Zap have released their video for Air Traffic Control.
The video was produced by Emmy-nominated composer and band leader Sean McKee, who also worked for Frank Zappa’s wife Gail for several years to restore the late singer’s film archive before she died last August.
He’s rounded out by singer and guitarist Ike Willis, who appeared on a number of Zappa albums, and Grammy-nominated bassist Chip Z’Nuff.
McKee was originally commissioned to create a piece by XM radio co-founder Lee Abrams for the 20th anniversary of Zappa’s death, but later decided to make it into a “proper song.”
He says: “When I heard the news of Gail’s passing last October, I was deeply saddened. She was very kind to me, and an incredibly smart woman who pioneered the concept of artists’ retaining the rights to the master recordings.
“I decided to take the 60-second piece and finish it as a proper song, as a memorial to Gail and tribute to Frank, who was a big influence on my playing.”
He adds: “The original solo I wrote is what ends the song, and Ike takes the first guitar solo. If you close your eyes, you can see Frank and hear the lineage.
“When Frank got sick, he asked Ike to carry on his music, and while this is a new, original song, his playing and voice carries the torch for both the legacy fans as well as a new generation of listeners.”
Air Traffic Control can be purchased on iTunes.
Earlier this month, Zappa’s daughter Moon said Alex Winter wouldn’t have been her choice to direct the upcoming Zappa documentary. Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure actor Winter is behind the Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa? film, which was the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign after it raised $1.1 million against a $1m target.
Zappa’s children have been embroiled in a public family row over rights to the Zappa name and estate, with performer Dweezil forced to rebrand his stage name and forthcoming tour in the face of cease and desist orders from brother Ahmet.
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