His initial solo album proper following on from the experimental delight which was 'Lumpy Gravy'. A conjunction with band member Ian Underwood. He and Frank play basically everything on here with Max Bennett playing some bass and session man John Guerin contributing drums on four of the tunes. Oh, and Captain Beefheart obviously. Frank and Don (Captain Beefheart) grew up with each other for a while and were each coming from similarly 'out there' perspectives. He provides the only vocals on the album on the second song 'Willie The Pimp'. A good vocal too! The track is wound up, quite actually as it goes along. Clockwork noises are heard. The guitar runs into all sorts of places and ends up filling the second half of the song. The assistance playing is superb and it's a beautiful song. So filled with melody! A blues based riff keeps it altogether and I highly recommend it! Before that we have 'Peaces En Regalia'. Around three and a half minutes long and it really is exhilaratingly ideal in every respect. If sometimes Zappa seems uncertain of how to end songs it's definitely not a problem here. Short, concise, compact and really rather brilliant. 'Son Of Mr Green Genes' expands a melody first heard on 'Uncle Meat'. It's another long guitar workout. Such strong melody all through that it's never dull or boring for a single second. This album as a whole is extremely easy on the ear actually. Without the lyrical distractions it's easier to focus on the music. Possibly a good entry point into Zappa's oeuvre.

Previously both Zappa's high-flown "serious music" and his greasy Fifties routines grew heavy-handed, however this album indicates he may be off on a new and a lot more individual path, inspired by Captain Beefheart, who is featured widely on Hot Rats and whose Trout Mask Replica set him several frontiers beyond anything we've heard from Zappa. Beefheart is one of the true originals of our day, and his raffish dadaism is a superb tonic for a Zappa quite often pre-occupied with polemics — his influence shows obviously in much of this record, whether he's actually performing or not.

The highlight of this whole album, for me at least, is the breathtaking musicianship. Of course, the guitar playing from Frank Zappa is nothing less than brilliant, but all of the session music artists are fantastic as well. The rhythm section is terrific in all of the songs, that is rare for an album mostly dominated by solos. The unforgettable melodies and riffs are the icing on the cake, and they really make for a sensational album.



1. Peaches en Regalia (3:39)
2. Willie the Pimp (9:17)
3. Son of Mr. Green Genes (9:00)
4. Little Umbrellas (3:04)
5. The Gumbo Variations (16:57)
6. It Must Be A Camel (5:16)

Total Time: 47:05


No comments :

Powered by Blogger.