Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #10

Although not an actual member of Frank Zappa‘s band, Lakshmirnarayana Shankar definitely made a mark on countless numbers of Zappa’s fans (including myself, I might add) when he first appeared on stage with Zappa in Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany on September 7th, 1978, performing “The Deathless Horsie” alongside Zappa – as well as L. Shankar’s subsequent appearances in concerts in the tours that followed. Whether it was Ponty, or Sugarcane Harris, Zappa always had an ear for the unique and innovative player – and L. Shankar was no exception.
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ZAPPATiKA! – Strictly Frankly

Everyone knows I’m always game for fresh new covers of Frank Zappa music, no matter the source, so when Zap Mcinnes of ZAPPATiKA! sent KUR an edited mix (ready for streaming) as a sort of belated Xmas present of their December 18th, 2010 performance at the QBUS Concert Hall, in Leiden, Holland, The Netherlands, where they headlined an event called The Ultimate Rock Party – along with Okham’s Razor who tackled the Stones catalog and Bald As Love, a no-hair Hendrix tribute act – performing 100% Zappa, I was thrilled to hear it.
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Women Drummers – The Black Page

Once considered a boy’s only club, more and more women are taking up the drums as an instrument of choice – such as Lucy Landymore* (above) who performs Frank Zappa’s “The Black Page Drum Solo”, as well as Heather Thomas (below) who also performs “The Black Page #1” with the Central Washington University Percussion Ensemble. It bodes very well for equality of the sexes behind the drums.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #8

For as long as I have been a Zappa/Mother‘s freak – going four decades strong and showing no evidence of slowing down – almost every fan of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention I’ve encountered has also been a fan of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. Odd, since in the 1970s Frank Zappa, himself, stated in the press that he didn’t care for the music of Jethro Tull. In a Montreal Mirror interview, Ian Anderson was asked about this:
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #6

For this week’s Sunday Big Note, I’ve got a fantastic gem of a listening session in store – a soundboard of Wishone Ash from 1976. Although short (approximately one hour in length), the sound quality is excellent, and the performance, superb.
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Mike Miller Quintet – Live At The Baked Potato, 2008

Mike Miller, known around Los Angeles as a guitarist’s guitarist, along with the rest of the Mike Miller QuintetJimmy Johnson, Chad Wackerman, Walt Fowler, and Albert Wing – performed a live set at Los Angeles’ The Baked Potato on December 26th, 2008 to promote the release of the Mike Miller Quintet CD, World Goes Round.
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Gentle Giant’s “Funny Ways” – Brussels, 1974

A little something special for all you aficionados of Gentle Giant music. “Funny Ways” is the second track from Gentle Giant‘s debut album of the same name released in 1970. Vocals were provided mostly by Phil Shulman, with Derek Shulman joining in on the verses. Christopher Nupen, a classical music film director, had invited the band to record the 1974 concert in 16mm film in a Brussels film studio for the German television station ZDF.
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Best of Zappa In Australia – 1973 Tour

In the above clip (short as it is), Frank Zappa expounds on what an Australian concert goer might expect from one of the various shows on his 1973 Australian tour. For some FZ fans, this particular ensemble is their favorite incarnation of the Mothers (right next to the Roxy band).
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #3

This week’s Sunday Big Note finds Chick Corea and Return to Forever performing at the Chateau Neuf in Oslo, Norway on the 14th of March, 1976. Return to Forever were touring to promote their sixth studio album, Romantic Warrior (the final album by this longest-lasting lineup which all tracks from today’s listening session originate). After this tour (and album) Chick Corea and Return to Forever would continue with a wholly new lineup with Stanley Clarke, producing one more studio album before disbanding.

From February 2011, Return to Forever commences a reunion world tour in Australia. The line-up, billed as Return to Forever IV, is Corea, Clarke, White, Bill Connors and Jean-Luc Ponty.

And so, without further ado, Return to Forever in Oslo, 1976:

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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #2

It would be another year – the last week of April and the early weeks of May 1973 – before the Mahavishnu Orchestra found themselves on the road opening for Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention on the tour promoting Zappa‘s Over-Nite Sensation album. Yet, as the above clip of Ruth Underwood illustrates, the Mahavishnu Orchestra had a profound effect upon Zappa and the direction which his music took.
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