We are all quite familiar with the acoustical duet version of “Sleep Dirt” between Frank Zappa (acoustic lead guitar) and James “Bird Legs” Youmans (acoustic rhythm guitar) on the album of the same name, recorded at the Caribou Studios in Nederland, Colorado, in December, 1974. It is one of the most beautiful compositions in Zappa’s body of work.
The other day, while organizing music tracks, I happened across several versions of “Sleep Dirt” by other artists as well as a live version by Frank Zappa from 1975 which has an eerie resonance when one listens to these later cover versions.
Listen for yourself, then decide:
Sleep Dirt – Henry Kaiser & Mike Keneally – Live at the Freight and Salvage, 2000.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Henry Kaiser – Mike Keneally.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Ed Palermo Big Band – Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, NY, 12 Dec 2007.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Ed Palermo Big Band.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Quintette Gaucher – Quintette Gaucher Play the Music of Frank Zappa, 1996.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Quintette Gaucher.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Zappatistas – Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany, 3 October 2003.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Zappatistas.mp3]
Sleep Dirt – Frank Zappa – War Memorial Gym, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 1 October 1975.
[audio:20091201 Sleep Dirt – Frank Zappa.mp3]
Everyone knows the soft spot I hold for Zappa Tribute Bands of all shapes, sizes and origins. This Finnish group of musicians performing the Zappa Tribute, “Does Doo Belong In Bop? – Frank Zappa, a Memorial Barbecue” Live at the Doo-Bop Club in Vasa, Finland, on December 11th, 2008, is no different. Quirky, humorous, eccentric – at most they bring a special zeal to Zappa’s compositions (which brought a definite smile to my own face), and at very least, another in a very long list of tribute bands despised by GZ and the Zappa Family Trust. Continue reading “Does Doo Belong In Bop? – Frank Zappa, a Memorial Barbecue”
Beginning today and continuing every two weeks until the first week of November, I bring you the following six part KUR Mix: The Son of Tweezer Glint.
The Son of Tweezer Glint is made up of proto versions of FZ and MOI songs, notable versions, alternate versions, extended versions, original versions, unique live versions, cover versions, acetates, demos, and 45’s.
The first installment of the series, “Son of Tweezer Glint – Part 1-A“, will be up for the next two weeks for your listening pleasure.
The Fowler Brothers [Tom & Bruce] got a call from a festival in Stuttgart to play a set of Zappa music. This became the Banned From Utopia. I was called at the last minute to be a guest, so I played a couple of tunes with them at the festival. We then went into the studio and recorded various Zappa tunes and originals over a five year period, and the result was the CD, So Yuh Don’t Like Modern Art.
Agreeing to the project at the last minute, the ten members of Band From Utopia formed for and headlined the 1994 festival. The concert was recorded on 32 track mobile digital and also filmed for broadcast on german television (from which the above clips, “The Illinois Enema Bandit” and “Be-Bop Tango” were recorded). This was the first time all of these musicians collectively had taken the same stage at the same time.
Update (11/05/09): Thanks to Andrew for enlightening me on the difference between the CD (that contains 15 tracks from the festival) and the DVD (which only replicates three on the CD). Thus the DVD is not a complete performance.
Perhaps it’s the French attitude towards music and musical groups, yet I find the sheer number of incarnations that the band Gong has gone through to be truly amazing. Just imagine if each member of the original Mothers of Invention decided to start their own version of the Mothers after Frank called to tell them he was breaking up the band (then you’ll get an idea).
Gong is a progressive/psychedelic rock band formed by Australian musician Daevid Allen in 1967, after Allen—then a member of Soft Machine—was denied entry to the United Kingdom because of a visa complication. Allen remained in France where he and a London-born Sorbonne professor, Gilli Smyth, established the first incarnation of the band.
While the “Classic Gong” line-up retired from regular touring in 2001, there have been one-off reunions since, most notably at the “Gong Family Unconvention” (Uncon), the first of which was held in 2004 in the Glastonbury Assembly rooms as a one day event. The 2005 Uncon was a 2-day affair featuring several Gong-related bands such as Here and Now, System 7, House of Thandoy and Kangaroo Moon. The most recent Uncon was a 3-day event held at the Melkweg in Amsterdam on 3-5 November 2006, with practically all Gong-related bands present: classic Gong, System 7, Steve Hillage Band, Hadouk, Tim Blake & Jean-Philippe Rykiel, University of Errors, Here & Now, Mother Gong, Zorch, Eat Static, Acid Mothers Gong, Slack Baba, Kangaroo Moon and many others.
As Terry Bozzio explains in his introduction to “The Black Page“, the modern trap drum set is a very young invention (it was first created in the 1700s), and little has been taught at the post-secondary or university level about it and even less actually written for it. I recall just missing the opportunity to meet Ansley Dunbar in the mid-90s when he was in town teaching a workshop in Jazz Drumming to Jazz students at a local community college (I’m still kicking myself, even now).
The following ten tracks include some of my favorite drummers, drum solos and drum oriented tracks (I’d be interested what other drummers, solos, and tracks KUR readers have as favorites):
Terry Explains – Terry Bozzio (Oosterpoort, Groningen, NL, 4 Apr 2001)
The Black Page – Terry Bozzio (Oosterpoort, Groningen, NL, 4 Apr 2001)
Electric Cheese – Mats & Morgan (The Teenage Tapes, 1998)
Uncle Meat – Kroumata Percussion Ensemble (Roots, Avantgarde & Freaks, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, 3 Feb 1996)
Awakening – Mahavishnu Orchestra (Inner Mounting Flame, 1971)
Moby Dick – Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin II, 1969)
Stratus – George Duke/Billy Cobham Band (McAlister Auditorium, New Orleans, 18 Feb 1976)
Drum Solo – The Tubes (What Do You Want From Live, 1978)
The Orange County Lumber Truck – The Grandmothers (Eating The Astoria, 1998)
Let There Be Drums – The Tubes (Wild In London, 2005)
[Note: if we are infringing on anyone’s copyright, contact KUR and we’ll remove the offending material.]
When one thinks of the ever expanding web of musicians who both directly played with Frank Zappa, then those who have then played with those musicians in turn, it’s not very surprising the enormous effect that FZ had on the musical forms and musicians with which he came into contact. Just check out my own personal sampling of Zappa alumni, along with those who have recorded and performed live with him in my mixtape, “Thursday Mix: Mothers Auxiliary”, to get your own idea.
Perhaps now that Zappanale successfully fought off the ZFT’s ill-conceived litigation, we just might see some of the names in this mixtape perform at the Zappanale in the coming years?
Click here to listen to the mixtape (Be prepared, fellow KUR-meisters, it’s a BIG one).
Note: If anyone feels we are infringing their copyright, contact us and we will remove the item in question.