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Jonas
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16 reviews/ratings
FRANK ZAPPA - One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Sheik Yerbouti Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Sleep Dirt Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
SOT - King Of Saltz Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - The Power To Believe Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
SOT - Redwings Nest Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Zappa in New York Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Zoot Allures Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
PANDORA SNAIL - War And Peace Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Studio Tan Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
SECRET OYSTER - Secret Oyster Fusion | review permalink
WEATHER REPORT - Domino Theory Fusion | review permalink
WEATHER REPORT - This Is This Fusion | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Orchestral Favorites Third Stream | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Joe's Corsage Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Francesco Zappa Third Stream | review permalink

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Jazz Related Rock 11 4.14
2 Fusion 3 3.17
3 Third Stream 2 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Corsage

Live album · 2004 · Jazz Related Rock
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"Joe's Corsage" is a full-length album release by US avant garde rock act Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention. The album was released through Vaulternative Records in May 2004. "Joe's Corsage" features archive material recorded in 1964-1965. Some or probably most of it while the band were still called The Soul Giants. The album was compiled by archivist Joe Travers. Most of the material are demo recordings of tracks that in their final form would appear on the band´s debut album "Freak Out! (1966)", but also a few tracks that would appear on "Absolutely Free (1967)" and "We're Only In It For The Money (1968)". In addition to the demos there are also a couple of live cover tracks by Righteous Brothers and Marvin Gaye. There are also a couple of interludes on the album where Frank Zappa speaks of the origins of the band and his influences, taken from interviews from the sixties.

If you are already familiar with the early material by the band and the doo woop/r´n´b style of tracks like "Anyway the Wind Blows" and "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder" you pretty much know what to expect from "Joe's Corsage". The versions on this album vary from the ones that ended up on the studio albums, but for the most part the tracks aren´t terribly different from the studio versions. A track like "I'm So Happy I Could Cry", which ended up being titled "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" on "We're Only In It For The Money (1968)" featuring a new set of lyrics, is one of the tracks that sound a bit different from the studio version, but otherwise I think there are little here that´ll be of interest to anyone but the most hardcore collectors. Still the recordings are of good quality with a, for the time, remarkably good sound production and of course there´s nothing wrong with the quality of the material either, so a 3 star (60%) rating is fair.

FRANK ZAPPA Orchestral Favorites

Album · 1979 · Third Stream
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"Orchestral Favorites" is a live album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through DiscReet Records in May 1979. It´s the successor to "Sheik Yerbouti" from March 1979. All material featured on "Orchestral Favorites", was originally meant to be featured on the shelved "Läther" box-set, but ended up being released as one of four individual album releases, instead of the collective work that would have been the "Läther" box-set.

The 5 tracks featured on "Orchestral Favorites" were recorded during three sessons on the 17th-19th of September 1975, at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus with conductor Michael Zearott and the 37-piece Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. The first two sessions were recorded as concerts with an audience, while the last session was done without an audience. Zappa spliced the best parts from the three sessions together and added an overdub guitar solo on "Duke of Prunes". It´s a combined classical orchestra and rock group performance, so in addition to the classical music instruments like violin, oboe, and clarinet, the music also features regular rock music instrumentation of guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums. The music is fully instrumental.

The melodic, dynamic, and symphonic "Strictly Genteel" opens the album. An early version of this composition with vocals was included on the "200 Motels" (1971) film and soundtrack. Themes from "200 Motels" (1971) are also used on the closing track "Bogus Pomp". "Pedro's Dowry" and "Naval Aviation in Art" are avant garde tinged classical music pieces, showing Zappa´s more experimental side. "Duke of Prunes", which was originally featured on "Absolutely Free" (1967), is featured here in a re-arranged classical orchestra/rock group version. The above mentioned overdubbed guitar solo is pretty intense, featuring an almost constant near feedback noisy approach.

While "Orchestral Favorites" certainly features a couple of intriguing moments, it´s arguably the least interesting release culled from the shelved "Läther" material. According to Zappa he spend around $200,000 on this project, and honestly I can´t say I think those money was well spend. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong though as there are enough great elements to warrant that rating.

FRANK ZAPPA Sheik Yerbouti

Live album · 1979 · Jazz Related Rock
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"Sheik Yerbouti" is an album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was originally released in March 1979 as a double vinyl release through Zappa Records. It was the first release on Zappa´s own label after his acrimonious split with manager and business partner Herb Cohen in May 1976, which meant the end of their co-owned DiscReet Records and a host of lawsuits and disagreements over the remaining part of their distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records. "Sheik Yerbouti" bridges the gap between the two last (out of four) individual albums that Warner Bros. Records released featuring material which was originally meant to be released on the four-LP box set Läther. A box set which was shelved and split into four albums and released by Warner Bros. Records without Zappa´s full consent. The two albums bookending "Sheik Yerbouti" are "Sleep Dirt" from January 1979 and "Orchestral Favorites" from May 1979.

"Sheik Yerbouti" ended up being Zappa´s most commercially successful release and it laid the foundation for the mainstream success (well...relative mainstream success) he had in the 80s. Most of the basic tracks were recorded during 1977/1978 live performances and later spliced with studio overdubs. In typical Zappa fashion it´s most of the time impossible to hear where the live tracks and the studio overdubs start and end. What you´ll experience as a listener is just a very well produced album, featuring an organic, professional, and detailed sound production, helping the material shine like the best quality productions always do.

