo: escape from 2012
    (2011, cd, usa, ictus records ictus 156)
  don preston's akashic ensemble: tetragrammaton
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-196) - re-release of the 2003 album  //  incl. 'brain police' (f.zappa), 'help i'm a rock' (f.zappa)

donpreston_br196.jpg (22518 bytes)

  don preston: an evening with don preston and friends
    (2011, dvdr, usa, brain records bv-104) - incl. 'neon meat dream' (van vliet)

donpreston_bv104.jpg (22130 bytes)

sandro oliva: who the fuck is sandro oliva ?!?
    (2011, cdr, italy, private release / obvious music omso 0013) - feat. various ex-moi / incl.' genes' (frank zappa) / re-release with bonus

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  bunk gardner: the bunk gardner story
    (2011, download, norway, zonic entertainment) - feat. don preston, arthur barrow

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  bunk gardner: the bunk gardner story - part 2
    (2011, download, norway, zonic entertainment) - feat. don preston, arthur barrow / artwork by ed seeman

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  don preston: piano excursions
    (2011, cdr, usa, brain records br-111)

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frank zappa & the mothers of invention: carnegie hall
    (2011, 4cd, usa, vaulternative records)

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  don preston: filters, oscillators & envelopes 1967-75
    (2011, lp, bel, sub rosa sr334) - released on black vinyl, plus 150 copies on marbled white vinyl, and 300 copies on orange vinyl

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  don preston: filters, oscillators & envelopes 1967-82
    (2011, cd, bel, sub rosa sr334)

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  don preston: the don preston story
    (2012, download, norway, zonic entertainment) - feat. bunk gardner, arthur barrow / artwork by ed seeman

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  the grande mothers of invention: happy mothers day
    (2012, cd, switzerland, pinguin ing. büro) = napoleon murphy brock & don preston / all compositions by frank zappa

grandmothers_happymothersday.jpg (42317 bytes)


frank zappa: road tapes - kerrisdale arena, vancouver bc, 25 august 1968
    (2012, cd, usa, vaulternative records )
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frank zappa: finer moments
    (2012, cd, usa, zappa records)

zappa_finermoments.jpg (47358 bytes)

  todd grubbs: best of the guests
    (2013, download, usa, private release) - feat. mike keneally, jerry outlaw, bryan beller and don preston

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  various artists: an anthology of noise & electronic music vol.7
    (2013, 3cd, be, sub rosa rs300) - incl. don preston: 'analog heaven #6'

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don preston: out of the vault
    (2014, cd, usa, brain records) - feat. bunk gardner, dave parlato, arthur barrow, bruce fowler, walt fowler, tom fowler  //  incl. 'eric dolphy' (frank zappa)

donpreston_outofthevault.jpg (30269 bytes)

  the don and bunk show: s/t
    (2014, cdr, usa, brain records)

donbunk_st_2014.jpg (34834 bytes)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa 2014 birthday bundle
    (2014, download, --, barfko-swill)
aaafnraa2014.jpg (34969 bytes)
  movie: where's the beer and when do we get paid?
    (2014, dvd, ger, edition kassenknüller strassenfeger) - feat. jimmy carl black, eugene chadbourne, don preston, bunk gardner, roy estrada, andy cahan, denny walley

bolletbrot_jcblack2012.jpg (37149 bytes)

  the grandmothers of invention: duke of prunes - live at the fabrik, hamburg, germany
    (2014, dvd, ger, pinguin) - all compositions by frank zappa

grandmothers_dukeofprunes_dvd2014.jpg (40722 bytes)

  the grandmothers of invention: zappanale 25
    (2014, dvdr, ger, arf society) - (almost) all compositions by frank zappa, also incl. 'debra kadabra' (don van vliet)

z25_grandmothers_dvdr.jpg (15783 bytes)

  don preston & bunk gardner: zappanale exhibition, july 18, 2014
    (2015, dvdr, ger, rr production zapp-e-dvd014) - incl. various frank zappa compositions

donbunk_dvdr_zappanale2014.jpg (30813 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)
tri angular bent: tri angular bent
    (2016, cd, usa, triangular bent records tb001) = don preston / jeff boynton / philip mantione

triangularbent_st.jpg (27461 bytes)


frank zappa: frank zappa for president
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr 20021)
fz_fzforpresident.jpg (31217 bytes)


zappa / mothers: meat light
    (2016, 3cd, usa, zappa records zr20024)
fz_meatlight.jpg (46821 bytes)
  don preston / andrea centazzo: escape from 12/2012
    (2017, cdr, usa, brain records br-109) = re-release of the 2011 album, with different artwork

preston_centazzo_br109_2017.jpg (29297 bytes)

don preston: don preston clinic
    (2017, dvdr, usa, private release) - incl. don performing music by carla bley, john cage and frank zappa

donprestonclinic_dvd.jpg (24446 bytes)

  the grandmothers of invention: live in bremen
    (2018, 2cd, ger, sireena) - feat. don preston, bunk gardner

grandmothers_liveinbremen2cd.jpg (29166 bytes)

  the grandmothers of invention: free energy
    (2018, cd, usa, private release) - feat. don preston, bunk gardner and ed mann
  bunk gardner: bunkmania
    (2018, cd, usa, private release) - incl. 'the little house i used to live in' (frank zappa), feat. don preston, buzz gardner, jimmy carl black


semi-official releases

  the mothers of invention: wollman rink, central park, ny, august 3rd 1968
    (2014, , uk, keyhole records)
moi_wollmanrinkcd.jpg (27731 bytes)


filmography & soundtracks



  don preston: listen, a thought, faster than light - poems and stories
    (2011, book, usa, brain publishing)



Don Preston says:
"This is the actual construction that I used a photo of for the CD Escape From 12/2012. The piece is 23 1/4"X 23 1/2" and weighs about 40 lbs."

