|Birth name Ruth Komanoff|
Labels Philips Records,
Movies 200 Motels
Years active 1967–1982
Education Ithaca College
|Occupation(s) Musician, composer|
Name Ruth Underwood
|Born 23 May 1946 (age 77) (1946-05-23) |
Instruments xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, harp, piano, synthesizer
Albums Roxy & Elsewhere, Over-Nite Sensation
Similar People Ian Underwood, Tom Fowler, Bruce Fowler, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Chester Thompson
Music group The Mothers of Invention
For Ruth Underwood - Dedicated to Ruth Underwood Old cubase recording
Ruth Underwood (born Ruth Komanoff, May 23, 1946) is a retired professional musician, best known for playing Xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and other percussion instruments in Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
- For Ruth Underwood Dedicated to Ruth Underwood Old cubase recording
- The Mallets of Invention
- Biography and career
- Movie appearances
The Mallets of Invention
Biography and career
Underwood played with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention from 1967 to 1977.
Underwood began her music training in the classical tradition, studying both at Ithaca College under Warren Benson and under Saul Goodman at Juilliard. Throughout 1967, she kept a regular attendance at the Garrick Theater in New York City when Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention was the resident band, resulting in her association with Zappa beginning in December 1967.
Using both her birth name, Ruth Komanoff and her stage name, Underwood also appeared on drums with a rock group named The Hamilton Face Band during 1969, appearing on some of their recordings released by Philips Records and Bell Records. She married fellow Zappa musician Ian Underwood in May 1969. They divorced in 1986.
Underwood went on to perform in over twenty Zappa/Mothers recordings. Examples of her virtuosity can be heard on tracks including the "Rollo Interior interlude" from "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast", from the Apostrophe (') album (1974). Equally impressive work is documented on Roxy & Elsewhere (1974) and on "Inca Roads", the opening track on One Size Fits All (1975). Some glimpses of Underwood in action can be seen in the Zappa movie 200 Motels (1971), and the Dub Room Special DVD, which includes performances from the KCET Special A Token Of His Extreme. She also features in the film of the Roxy performances.
During the 1970s Underwood played sessions for a small number of other performers, most notably the band Ambrosia, Jasun Martz and jazz-keyboardist George Duke, the latter a Zappa bandmate. By some accounts (which are vague), she retired from music by about 1980, concentrating instead on her family and raising two children, both of whom are also accomplished classical musicians. However, in a 1993 interview she revealed that she played on one final session for Zappa shortly before his death from cancer in December of that year.
In 2008, she commissioned Gordon Stout to write a work for Nexus. According to an article "Gordon Stout: New work for NEXUS (2009)". Retrieved 2016-11-19. :