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Frank Zappa - Finer Moments CD (album) cover

FINER MOMENTS

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.17 | 41 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a double album of mostly instrumental pieces that Frank put together back in 1972 when he was laid up after being attacked by a crazed fan. This recording was never released although many of these pieces have seen the light of day mostly under different titles. So we get music from 1967 to 1972. A lot of these appear to be improvs and I did think of Frank's "Guitar" album at times.

The first four tracks of disc one are from a gig at Royal Albert Hall in 1969. After an amusing intro with Frank discussing what was about to unfold we get "Sleazette" with Zappa soloing on his guitar while drums and organ help out. The "Mozart Piano Sonata In B Flat" is one I really do not like. Underwood plays piano while we can hear the crowd laughing at what is happening on stage. I feel like i'm missing out on not having the visuals here. "The Walking Zombie Music" is one I do like. It's dark and experimental Chamber music. "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" was recorded live in Chicago in 1971. Ian Underwood is fantastic on alto sax here just wailing away. Zappa follows him up with a long guitar solo. Good song. "You Never Know Who Your Friends Are" is short thankfully. Just not a fan. "Uncle Rhebus" ends disc one and it's almost 18 minutes long recorded live in Boston in 1969. An excellent track with plenty of horns.

Disc two begins with "Music From The Big Squeeze" which apparently was the same music that Frank won a Clio award for. Yes it was used in a Luden cough drop commercial. It's 41 seconds long and from 1967. Next up is "Enigmas 1-5" which features Zappa and Art Tripp having a duel with percussion in LA 1968. "Pumped And Waxed" is something Frank put together in his basement in 1972 when he was laid up. What we get here is a series of electronic sounds throughout. It's okay. "There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die" is very Chamber- like music and somewhat dark at times. "Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It" is from 1969 and is a little bizarre to say the least, especially the vocals. "The Subcutaneous Peril" was recorded live in New York City in 1971. Carnegie Hall to be exact. Like disc one this disc ends with a long track ( over 19 minutes). And this is a highlight for sure. Frank leads the way with some fine guitar work then it turns dark after 6 1/2 minutes before we get a prolonged drum solo. Back to the guitar after 11 minutes then the tempo picks up.

There's too many misses for me to offer up 4 stars. I think my expectations were a little too high for this one. Still if your a hard core Zappa fan, especially of his early years, then this is well worth checking out. 3.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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