Don Preston says:
"This is another construction. It is 28"X28" and weighs about 40 lbs. The piece was finished in 2008.
The Bush doll sings and dances."

Don Preston says:
"This is a smaller construction that measures 16"X81/2". It contains a circular light and weighs about 10 lbs."




the don preston trio / don preston: piano  -  dr. art davis: bass  -  tootie heath: drums

1997/06/10    concert 'catalina's bar and grill', hollywood, ca, usa

1998/summer    "steeltown" = a play by michael sargent; music composed by don preston

the don preston trio / don preston: piano  -  dave carpenter: bass  -  alex cline: drums

1999/08/20    concert 'the los angeles county museum of art', la, ca, usa
    incl. 'django' (lewis),'walking battery woman'(carla bley),'the eric dolphy memorial barbecue' (frank zappa), 'epistrophy' (t.monk)

the california ear unit

????/05/28    concert 'the los angeles county museum of art', la, ca, usa
    the california ear unit: the bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even (don preston)


Don Preston Akashic Ensemble, feat. Andre Cholmondeley

Don Preston's Akashic Ensemble
feat. Andre Chomondeley & Cheri Jiosne

Don Preston's Akashic Ensemble


The Don Preston Akashic Ensemble: André Cholmondeley - Don Preston - Cheri Jiosne
2006/09/13 at 'The Space', Hamden, CT, usa
(picture by Pete Brunelli)


Don Preston - on stage at the Zappanale festival  (picture by xal & ke)

Cheri Jiosne - on stage at the Zappanale festival  (picture by xal & ke) Andre Cholmondeley - on stage at the Zappanale festival  (picture by xal & ke)



biography & random notes

Donald Ward Preston aka Dom Dewilde (* sept. 21, 1932, Flint, Michigan)

    From: "Freak Out With The Grandmothers" tour booklet
I grew up in Detroit Michigan where they make cars.  At 12 years I was thrown
out of school for hypnotising several students and a nun.  I was also learning magic.  The nuns used to beat my hands with a big ruler when I made mistakes playing the piano.  Because of this weird treatment I began to like strange and dissonant music.  I went to Trieste Italy in the army and shared a room with Buzz Gardner.  At that time I wrote a number of chamber and orchestral works and later lost them.  I learned to play the contra-bass.  After returning to Detroit I insterted all the pistons in every fourth Dodge auto.  Played for one year with Elvin Jones at the West End Cafe on bass.  Moved to L.A.  Did my stint with the Mothers and became romantically involved with 40 teenagers.  Did a magic show at the Whiskey A Go Go.  Later did a show at Moon Zappa's 6th birthday party.

Wrote music for 20 feature films like "Blood Diner" and "The Underachievers".

One thing led to another and here I am writing this bio.................WOW!

Short bio, from:

Don Preston was born in Flint, Michigan in 1932. 
His father, was the composer-in-residence for the Detroit Symphony. 
Born into a family of musicians Don studied music at an early age.

Bassist with Elvin Jones
Pianist with Herbie Mann and bassist with Tommy Flanagan
Bassist with Yusef Lateef and Don Ellis
Toured with Nat King Cole (1958)
Worked with Charlie Hayden, Paul Bley and Carla Bley

Preston joins Don Ellis, big band leader and trumpeter
Don begins to experiment with electronic music and incorporates
synthesizers into his work  Meets Frank Zappa and joins the Mothers of Invention in 1966.
He tours and records with Meredith Monk, performing at the Garrick Theater
in New York

Performance with John Lennon and Yoko Ono appears on Sometime in New York
City Left the Mothers of Invention in 1974

1975 - 1985 Projects include:
Escalator Over the Hill, with Michael Mantler and Carla Bley
Field's with John Carter
Apocalypse Now, Film Soundtrack
Co-founds the Grandmothers, with former Mothers of Invention band members

Performs with Bobby Bradford, appears on Bradford's "Comin' On" 
Forms a jazz trio with Art Davis and Tootie Heath
Tours Europe as lead vocalist for The Grandmothers

Signs with Echograph Records, begins recording Hear Me Out.
Vocalist in the opera "School of Language", which premiered in Copenhagen,

Hear Me Out released on Echograph Records (March 1)
Composes "The Bride Stripped Bare", commissioned by the California Ear Unit


Don played synthesizer about five years ago on John Carter's Castles of Ghana (it may be the album after that in the series--I'd have to check) on Grammavision.  He personally got rave reviews for his soloing.  However, that band never toured (Carter died last year) and I haven't heard from him since.

Saw Don Preston playing with Robbie Krieger (Doors) at a small club in Hollywood in the late 70's. They were playing stuff similar to Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer (Blow By Blow - Wired).

Don Preston did a jazz/rock/flamenco album with Robby Krieger of The Doors.

Some time in the early eighties I went to see The Carla Bley Band at the Paradise Club in Boston and was pleasantly surprised to see Don Preston in the band.

