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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:33 am 
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One of the best ZFT releases to date.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:58 am 
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Probably my favorite version of Montana now. Ralph is killin' it on this one. The solo from Frank is badass too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:22 am 
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A wonderful release and a great series. Anything can happen. I hope they will consider even widely circulating shows here, with some of them being among Zappa's greatest performances - like Ritz 1981, Osaka 1976 etc.

The early 1973 band is so great - I realize now that they're probably the second pinnacle of Zappa's career, with the original MoI as the first and the 1978/79 band with Vinnie and Arthur as a possible contender for the third. I always thought the Roxy band was the tops, but this lineup is something else. With Ralph + Tom, Bruce and Jean-Luc in the mix, as well as Duke and both Underwoods - this band has so much musicality and groove, often mellower (in a positive sense) than the crazy Nappy-led ensembles. And then the raw power of Zappa's guitar takes it away.

Outstanding!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:38 pm 
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DC Boogie wrote:
A wonderful release and a great series. Anything can happen. I hope they will consider even widely circulating shows here, with some of them being among Zappa's greatest performances - like Ritz 1981, Osaka 1976 etc.

The early 1973 band is so great - I realize now that they're probably the second pinnacle of Zappa's career, with the original MoI as the first and the 1978/79 band with Vinnie and Arthur as a possible contender for the third. I always thought the Roxy band was the tops, but this lineup is something else. With Ralph + Tom, Bruce and Jean-Luc in the mix, as well as Duke and both Underwoods - this band has so much musicality and groove, often mellower (in a positive sense) than the crazy Nappy-led ensembles. And then the raw power of Zappa's guitar takes it away.

Outstanding!



Although FZ's percussion experiments are my favorite, I next identify with his bands with violins. JLP is the best, with Sugarcane and L. Shankar in that order.

My belief is that the violin provides soloing fluidity that allows for a kind of propulsion in the music. Of course, I like it best when it goes in unexpected directions.

It is too bad that Ponty's time with FZ was so brief. :smoke:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:24 am 
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I would have gone to any FZ concert that was accessible to me when he was alive and was only ever able to go the Adelaide leg of the 1976 tour. None the less, soon after this 72,73,74 phase, they began to be less and less appealing to me. He wrote and produced quite a bit of music after this that I really like, but the balance of his concerts became more and more like pop extravaganzas after this. The 1988 concerts would have been pretty spectacular and almost made up for this, but there wasn't a lot of new stuff. I would have loved to be able to go to one of the Yellow Shark concerts. I have a feeling that Road Tapes 2 is going to be the peak of the series for me, but I wouldn't object to being surprised.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:18 am 
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I got "Road Tapes 2" at last! SpinCDs was too slow to first ship it to my original country, then I went to Portugal and fortunately the guy there did agree to ship it for me. So I got it at my current location yesterday.

Might post something like a review soonish!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:53 pm 
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On first listen Road Tapes #2 blew me away, I had heard this band in the circulated 73 video and accompanying BTB only, here the setlist is largely different. And I think, since it was so under-released, that my initial impression was more positive then actual content.

1) JLP gets old, FAST. It makes every song eventually sound very similiar and reminds me of Zavod in 84.

2) Sal added a lot to the tone, the tours with just bruce and ian as woodwind/horn sound wimpy. Compare that to 'Elsewhere' lineup, with Nappy, Bruce, and Walt or the Beefheart lineup with Captain, Nappy, and Bruce and you might see what I mean.

3) Zappa isn't the monster player he will become.

It is still a great release, but I can see why Frank may have been a little put-off by his own group, acts that are instrumental acrobatics are a dime a dozen and this band lands squarely between flo and eddie and the nappy-led groups, so the lack of personality is especially glaring.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:45 pm 
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I disagree about this band being inconsequential. Even though JLP was very prominent, this band was very different for its time. Also, so much of this material was being premiered and worked out on the road and it is a treat to hear FZ conduct a band with this many musical options.

Saw him in '73, '75, '84 and twice in '88. Based on my experience, the '73 band I saw that April was the most inventive.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:16 pm 
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that dog breath...woah


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:58 am 
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Grimpoteuthis wrote:
On first listen Road Tapes #2 blew me away, I had heard this band in the circulated 73 video and accompanying BTB only, here the setlist is largely different. And I think, since it was so under-released, that my initial impression was more positive then actual content.

1) JLP gets old, FAST. It makes every song eventually sound very similiar and reminds me of Zavod in 84.

2) Sal added a lot to the tone, the tours with just bruce and ian as woodwind/horn sound wimpy. Compare that to 'Elsewhere' lineup, with Nappy, Bruce, and Walt or the Beefheart lineup with Captain, Nappy, and Bruce and you might see what I mean.

3) Zappa isn't the monster player he will become.

It is still a great release, but I can see why Frank may have been a little put-off by his own group, acts that are instrumental acrobatics are a dime a dozen and this band lands squarely between flo and eddie and the nappy-led groups, so the lack of personality is especially glaring.


