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 Post subject: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:19 pm 
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In my previous post a few of you indicated that the Mother's were not as technically proficient in the early days. I believe some of this can be attributed to primitive sounding recordings. The early records were often muddy and the stereo was not very good. There were some very good players during the Uncle Meat period which was when the records started to sound better. What I liked was FZ's imaginitive use of sounds and the distortion of instruments. Dog Breath was a good example of this. In the later years the Mothers sounded too much like a studio band. The musicianship was great but I liked the raw sound of the early recordings.  

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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:58 am 
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Some of the early Mothers like Dom Preston and Ian Underwood were definitly first rate musicians, but there's no arguing with the fact that several of the others, and the rhythm section especially, were limiting. Jimmie Carl Black's drumming especially just goes tisha tisha tisha tish all the time...he could follow a beat but was pressed to do anything else. Even so, in my opinion this works to the early Mother's advantage. Zappa had to come up with melodies so strong that they surmounted the average musicianship on their own without needing flashy instrumental pyrotechnics. I don't think that it was up to chance that Zappa wrote his most critically acclaimed work with what was, superficially at least, his least skilled band.


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 Post subject: re: early mothers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:36 pm 
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early mother ad

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Last edited by slime.oofytv.set on Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:50 pm 
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Hey! That's my birthday. I was seven then. I always like it when my birthday lands on a Friday.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:16 am 
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Nice find Slime!
Let's not forget how talented Arthur Tripp was. His time with the Mother's isn't too well documented on recordings (at least official recordings). I also think that Roy Estrada was a particularly talented bass player. As far as I'm concerned it was only really Jimmy Carl Black who was quite plain. I honestly think that that is what The Mothers needed in order to carry the music off.
He could certainly count on those bizzarre tracks.

He deserves more credit and respect around here as far as I'm concerned.

Imagine how Absolutely Free would have sounded with the technology available during the UM recordings....

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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Posts: 12
Location: Dixie Riviera
thenoisydrum wrote:
Nice find Slime!
Let's not forget how talented Arthur Tripp was. His time with the Mother's isn't too well documented on recordings (at least official recordings). I also think that Roy Estrada was a particularly talented bass player. As far as I'm concerned it was only really Jimmy Carl Black who was quite plain. I honestly think that that is what The Mothers needed in order to carry the music off.
He could certainly count on those bizzarre tracks.

He deserves more credit and respect around here as far as I'm concerned.

Imagine how Absolutely Free would have sounded with the technology available during the UM recordings....

Thanks for the compliment. As you can see, I don't check this site too often... :mrgreen: My old friend JCB was a very good drummer. He had no formal training, but neither did Frank, Ray, or Roy. I learned a lot about Frank's music from watching JCB.

I believe Don and Bunk were the first musicians in the band that had conservatory training. Ian and I were the first to have had music degrees. I had played with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and also the Dayton Philharmonic. I had been working on a Masters in music at Manhattan School of Music when I'd met Dick Kunc, and then Frank.

It was almost unheard of to have conservatory musicians in rock 'n roll. The Mothers may have been the first. The great Ruth K. Underwood was of course conservatory trained at Juilliard, but she wasn't a band member until the early 70's. Later on there were lots of conservatory guys in the biz.

Art Tripp


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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:37 pm
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Location: Toronto
Just an aside, I'm not sure exactly who played on what, but I'm assuming on Absolutely Free and WOIIFTM it's Billy Mundi playing some very, very cool shit.

:P


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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:11 pm 
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A rope leash wrote:
Hey! That's my birthday. I was seven then. I always like it when my birthday lands on a Friday.



I turned 7 two days before you Rope...LOL...small world, funny place...thats about the time my cousin was going to see them in LA.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:29 am 
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Location: Centerville, Norway
gulfportdoc wrote:
thenoisydrum wrote:
Nice find Slime!
Let's not forget how talented Arthur Tripp was. His time with the Mother's isn't too well documented on recordings (at least official recordings). I also think that Roy Estrada was a particularly talented bass player. As far as I'm concerned it was only really Jimmy Carl Black who was quite plain. I honestly think that that is what The Mothers needed in order to carry the music off.
He could certainly count on those bizzarre tracks.

He deserves more credit and respect around here as far as I'm concerned.

Imagine how Absolutely Free would have sounded with the technology available during the UM recordings....

Thanks for the compliment. As you can see, I don't check this site too often... :mrgreen: My old friend JCB was a very good drummer. He had no formal training, but neither did Frank, Ray, or Roy. I learned a lot about Frank's music from watching JCB.

I believe Don and Bunk were the first musicians in the band that had conservatory training. Ian and I were the first to have had music degrees. I had played with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and also the Dayton Philharmonic. I had been working on a Masters in music at Manhattan School of Music when I'd met Dick Kunc, and then Frank.

It was almost unheard of to have conservatory musicians in rock 'n roll. The Mothers may have been the first. The great Ruth K. Underwood was of course conservatory trained at Juilliard, but she wasn't a band member until the early 70's. Later on there were lots of conservatory guys in the biz.

Art Tripp


Hi Art - what's up with the green moustache? - Kidding aside, it's really refreshing to see your views. I think there are two major false myths about the original/early Mothers, nurtured by different sections of Zappa's fan base. One misconception is what Frank used much of the YCDTOSA series to disprove - that the ancient Mothers of Invention were the only good band he ever had. The other is that the the early MoI "couldn't play". It's just as wrong, because they all added their unique contributions, be it as trained musicians like yourself, or original groovy hipsters like Jimmy Carl Black. His steady beat was as essential to their sound as the more cerebral contributions, as you say. Holiday in Berlin from BWS is just one example. And what would MoI be without characters like Jimmy and Roy, or Motorhead? They all contributed to that very special band chemistry, which couldn't happen with other bands, even if some later players had better chops than Motorhead. Frank's revolutionary idea was the mixing of high and low in one setting. To achieve that, he needed players with all kinds of skills, and the Mothers of Invention had it all, from bar band experience through jazz to conservatory training.

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 Post subject: Re: Early Mothers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:14 pm
Posts: 117
Location: nyc
ThePerfectStranger wrote:
Some of the early Mothers like Dom Preston and Ian Underwood were definitly first rate musicians, but there's no arguing with the fact that several of the others, and the rhythm section especially, were limiting. Jimmie Carl Black's drumming especially just goes tisha tisha tisha tish all the time...he could follow a beat but was pressed to do anything else. Even so, in my opinion this works to the early Mother's advantage. Zappa had to come up with melodies so strong that they surmounted the average musicianship on their own without needing flashy instrumental pyrotechnics. I don't think that it was up to chance that Zappa wrote his most critically acclaimed work with what was, superficially at least, his least skilled band.


about 8 years too late, but agreed. i love the madness and bursting from the seems creativity and freshness on the early mothers albums. uncle meat and burnt weeny are probably my favorites.

not to mention they added a certain charm by playing that way, and that with limiting factors and selective pressures, one has to find other ways to bring out the best. and you're right about the 'flashy instrumental pyrotechnics' sometimes its good to have limits in creative settings.


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