P.S.  Don Preston is also on an album by trumpeter Michael Mantler (husband of Carla Bley?) named "Live", with Jack Bruce.
Black, Preston and Gardner appear to be in a band called the Grandmothers.

Don Preston appeared on the Mike Mantler release ALIEN on ECM/Watt around 1988 or so. I think he still plays with Mantler on occasion.

Don played in the LA Art Ensemble or whatever it was called, with people like Buell Neidlinger and other hip CalArts types. He also played in Gil Evans band. He was very good at transforming.

Just moved out to Germany as well, where he lives near Jimmy Carl Black (also resident in Germany) and is still a Grandmother. A video from 1988 'Dr Ogo Moto' is also due soon for release, again I think on Muffin; maybe on Electric Yak in the US.

Don Preston's _Vile Foamy Ectoplasm_ was released on CD in 1993 by Muffin Records, Germany.  It's quite good!  It contains tracks that Don Preston recorded over the years with different musicians.
  1 track was recorded in 1973 with

  3 tracks were recorded in 1975 with

  1 track was recorded in 1976 with

   3 tracks were recorded in 1981 with

   1 track (a 15 minute piece) was recorded in 1967-68 & 1993 with

Saw a cheezy Sci-Fi flick called "Android" on the Sci-Fi Channel the other day.  Don Preston was credited with the music.  Nothing very distinctive, but I have to admit that the film was so bad it seriously detracted from listening very closely to the music.  Not even "Cheepnis"-grade sci-fi. No idea how old the movie was; mid-to-late 70's I would guess.

Don has been working with composer/trumpeter Michael Mantler for awhile. Check out "Alien" and "Michael Mantler Live" on the Watt/ECM label.  Sorta a hybrid between modern jazz and modern classical music, with Don doing orchestrations on synths.  On the live album Jack Bruce sings and Nick Mason (PF) drums as well, sorta old home week for aging art-rockers  8^)
He appears on keyboards on the live album, and also orchestrated these
massive synthesizer architectures on _Alien_ (which has nothing to do with the movie except a similar emotional tenor). Dubs available if necessary, but you should try and buy this stuff; Mantler's one of the more interesting unheard composer/performers out there.

Don also contributed heavily to the last few John Carter releases (mostly on Gramavision) before Carter passed away in the early 90's.  Carter was a pioneering composer, saxophonist and clarinetist who worked extensively with Bobby Bradford, a cornetist who has played with Ornette Coleman amongst others.

In the liner notes of one of the Carter releases, he dubbed Don Preston the "father of modern synthesis."

  Yeah, shouldn't that have been *mother*?  It was on "Shadows on a Wall", the last in the series.

I particularly recommend the live set, which is not on Gramavision, but Hat Art.  Don really gets to stretch out (on synth and piano)....and basically, it's one of the most awesome "out" jazz records ever made.

Also wrote some of the music on 'Apocalypse Now'. Also a few other films. More to follow...

Oh yeah, Don Preston's on the CD too (Eugene Chadbourne, _Locked in a Dutch Coffeeshop_) -- but not playing with Jimmy Carl; he's on another (earlier) session that Chadbourne just spliced in (shades of conceptual continuity), where Chadbourne, Preston, jazz sitar player Ashwan (sp?) Batish et al. jam out and somebody reads the text to Captain Beefheart's "Neon Meate Dream of an Octafish."

Don Preston also appears on the Residents' album "Eskimo".

Don Preston has been working with Bobby Bradford's Motet. It is a L.A. based group that plays not so mainstream jazz. Bradford was/is Ornette Coleman influenced. Preston has lots of space to move around in. so to speak.


     sandwest sez:
 Those of you in the Los Angeles area might like to know that the Don Preston trio is playing locally this Monday, June 10.  ('97?)

 The Don Preston trio is:

  and the particulars are:
 Catalina's Bar and Grill
 1640 North Cahuenga Blvd (1/2 Block South of Hollywood) 2 shows
 8:30 ad 10:00 pm
 Monday June 10th, 1996
 Admission: $10
 Sorry for the short lead time, but Don faxed the information
out last night.

     Don Preston (the man himself) sez:
As for myself I am releasing next month a solo piano album "Hear Me Out" - all original compositions except "The Donkey" by Carla Bley and "A Private Lesson" written by my father who also wrote for the Detroit Philharmonic. Also in one and a half weeks I'm going to go to Copenhagen to sing in the premiere of the opera "School Of Languages" by Michael Mantler. The piece will be recorded for ECM records as well. All for now.

Yours - Don Preston

     obrecht said:
Don appears on a CD by Robby Krieger titled "Versions"/"Robby Krieger", which I guess are
re-releases of two albums from the late 70's/early 80's.
Anyway, it is released on One Way Records #33657.
He appears on all of the tracks on the "Robby Krieger" part along with Arthur Barrow.  Arthur also appears
on just about all of the tracks of "Versions".
Excellent instrumental music.

     Jeff Rocca said:
Don Preston's new CD is titled _Hear Me Out_.  It's available by mailorder from:
    Echograph Records
    P.O. Box 1575
    Santa Monica, CA 90406
    tel:   1-800-774-2208
    fax:   (310)264-9208
    email: 75443.517@CompuServe.COM
The CD costs $12.50 (plus $2.50 for shipping & handling).  They take phone orders (VISA or Master Card) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PST, or you can mail them
a check or money order made payable to Echograph Records.