Lack of personality? Ok then. I really disagree. This music has all kinds of personality - just doesnt have a goofy humor element like the later band in 74

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:48 am 
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Zappa and George's personality is there in spades of course, and Bruce is the Michael Jordon of trombone. But they aren't exclusive to this tour. I do like the conducting-the-band improvs, aspect of it (and am glad Zorn made a career of the same, this is a joke, relax), this is my favorite part of it because the amount he does per show is unsurpassed by any other tour except maybe the original/early moi but their chops were not comparable.

A Sal show from this tour would have been an improvement IMO as well, again, great players but as horns they were a player short. Those shows with at least 3 horns get to sound really powerful.

And tweezers, of the years you listed 73 WAS the most inventive (I am not at all saying it is my least favorite tour and I disagree with Frank when he states throughout interviews that the 88 band was his best band)

Actually depends on what 75 lineup you saw as I love the bongo/fury lineup just not the release.

BUT, if you saw the Roy (I never understood why people liked his playing) Estrada lineup then yeah 73 is way better as the loss of Tom Fowler wouldn't be rectified for several years.


My final point is this, I am the zappa-head amongst my friends, they are largely dead-heads or into the general fusion jazz scene. This is their favorite era/zappa album now. To me, they like it because it sounds like what they know, its mahavishnu-esque, its flashy, its a lot of good musicians taking solos in a turn etc. They don't tend to like later Frank because it shifts to be about Frank, about solos slots rather than lengthy improvs, it has too many vocals, its too funny. Etc... people are welcome to like and prefer whatever they prefer but I don't think being vindictive towards JLP was the reason frank barely released this catalog nor do I think its coincidence. I think he realized it's not how he would like his shows structured, he "didn't want to wait in line to take a solo" it starts to sound a bit like so and so and so and so @ Montreux (but with incredible songs) NOT like a Zappa show, which only a Zappa show can sound like.

I do miss some of the arrangements from this era as they do sound like mini-symphonies rather than doubling notes like he did more in later arrangements.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Zappa got more and more into trying to edit the perfect guitar solo as he went along. Personally I think this is cool as my by far favourite aspect of his music is his core of produced albums. The way the Son of Orange County, Inca Roads, On The Bus, etc solos fit into their respective albums is still remarkable to me. So a significant part of his concerts became about guitar solo experiment extravaganzas which he could later edit into a shape acceptable to him.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Grimpoteuthis wrote:
A Sal show from this tour would have been an improvement IMO as well


The one thing that disappoints me about this release is that its existence makes it much less likely that we'll see my personal Holy Grail show--San Diego 3/24/73, with Sal and Don Preston--released anytime soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Sal was great but they did more adventurous improvs in the August/September 73 tour. Of course, if life was as it should be there would be several shows released from 1973.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:39 pm 
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I need to find this show Shrewnews ! Yes, Don Preston! I can't really do too much early MOI as I cant take JCB and Roy Estrada's playing for too long. So I always under appreciated Don Preston... until I heard the Mothers 10 year reunion lineup Edinboro show, And Don Preston destroys the shows opening solo (Cosmik Debris) that I realized what a bummer him and frank falling out really is. He added a lot to the tone in that mini tour as did Jeff Simmons. If the recordings exist I would love a hot rats tour 'box set' (what is that, like 2 shows) or some nicely packaged doo dad. As well as a box set of the 10years of mothers tour. Third or fourth favorite lineup for me.

EDIT: I see it's not available.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Love Dupree's Paradise. He takes the guitar to another world.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Grimpoteuthis wrote:
Zappa and George's personality is there in spades of course, and Bruce is the Michael Jordon of trombone. But they aren't exclusive to this tour. I do like the conducting-the-band improvs, aspect of it (and am glad Zorn made a career of the same, this is a joke, relax), this is my favorite part of it because the amount he does per show is unsurpassed by any other tour except maybe the original/early moi but their chops were not comparable.

A Sal show from this tour would have been an improvement IMO as well, again, great players but as horns they were a player short. Those shows with at least 3 horns get to sound really powerful.

And tweezers, of the years you listed 73 WAS the most inventive (I am not at all saying it is my least favorite tour and I disagree with Frank when he states throughout interviews that the 88 band was his best band)

Actually depends on what 75 lineup you saw as I love the bongo/fury lineup just not the release.

BUT, if you saw the Roy (I never understood why people liked his playing) Estrada lineup then yeah 73 is way better as the loss of Tom Fowler wouldn't be rectified for several years.


My final point is this, I am the zappa-head amongst my friends, they are largely dead-heads or into the general fusion jazz scene. This is their favorite era/zappa album now. To me, they like it because it sounds like what they know, its mahavishnu-esque, its flashy, its a lot of good musicians taking solos in a turn etc. They don't tend to like later Frank because it shifts to be about Frank, about solos slots rather than lengthy improvs, it has too many vocals, its too funny. Etc... people are welcome to like and prefer whatever they prefer but I don't think being vindictive towards JLP was the reason frank barely released this catalog nor do I think its coincidence. I think he realized it's not how he would like his shows structured, he "didn't want to wait in line to take a solo" it starts to sound a bit like so and so and so and so @ Montreux (but with incredible songs) NOT like a Zappa show, which only a Zappa show can sound like.

