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Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt CD (album) cover

SLEEP DIRT

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.61 | 171 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars The LP version of "Sleep Dirt" was the best of the three culled from the Läther set, and released without any liner notes (other portions were released as well, but they were given better packaging).

The music was all instrumental at this time, and featured a wide array of Zappa compositions, all of them great, two of them unusual (for Frank). Filthy Habits starts the album with a fine guitar solo over a very dark rhythm. Flambay and Spider Of Destiny (both written for the opera/stage show "Hunchentoot") sound like Zappa's rendition of lounge music. With piano highly featured, the music sounds as close as Frank might come to something played in a 60's singles nightclub.

Regyptian Strut is a nice fanfare style song, notable for trombonist Bruce Fowler playing an array of brass instruments. Time Is Money goes back to the loungy style. Sleep Dirt is another highlight. It features a rare, and unusually subdued guitar duet by Zappa and James "Bird Legs" Youman.

The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution makes this album a necessity (if you don't own Läther). Zappa solos throughout, in a style not heard on any other song, where he plays only chords, while Patrick O'Hearn plays impossible licks on an acoustic bass, and Terry Bozzio plays like, well, Terry Bozzio. This track is a masterpiece.

The vocals by Thana Harris, added on the CD version, give an interesting view of the "Hunchentoot" songs, but other than the historical value, they detract rather than add to the songs.

4.5 stars for the LP, 4 for the CD.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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