      Gregory J. Sandell said:
I mail-ordered away for Don Preston's new CD "hear Me Out", and here are
a few off-the-cuff comments.  I haven't had time to give it a careful listen yet...
It's all solo piano, miked very close (the "1000 feet wide piano sound").  
The material sounds very "composed" (as opposed to improvised) to me, but I like the sound and the style.  It sounds like a hybrid between 20th Century post-tonal music and jazz.  Paul Bley or Cecil Taylor meets Bartok, I suppose.  Disappointingly, I couldn't find a trace of anything that would make me (as a listener who knows Don only from his keyboard work with Frank and the Mothers) say, "that sounds like Don Preston!", but it's still great music and great playing.  Also, unfortunately, aside from the listing of tracks, there is zip for liner notes.  Good photo of Don on the front...he's got to be past 60 now, looks like a youthful 49!
(I still remember when Frank appeared on Dick Cavett [to play "Sofa"
with the '71 band], and said that Don was "well preserved", in answer to Cavett's remark about the wide variety of ages of band members.)  His hair is a lot shorter than back in the "Dom deWild" days!  :-)

     Joseph M. Perret said:
There's good news and bad news about Don Preston's appearances in Los
Angeles next week.  The bad news is that Don has had to cancel his May 27th appearance at Lumpy Gravy due to a scheduling conflict.  I know most of you aren't Angelenos, but the club already sent out the advertisements and I'd like anyone here who was planning on attending to know.
The good news is that Don is presenting the world premier of his
composition "The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even" with the California Ear Unit on Wednesday, May 28th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  He canceled LG to rehearse for the latter show. 
I don't want to spam up a good newsgroup, so please email me for further details if you are interested.

     From: Kristian Kier
I remember seeing a concert on german tv many years ago, with Don,
Michael Mantler and Jack Bruce. I´m not sure anymore, but think they played some Brecht/Weill material. Jack was the singer, singing from the sheets in front of him. Everytime he finished one sheet he threw it on the floor....

      From: Patrick Neve
There are in fact two recording artists named Don Preston, the "other" Don
being a blues guy.  I was big-time confused the first time I ran into a batch of his records.  He could *almost* be mistaken for "our" Preston. The DP we are mostly concerned with has the following solo albums to his credit: 1994 Vile Foamy Ectoplasm (Efa) 1 1996 Hear Me Out

These albums are by the "other" DP, so don't confuse 'em:

     From: Tom Tuerff
Actually the other Don Preston is a guitar player who was Leon Russell's
guitar player in the 70s. Don Preston the mother once told me that he once received one of the other Preston's royalty checks by mistake and cashed it. (When he finally met Leon Russell  years later, Don apologized for cashing the other guy's check, but hey, he didn't know!)

     From: Patrick Neve
Don composed the music for a play called "Steeltown" in the summer of '98.
The play itself was slammed by reviews, but Don came out looking pretty good.
Here's a couple of excerpts from Reuters:
REVIEW/STAGE: 'Steeltown' is limp as sexual satire
Playwright-director Michael Sargent has instilled some intriguing insight into this cartoonish tale of the premier sluts of Steeltown, Ind., but the humor is decidedly overwhelmed by the rampant on-stage humping and in-your-face nudity. 
On the plus side, the original songs of Don Preston (with lyrics by Sargent)
do much to sustain the intended satirical tone of this piece.

      From X
Check out my site - OUTER SHELL w/ my Don Preston interview.

     Concert review by:  Jasper Leach
The Don Preston Trio

Today (August 20, 1999) is a day I'll remember forever! I went to LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) around 5:15 and arrived just in the middle of the soundcheck which was quite a sound- Don was hitting the piano - sometimes it was little jazz licks, but other times he just slammed the piano, which usually was quite comical. (As I forgot to mention, this entire concert was outdoors.) The bass player was tuning up, and the drummer was just doing rolls. Don was talking to a few friends; I think his wife was there, but I wouldn't know.
Then the concert began. The band started off with some standard. I didn't recognize what it was. Don spat out a large amount of fluid in the middle of his solo. Also, I noted how well the bass player could play! He was great! Don was looking and sounding good, with his grey hair and his moustache and beard. Next the band launched into a piece called "Django" by John Lewis. I won't describe the whole concert like this. 
Basically, the first set was "straight jazz" with the exception of a Paul Bley piece. As Don said previous to the concert, " Those of you who came early, this is the easy set..."
The intermission came. Immediately after the intermission, I nervously ran up to Don and said "Can I get your autograph?" Don seemed sort of startled but said "Oh yeah- sure! What's your name?" I told him, and he wrote this on my program:

                 To Jasper
                w/ fond regards
                Don Preston     99

I returned to my seat and talked to the person behind me who told me that Don was suing the Zappa Family Estate because he felt like he was ripped off. We talked Beefheart and Zappa for a while and then Don came on and said " We're gonna play an old jazz song...from's called "Walking Battery Woman" a girl named Carla Bley." This name got NO APPLAUSE.
Don played brilliantly, the band was also extremely excited. No one clapped
in the middle of the song except for me, my brother, and a woman sitting near me. After this Don said, " Now I'd like to play a piece by Frank Zappa...I need to stick one here or there or else I get some sort of's "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue." The performance was magnificent and got lots of applause.

My family was itching to leave, but I didn't want Don to think that I was only there to see the Frank Zappa song and leave, so I stayed for one more song, "Epistrophy" by Thelonious Monk. My family demanded that we leave, but then Don said he was to play an original composition! I was afraid he would be offended at that. I waved goodbye......a night to remember.