I do miss some of the arrangements from this era as they do sound like mini-symphonies rather than doubling notes like he did more in later arrangements.


I saw a lineup 75 in Philly without Don. Frank was complaining about Bruce and others he thought were superficial. OSFA was the featured LP and they did a great Can't Afford No Shoes.

Thoughtful post and I agree on your main points. I am glad I didn't see him in '78. I love Sheik Yerbouti, but I really find those vamps He soloed off from City of Tiny Lites pretty boring.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:07 am 
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Quote:
My final point is this, I am the zappa-head amongst my friends, they are largely dead-heads or into the general fusion jazz scene. This is their favorite era/zappa album now. To me, they like it because it sounds like what they know, its mahavishnu-esque, its flashy, its a lot of good musicians taking solos in a turn etc. They don't tend to like later Frank because it shifts to be about Frank, about solos slots rather than lengthy improvs, it has too many vocals, its too funny. Etc... people are welcome to like and prefer whatever they prefer but I don't think being vindictive towards JLP was the reason frank barely released this catalog nor do I think its coincidence. I think he realized it's not how he would like his shows structured, he "didn't want to wait in line to take a solo" it starts to sound a bit like so and so and so and so @ Montreux (but with incredible songs) NOT like a Zappa show, which only a Zappa show can sound like.


The way I see it, "Road Tapes 2" is a great follow-up to "Imaginary Diseases" and "Wazoo", because not only does it release an ignored live band, but because it showed another aspect to Frank that you just could not get from listening to albums like "Over-Nite Sensation", "Fillmore East '71" or "Baby Snakes" soundtrack LP. A piece on Perfect Sound Forever compared listening to "Imaginary" or "Wazoo" to listening to late '70s Philip Glass Ensemble: music very much of its time, but very compelling. Or weird and wonderful. Pure music in other words. I'd also draw a parallel to the Canterbury progressive/avant groups like the Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North, Egg and Henry Cow. Music very much of its time, but stands up better today than other more mainstream progressive stuff. And of course, since George, Bruce et al also fell heavily under the influence of Miles Davis, Weather Report et al, I would say "Road Tapes 2" sits musically somewhere between the Softs/Henry Cow and electric Miles/Weather Report.

Also, I don't think the horns are too weak at all. Quite the contraire, the lineup of bass clarinet and trombone is unique to this line-up only. Whoever told Ian to bring the bass clarinet to Europe is a fucking genius!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:25 am 
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First professional-sort-of review I've seen. Albeit short, but sweetly favourable:

Frank Zappa

Road Tapes Venue 2

****1/2

The seemingly bottomless FZ archive poots forth another vintage gem: A 140-minute compilation of three 1973 Helsinki shows by the iconoclastic singer-guitarist and his crack ensemble. The set list covers the waterfront from Brown Shoes to Montana, the performances are fearsome, the wit is dry and the sound isn’t half-bad.

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/01/05/c ... cd-reviews

Edit: removed the name not belonging there really.

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Last edited by Ed Organus Maximus on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:37 am 
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Thanks, but Alex Chilton is the next artist reviewed by Darryl Sterdan, after his sentences on Zappa.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:45 pm 
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tweezers wrote:
JLP is the best, with Sugarcane and L. Shankar in that order.


It is a matter of taste my dear friend

A matter of taste Lakshminarayana takes some beating






.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:46 pm 
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Florentine Pogen wrote:
tweezers wrote:
JLP is the best, with Sugarcane and L. Shankar in that order.


It is a matter of taste my dear friend

A matter of taste Lakshminarayana takes some beating


.


My list goes in the exact opposite order. JLP is too "orgasm climaxy" for me.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Grimpoteuthis wrote:
Florentine Pogen wrote:
tweezers wrote:
JLP is the best, with Sugarcane and L. Shankar in that order.


It is a matter of taste my dear friend

A matter of taste Lakshminarayana takes some beating


.


My list goes in the exact opposite order. JLP is too "orgasm climaxy" for me.


I'd wager Frank was cringing every time JLP went into a solo. At least Frank did something different on almost every solo and former band mates have said the same thing too. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Phlakaton wrote:

I'd wager Frank was cringing every time JLP went into a solo. At least Frank did something different on almost every solo and former band mates have said the same thing too. :wink:


I have heard some band members saying they didn't like FZ's solos but he certainly did different things each time.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:06 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
Phlakaton wrote:

I'd wager Frank was cringing every time JLP went into a solo. At least Frank did something different on almost every solo and former band mates have said the same thing too. :wink:


I have heard some band members saying they didn't like FZ's solos but he certainly did different things each time.


Didn't it have something to do with how long they would go sometimes? I know Vai said he'd play for 10 mins or more sometimes. Didn't seem like he was not a fan of that but I'm sure you're right about a lot of other members. I'll take it all myself. ha.

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