Back on Friday, March 28th, 2008 I published the post, Live Albums — Dead or Alive? in which I listed many of my favourite live albums: Zappa In New York (1978); Super Session (1968) with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills; and Warren Zevon’s Stand In The Fire (1980/2007) just to name a few. Among them, though, was also an absolute favourite live album of mine which has long stood the test of time. That artist and album being John Mayall’s 1969 live release The Turning Point. Continue reading “Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #21”
I still recall with great fondness the day I discovered Traffic’s 1967 debut album, Mr. Fantasy and their psychedelic tour de force, “Heaven Is In Your Mind”. Unlike many psychedelic groups of the era, Traffic had the special ability to combine elements from various musical genres – progressive rock, jazz fusion, psychedelic rock, and blues – into a unique sound which would reach it’s creative zenith on their 1970 release, John Barleycorn Must Die. Continue reading “Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #15”
One of the fantastic advantages of the advent of current technologies such as YouTube and the Internet, is it allows one to compare and contrast particular songs – in this case, Frank Zappa‘s “Call Any Vegetable” – with particular groups and bands of completely different eras: FZ‘s 2nd MOI band’s vaudeville-style with that of Dweezil’s Zappa Plays Zappa. Merely just a cover? Or an improvement on the original? Zappa Plays Zappa‘s clip is from their DVD/CD released in 2006 of two shows filmed and recorded in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, respectively. While the two Vaudeville Mothers clips (the complete audio) and the edited version, both from the “Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 6 Nov 1970” show. Personally, I’ll always have a bias toward the earlier versions. Still, Napoleon Murphy Brock does one hell of a rendition. Continue reading “Call Any Vegetable – 1970 versus 2006”
I recently came into possession of an audio clip of Frank Zappa as special guest on “The Johnny Otis Show” which ran on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970. During most of hour they spun old records, yet in this clip, a live-in-the-studio performance, Ray Agee is backed by Frank Zappa and Shuggie Otis on guitars. Frank tells a little story to start, then Johnny Otis urges Shuggie to lend Frank a guitar and they launch into an impromptu blues piece. A nice bit of audio history.
Leave Me Alone – Ray Agee, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis
Another appealing aspect of Frank Zappa’s music was his ability to self mythologize what occurred in his life into his music. This is seen quite a lot in literature, but rarely in music (which, I might add, is part of Zappa’s unique genius). Zappa’s composition, “Holiday In Berlin” is an excellent example. Continue reading “Holiday In Berlin, 1970”
Let’s all climb aboard the YouTube time machine and trip back to the year 1970 at the Fillmore East where Jethro Tull is captured performing two tracks from their 1969 release, Stand Up: “A New Day Yesterday” and “For A Thousand Mothers”. Got to love the energy and enthusiasm in these videos. Well worth the trip.