     From: Bryan Stone
I thought you might be interested in a new release by Don Preston, Zappa's
"Transformation" by the Don Preston Trio features the ex Zappa pianist
Preston, playing inventive treatments of music by Frank Zappa, Carla Bley, John Carter, Cole Porter, and Don himself. Transformation presents a survey Preston's multifarious career: his stint as keyboardist with Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, his association with pianist-composer Carla Bley, his synthesizer work for the late distinguished composer-clarinetist John Carter as well as his own reputation as a writer of powerful though twisted music.
It also features bassist Joel Hamilton and drummer Alex Cline.
listen at

The Don Preston Interview

By Roy Harper
From The Outer Shell

Back in the 60's Don Preston was in Frank Zappa's original line-up of The Mothers Of Invention. After the original line-up was disbanded after several memorable albums, Don went on to play jazz, and get together with some of the original Mothers to form the Grandmothers. The Grandmothers have recordings available. He also has a 4 story video out, and a solo (1993) album, Vile Foamy Ectoplasm.

R.H.: Under the direction of Frank Zappa, what were you intentions and where did you want it 'all' to lead when you joined the Mothers Of Invention?

D.P.: I was so busy learning all this new music that I didn't have time to think of these things.

R.H.: How much individual input did you and the others put into Zappa's music?

D.P.: During a concert about 75% of the music was improvised, and during a recording we were always coming up with ideas that Zappa would later sat he"wrote" them On the Album about 25% of the material was improvised, sometimes 50%-depending on the song.

R.H.: Were you concerned that the music wouldn't be commercially successful and accepted?

D.P.: I was never interested in being 'commercial', before the Mothers or even now.

R.H.: Concerning several songs (and even the "Money" album) what was the 'obsession' with vegetables?

D.P.: I have no idea other than Frank thought of them as being mildly erotic.

R.H.: On average, how long did it take to put together an album?

D.P.: Six months. No one was ever ready.

R.H.: What is your favorite Mothers album?

D.P.: "We're Only In It For The Money", however my best solo is on the album "Waka Jawaka".

R.H.: Was the album "Reuben & The Jets" an attempt to break commercially into the airwaves?

D.P.: "Reuben" was only an expression of Frank's love for 50's R&B.

R.H.: Did you ever get any feedback from the Beatles, or their management, for the 'Money's' album cover parodying Sgt. Peppers?

D.P.: We negotiated with the Beatles for almost a year. They finally agreed (to our album cover) when we put the picture on the inside of the album.

R.H.: Performing live with the Mothers, did you find a '2-section' type audience? One geniunely into the music, and another getting an enhancement to a self induced chemical high?

D.P.: Usually the people getting high were genuinely into the music, and the ones that weren't high were into the music because the music was too complex and wierd not to be into it.

R.H.: On your CD "Vile Foamy Ectoplasm", the song 'The Eternal Question' is about how people always ask you about Zappa. Do people still ask you all the time about Zappa?

D.P.: not so much anymore.

R.H.: What do you think is the mystique about Zappa that he has had people always curious about him?

D.P.: When I met Zappa he was kind of a nerd, but he was smart enough to disguise that by street talk and being into R&B.

R.H.: Reportedly, the original Mothers were being disbanded by Zappa because you guys were only making $200 a week and Zappa couldn't afford to keep the band together.

D.P.: If we had split the money from concerts and record companies, the members would have made a lot more than $200 a week.

R.H.: How did you feel when the group was disbanded?

D.P.: Like my wife left me and took the kids and the furniture.

R.H.: What did you do next.

D.P.: I started working with Meredith Monk and went back to playing jazz with Gil Evans, Carla Bley, etc.

R.H.: How did the Grandmothers get together?

D.P.: Which time? (we've gotten together several times.) The last time Jimmy (Carl Black) moved to Germany and got a record deal with Muffin Records and then asked Bunk (Gardner) and I to come over and tour. (note- the result of the collaboration is the 1994 releases 'who could imagine')

R.H.: Have you gotten any reaction from people close to Zappa concerning the Grandmothers?

D.P.: We got a lawsauit from Gail Zappa after several clubs and festivals first started calling us the Grandmothers of Invention.

R.H.: Some of the Grandmothers have been playing together now for over 30 years. What is the bond that holds 'em together?

D.P.: We still like each other and we like the music that we play.

R.H.: Do you find that your audiences now to be nostalgic-minded, or what seems to be the bond that the audience has with you?

D.P.: Sometimes there are 3 generations in the audiences. Some heard the original band and some had recently bought records.

R.H.: If there had been no Zappa, what would you have done musically?

D.P.: I was working with Elvin Jones, Charlie Hayden, and Carla Bley 10 years before the Mothers, and afterward played with many other "famous" musicians.----The Mothers were a brief moment in my career.

R.H.: Who have been your biggest musical influence?

D.P.: Toru Takemitzu, Paul Blez, Xenakis, Ligeti Lennie Tristarro, Charlie Parker, John Cage, Bud Powell, Extreme, Fromt Line Assembly, Throbbing Gristle, The Art Bears, etc.

R.H.: When was your 4-story video, "Ogo Moto", put together?

D.P.: The films were shot in '68, '43, '77, and '70 and Billy James transfered them to video tape in 1994. I'm sorry the quality was so bad, especially on the Dracula film.

