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Frank Zappa


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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This CD was originally released as part of the "Beat The Boots, Vol. 2" boxed set, where Frank Zappa took some of the vast number of bootleg albums of his concerts, copied them as is without much cleanup, and released them on his own label, at a reasonable price.

The reason one might want to own bootlegs of Zappa's work is because Frank and the band were known to rearrange the songs frequently, and add all sorts of various improvisations, jokes and sounds, which Frank called "eyebrows", making many performances unique.

This album has value first for historical reasons. While there are some recordings of the Mothers group that included Flo and Eddie, this is one of the few that also had violinist Jean- Luc Ponty in the lineup.

The sound quality is fair. While the audio is somewhat low fidelity, at least you can hear most of what each musician is playing throughout the album. And there is very little crown noise during the songs, something that makes many bootleg albums an irritation.

The reasons for a Zaapaphile to get this album are:

Penis Dimension - the track begins with an impromptu performance of The Sanzini Brothers, which the group often added during technical problems. Also, the piece includes alternate lyrics for Bwana Dik.

Dog Breath/Mother People - a rare pairing of the two songs, including Flo & Eddie singing the once censored verse in Mother People.

King Kong - a half hour extended jam, that tends to meander toward the end, but features a very nice solo by Ponty.

Report this review (#338034)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Here is another bootleg recording of an early Zappa concert that was made official by FZ in order to discourage people from buying the bootleg copy. The album is available as part of the "Beat the Boots, Vol. 2" but was also later made available on it's own. FZ did not enhance these recordings much if at all, so they retain their questionable bootleg quality. The concert featured on this disc is entirely from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France, on December 15 1970.

This particular recording is not very good, though the show itself is not bad if you are a fan of the Flo and Eddie years, which I am not. I find their vocals and hijinx annoying. To me it's because of their delivery, not because of the material, that doesn't bother me. However, for those who are fans of that period of time in FZ's chronology, there might be some special things on this recording that you would be interested in. As a FZ fan, I can find other recordings that have a much better quality of recording, so I don't recommend this except for completionists. I am one of those, but I don't listen to this recording much because there are better ones, I just like the idea that it's in my collection, if you know what I mean.

Now the version of King Kong on this one is very good, but again the quality of the sound is not so good. And again, there are other great live recordings of this song. King Kong is a jazz piece with a lot of improvisation and solos, and this version as with all versions of the piece is unique. The biggest and most attractive feature of this version is it is one of the few recordings of Jean Luc Ponty (who is one of the most outstanding jazz violinists in the world) performing with the Flo and Eddie team and his solo, as usual, is amazing. But I just can't get over the poor sound on this album, so I have to stick with a 1 star on this one. There are better live versions of all of these songs on other live albums.

Report this review (#1328496)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2014 | Review Permalink

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