R.H.: It is quite entertaining! How much other video lies 'in the vault'?

D.P.: Someone made a sequel to Ogo Moto called "Sinister Flesh" in which I play Ogo Moto again and the production is quite good, but I can't locate the director Stan Sheff. If I can find him, we'll put this out also.

R.H: Are videos something you want to do more of?

D.P.: Yes.

    from: André Cholmondeley

Don Preston's Akashic Ensemble will be touring in April:

2004/04/02 WPRB LIVE Webcast+ FM Broadcast !!  
2004/04/03 'Synapse Studios', Red bank 
2004/04/04 'Downtown music gallery', NYC
2004/04/05 'Tritone', Philly

-- info: André Cholmondeley

from: André Cholmondeley

Hello and greetings

Andre' here, Having a blast on the don preston 'random chaos/confusion' tour (I'll explain in the diary) - he is a character. We just saw Hellboy tonite -it's great!!  Don is (at 71) still a horror and sci fi, fantasy movie freak - he keeps up with quality new sci fi and plays Tomb raider (really well) all the time. Last time he was out here we saw Lord of the rings..!

Anyway - some great shows in New England this weekend and a washout --we played in woodstock to about 6-8 rabid fans (thanks - 200 mile drivers!! wow!) - plus one local guy named....Tony Levin! Indeed - Tony played bass with Don in the early 70s. Watch his site in a day or so for pix with Don. (

On thurs, Don also delivered a great lecture at Berklee College on 20th century composition and approaches to notation, then and now. The Cambridge gig that night was amazing - a really cool art gallery with a phat sound system (what a rarity!) - that show was filmed - stay tuned for web clips - what made that one extra special was the excellent KAWAI grand piano - Don

Well - one more show on this tour - ASBURY PARK NJ - we hope to see you out there this Wednesday!!! Live compositions and improvisation - Electronic/Synth textures and percussion

Peace, andre'

From André Cholmondeley's newsletter:

Don Preston on tour

21 April 2006

Friday 21 April 2006 22:15-23:30 (Radio 3)

Mark Russell and Robert Sandall introduce a session by the Akashic Ensemble, an improvising electronics trio led by Los Angeles-based keyboard player and one-time Frank Zappa collaborator Don Preston - with Andre Cholmondeley (guitar, samples) and Cheri Jiosne (drum synth, samples).


1 hour 15 minutes



Presented by Mark Russell and Robert Sandall 
Produced by Felix Carey
Factsheet compiled by Sam Hickling 

Friday 21 April 2006, 10:15pm 

Loose Fur: Hey Chicken (2.59)
Loose Fur is a modern-day supergroup combining the talents of Wilco's Glenn Kotche (drums/percussion/vibes) and Jeff Tweedy (guitar/vocals) with Jim O'Rourke (keyboards/bass).
album: Born Again in the USA
Drag City DC309CD 

Session: Don Preston Akashic Ensemble
Don Preston has been playing since the 1950s. Early in his career he played piano for the likes of Herbie Mann, Nat King Cole and Meredith Monk. He also played double bass with Elvin Jones, and later played keyboards for John Lennon. But perhaps his most famous engagement was as a member of Frank Zappa's band The Mothers of Invention, where Don's home-made synthesisers were an integral part of the sound. On this new project, he is joined by the New Jersey duo of André Cholmondeley and Cheri Jiosne, who also perform under the name Jfk's Lsd UFO.

Don Preston Akashic Ensemble: Solo Piece (7.11)
Don Preston (piano/electronics/midi keyboard); André Cholmondeley (guitar/electronics); Cheri Jiosne (electronic percussion)
Recorded Monday 13 March 2006 at BBC Maida Vale studio 3
The Akashic Ensemble have released 2 CDs: Io Landscapes (Brain Records, 2001) and The Inner Realities of Evolution (Brain Records br016, 2003) 

The Flaming Lips: Haven't Got A Clue (3.23)
This song from the new Flaming Lips album was sent to the band in unfinished form by Greg Kurstin, who was a keyboard player in their touring outfit that went on the road with Beck. The band finished it off in the studio.
Inspiration, additional production, backing vocals and instruments by Greg Kurstin
album: At War with the Mystics
Warner Bros. 9362-49966-2 

Tarantula AD: The Century Trilogy II: Empire (6.30)
Tarantula AD are the American trio of Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans and Gregory Rogove, joined on this track by vocalist Sierra Casady, who is one half of CocoRosie.
album: Book of Sand
Kemado Records KEM 029, Tr.5 

Don Preston Akashic Ensemble: CCC (Central Crisis Community) (11.33)
Don Preston: Timelessnessingly (5.08)
Don Preston (piano/electronics/midi keyboard/solo piano on Timelessnessingly); André Cholmondeley (guitar/electronics); Cheri Jiosne (electronic percussion)
Recorded Monday 13 March 2006 at BBC Maida Vale studio 3 

John Tchicai: Lied (3.43)
This comes from one of the latest releases on Spring Heel Jack's own Treader label. It features the Afro-Danish saxophonist John Tchicai: best known for his contribution to the 1960s free jazz explosion in New York when he worked with the likes of Albert Ayler and Don Cherry, and appeared on John Coltrane's Ascension album.
John Tchicai (alto sax); John Coxon (electric guitar/piano/samples/harpsichord/cymbals/bowls); Ashley Wales (samples/trumpet/bass drum/steel bowls/percussion/bowed cymbal)
album: John Tchicai with Strings
Treader trd005 

Roots Manuva: Grown Man (3.56)
When Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva recorded his album Awfully Deep (2005) he found that he had a surplus of tracks: in all he'd come up with almost thirty. And so comes Alternately Deep, which gathers together the best of the tracks that weren't used on the previous album.
album: Alternately Deep
Big Dada BDCD089 

Don Preston Akashic Ensemble: Rhythming (8.38)
Don Preston (piano/electronics/midi keyboard/solo piano on Timelessnessingly); André Cholmondeley (guitar/electronics); Cheri Jiosne (electronic percussion)
Recorded Monday 13 March 2006 at BBC Maida Vale studio 3 

John Cooper Clarke: I Don't Want To Be Nice (3.51)
This track appears on a new CD which compiles some of the greatest records produced by legendary Mancunian record producer Martin Hannett.
album: Zero - a Martin Hannett Story 1977-1991
Big Beat CDWIKD 270  


2007 06 12



This weekend at Alvas - Saturday, June 16th, 2007 08:00 PM

Rosalie & Alva Performance Gallery
1417  W. 8th St. 
San Pedro, CA 
(800) 403-3447 


  • Don Preston - grand piano, electronics

  • Christopher Garcia - drumset, marimba and percussion

  • Anders Swanson - acoustic bass

Tickets are a $15.00 donation at the door.
Reservations are suggested, 
so please call Jewel at: (310)519-1314. 
Coffee and "dancing water" provided.

"Preston's solos reflect intellect, technical skill and a storyteller's way with a line. His playing, like his compositions, ranges across panoramas of mood and emotion, all colored with the freedom that comes from possessing remarkable facility."

"Preston not only brought his skewed piano sensibility into the creative jazz context, he lugged along a little of his zany synthesizer as well........touching on all these associations (Carla and Paul Bley, John Carter, Zappa and Cole Porter), showing what he can do twisting a standard around and delving a bit into his own compositional bag as well. Preston resides on the edge of tonality, toying with it."

"revisiting choice moments of weirdness and glory, as well as dig into original works and unlikely standards, is not to be missed. The range of program is somewhat camouflaged by the seamless interply of Preston and his cohorts.  They possess a cohesion born of fluidity that is reminiscent of Paul Bley¹s 60¹s trios, but they have their own crisp edge. It is a high common denominator for such a diverse program." 

"Preston demonstrated anew that he is one of the most consistently exciting keyboardists anywhere, he plays with an intensity and a rhythmic vitality that approached the demonic, at climactic moments smashing the keys with a forearm and elbow, as if the piano were just not instrument enough  for him"

"best known as the first synth wielding Mother of Invention - Frank Zappa's keyboardist aide de camp, to others he is an avowed New Music experimentalist, whose work in theatre, and with assorted sonic daredevils is the stuff of underground the jazz orbit Prestton's credits have included Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Buell Niedlinger, Michael Mantler, John Carter, and Bobby Bradford"

"Don is one of the pioneers in that whole area, I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for the contributions he has made and the vast amount of knowledge he has acquired in electronic music."

"the guy that really impressed me was Don Preston, I didn't know what that stuff was when I heard it on Frank Zappa's records. I said, "Man!"



Newsbulletin from Zonic Entertainment - 2010 02 08

 Last week we had some fantastic studiosessions in LA with original Mothers DON PRESTON (78) and BUNK GARDNER (77). We recorded "The Don Preston Story" as well as "The Bunk Gardner Story" - if you are familiar with the previous release "The Jimmy Carl Black Story" you know the concept.

The sessions went on very well, and both Bunk and Don were so full of interesting stories (5-6 hours each, about Zappa, the Mothers, early recordings and concerts, etc) that this is far too long to release on CD. Consequently their stories will be put directly to iTunes and other digital distributors, but with proper booklet, etc (free for album downloads). Arthur Barrow - yes, the clonemeister himself! - is editing the recordings as we speak, and they will be published asap, hopefully before June.

Don and Bunk also recorded a marvelous music session together, showing clearly that these pioneers in avant garde music, as well as audio surrealism, electronica and humour, actually play better than ever before! And their DON AND BUNK SHOW is available for booking this spring (US East coast), and summer (Europe) - highly recommendable, I can forward contact.

BUNK GARDNER and DON PRESTON - in an echo from the classical Mothers of Invention 
recording under the piano: freaks anno 2010 talking in the sax and guitar - a must for MOI fans!

Today on MySpace I have published new 19 photos from the studio sessions, including some of Don Preston's Mothers Of Invention Memorabilia - photos, postcards, posters, and even info on an unpublished audio tape of the Mothers' - in a phtoto session for LIFE magazine (the one with the babies!) app. 1967! In the blog there are also more info about the studio sessions with Don Preston and Bunk Gardner - all for your FREE Zonic Entertainment!

From these historical recording sessions, we went directly into another unforgettable recording session: new music composed and performed by TOMMY MARS - in my view the most brilliant keyboard player today, he is pure genius! This time Mars recorded new, almost orchestral music to the surrealistic story "WILLIE NICKERSON'S EGG", by yours truly. From before Tommy had already read the story, so now I only have to mix and edit the project before release. More info about this project later, but if you like "Strange News From Mars" you'll love this!

Being in LA in Arthur Barrow's lotek studio, we also made agreements about re-releases of some of Don Prestons old recordings, some of Bunk Gardner's, as well as Arthur Barrow's own - all on Zonic Entertainment. You will be kept informed.

Music Is The Best!

Sincerely yours,

Jon Larsen


Reminder - previous releases on Zonic Entertainment:

  • THE MAR VISTA PHILHARMONIC - No Forest Fire (ZEN 2005)

  • JIMMY CARL BLACK/JON LARSEN - The Jimmy Carl Black Story (ZEN 2003/2004)

  • JON LARSEN - Strange News From Mars (ZEN 2001)

Available now on iTunes and CD.


2010 10 17 - press release for "Colliding Galaxys"

Keyboard Legend Don Preston Releases New Download Only Album On Norway's Zonic Entertainment

10/15/2010 - Norway - Considered the greatest synthesizer practitioner in the world by many, original Mothers of Invention and keyboard music legend Don Preston, has released a modern masterpiece in electronic music. Now available as a download-only album from Norway's Zonic Entertainment, Don Preston's 'Colliding Galaxys' is an epic electronic tone poem, for the most part, created on classic analogue Moog synthesizers. "The new CD is about the time when the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies will collide in about 50 million years from now," explains Preston. "It is a suite in 3 parts. The music was done with a Mini Moog Voyager, a Mini Moog Classic, Roland JV 1080, Kaoss Pad, Alesis Air Synth and various samples with a Roland S-770. This music was done in the style of the electronic music of the '70s. Louis and Bebe Baron were personal friends of mine (they did the score for Forbidden Planet) and it was a thrill to see the equipment that they did the score with, remembering that this was long before synthesizers had been invented."

Don Preston was quite possibly the first person to utilize synthesizers in live performance with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Today, four decades after having built 'analog synthesizers' from scratch before most people had heard of such things, Preston is a living legend and a pioneer in music. Preston recorded and toured with Frank Zappa and the Mothers from 1966-1974 and can be heard on such classic albums as 'Absolutely Free', 'We're Only In It For The Money', 'Cruising With Ruben & the Jets', 'Uncle Meat', 'Burnt Weeny Sandwich', 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh', 'Fillmore East - June 1971', 'Just Another Band From LA', 'Waka/Jawaka', 'The Grand Wazoo' and 'Roxy & Elsewhere'. Along with Frank Zappa, Preston has worked with a number of well known music artists such as Carla Bley, The Residents, Flo & Eddie, Elvin Jones, Meredith Monk and Lou Rawls to name a few as well as scoring and recording part of the soundtrack for 'Apocalypse Now'. Preston also records and tours with former Mothers of Invention member Bunk Gardner as the Don & Bunk Show as well as Zappa alumni Napoleon Murphy Brock and Roy Estrada in the Grande Mothers Reinvented. Robert Moog, the father of the Moog synthesizer, was reportedly shocked by some of the sounds Preston was able to produce on the instrument. He even was quoted saying that Preston's solo on Zappa's "Waka/Jawaka" was the "best Moog solo ever recorded".

Now Don Preston is back with an "epic saga, a majestic 2010 space odyssey" with the release of Colliding Galaxys on Norway's Zonic Entertainment, who have also released other Zappa alumni related CDs "Last year I got a call from Jon Larsen (president of Zonic Entertainment) in Norway, who wanted to do an interview with Bunk Gardner and myself," recalls Preston. "So we went to Arthur Barrow's studio in Santa Monica and proceeded to do very long interviews which got very emotional for both Bunk and myself. We were going way back in the past and revealing things about ourselves that we had forgotten about but were triggered by other memories of that time in the Mothers. Jon, who was so kind and understanding, was very happy to have gotten such great moments on tape to take back to his record company and release this on CD also. Arthur had to go through all the recordings and edit out all the garbage. We should be doing a European tour in April 2011 with Jon's help."

Along with the upcoming Spring tour with Bunk Gardner, Don Preston is currently involved in a number of projects. "I just finished doing music for a group of plays by a group called Gunfighter Nation headed up by writer/director John Steppling," says Don. "I performed all the music live. I also just performed at the Los Angeles County Museum with Bobby Bradford and George Herms, the renowned artist. At present I am rehearsing for an upcoming two-week tour." Preston is also featured on the new ANT-BEE CD 'Electronic Church Muzik' slated for release in late 2010.

Don Preston's 'Colliding Galaxys' is available on the Zonic Entertainment label (exclusively dedicated Frank Zappa inspired music) and can be purchased at

The album is distributed by Qualiton in the US

Also available from Zonic Entertainment:




Sometimes Credited As: Don W. Preston



between 1999 and 2002, Don's website offered CDs, CDR's, books and videos for sale at "don's store":

001 - don preston - vile foamy ectoplasm
002 - the grandmothers - who could imagine
003 - don preston - hear met out
004 - don preston - music from blood diner & other films
005 - the don preston trio - transformation
006 - don preston - io landscapes
007 - don preston - songbook (book)
008 - don preston - corpus transfixum
009 - billy james - necessity is  (book)
010 - the grandmothers - denver's heartbeat presents  (video)
011 - don preston - ogo moto  (video)
012 - don preston - trans from
013 - levin / bradford / preston: asymmetrical construct
014 - don preston's akashic ensemble: tetragrammatron

Bunk Gardner (left) and Don Preston (right).
at Zappanale 2016.

picture taken by Bonnie Benefield.





  Informants to this page:

Charles Ulrich, Bryan Stone


frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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soundtracks various artists