"Sheik Yerbouti" is loved by many but loathed by just as many as a consequence of the sexually explicit lyrics (although some of them are hidden behind secret words and descriptions) and lyrical topics poking fun at union workers, disco, a certain type of Jewish women, egotism...etc. "Jewish Princess" is considered particularly controversial and even some interpret it as anti-semitic. Zappa refused to apologies though and maintained that he just described a certain type of women that he had observed. "Bobby Brown" is another song which is often considered controversial because of the sexually explicit lyrics which includes stereotyping of lesbians, golden showers, rape, and anal sex. It´s all done with a gleam in the eye and the great social satirical angle that Zappa was known for.

"Sheik Yerbouti" is overall a very eclectic release featuring pop/mainstream oriented songs, which could have been played on commercial radio (and were in some countries), if it wasn´t for the explicit lyrics, rock songs, progressive rock songs, avant garde pieces, jazz/fusion, punk, and silly spoken word dialogue from the band members. Featuring no less than 18 tracks and a total playing time of 71:40 minutes, there are a lot of material and minutes for Zappa to guide us through the many different sounds and styles of "Sheik Yerbouti". The vocal part of the album deserves a special mention. It´s primarily Zappa himself and drummer Terry Bozzio who sing the lead vocal parts on the album, but Napoleon Murphy Brock is credited for singing lead vocals on "Wild Love" (along with Tommy Mars) and Adrian Belew sings the lead vocals on "Jones Crusher" and "City of Tiny Lites" (as well as performing the Bob Dylan impersonation on "Flakes"). Bassist Patrick O'Hearn is also credited for performing some lead vocalst. Naturally with that many lead vocalists and a host of backing vocalists, the vocal part of the album is equally as eclectic in nature as the instrumental part of the material.

It would be wrong to call any Frank Zappa related release an easy listen or mainstream oriented, but parts of "Sheik Yerbouti" are probably the closest you´ll get to that with Zappa. However the eclectic nature of the album ensures that the listener is constantly kept on his/her toes and challenged by the clever compositions and high level musical performances. Are some of the lyrics offensive or in bad taste? I guess it depends on the ears that hear and the morale and political/social values of the listener. Personally I find the lyrics quite brilliant, and in my opinion even the most silly and borderline mean lyrics should be understood as social commentary rather than hateful rantings. Upon conclusion "Sheik Yerbouti" is one of the essential albums in Zappa´s discography, and especially essential if you´re looking for his most accessible comedic/satirical releases. A 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

FRANK ZAPPA Sleep Dirt

Album · 1979 · Jazz Related Rock
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"Sleep Dirt" is an album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through DiscReet Records in January 1979. It´s the successor to "Studio Tan" from September 1978. All material from "Sleep Dirt", was originally meant to be featured on the shelved "Läther" box-set. The original version of "Sleep Dirt" is entirely instrumental. Some of the tracks were initially written in 1972, and imagined with vocals, for a shelved stage musical titled "Hunchentoot". In 1982 Zappa opted to hire female vocalist Thana Harris to add vocals to "Flambay", "Spider of Destiny", and "Time is Money". He also made Chad Wackermann overdub drums on "Flambay", "Spider of Destiny", and "Regyptian Strut". The 1991 CD reissue of "Sleep Dirt" features these changes, which makes the 1979 original vinyl version and the 1991 CD reissue version of the album very different listening experiences. All original instrumental tracks were recorded between 1974 and 1976.

"Sleep Dirt" opens with one of the most intense, dark, and almost sinister sounding instrumentals in Zappa´s discography in "Filthy Habits". It´s an instant album highlight. "Flambay", "Spider of Destiny", "Regyptian Strut", and "Time is Money" follow, and it´s easy to hear that these clever, tightly arranged, and classical music influenced rock could have appeared as part of a stage musical. They are dramatic, theatrical pieces of music, with the occasional more fusion influenced touch. Having listened to the original versions without vocals, I personally have a hard time appreciating the versions featuring the added vocal parts, and the overdubbed drums are completely unnessary too (to the point where they lessen the listening experience), so my recommendation is to listen to the original instrumental versions. "Sleep Dirt" is completed by the beautiful acoustic guitar duo title track and the impressive 13:20 minutes long jazz/fusion instrumental "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution".

While "Sleep Dirt" may not have been released exactly how Zappa originally planned, this is the album release which ended up being presented to the fans, and as it is (the original instrumental version), it´s through and through a high quality release, featuring a powerful, detailed, and organic sounding production, high level musical performances, and intriguing songwriting. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

FRANK ZAPPA Studio Tan

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Studio Tan" is an album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through DiscReet Records in September 1978. It´s the successor to "Zappa in New York" from March 1978. All material from "Studio Tan", was originally meant to be featured on the shelved "Läther" box-set. As Warner Bros. Records still insisted that Zappa owed them four albums, and Zappa refused to comply with their demands, the label decided to pick material from "Läther" (the master tapes were in the label´s possession) and release the material on individual album releases. Most of the tracks on "Zappa in New York (1978)" were also culled from the "Läther" master tapes, and "Studio Tan" was the second release where the same method was used. So "Studio Tan" was released without the consent of the artist, and was even given a cover artwork completely different from anything else in Zappa´s discography, except for the next couple of releases, which were released under similar circumstances.

Most of the material on "Studio Tan" were recorded at various sessions between 1974 and 1976, but some of the recordings were done as far back as 1969. "Studio Tan" features four tracks. The 20 minutes long classical rock piece with cartoonish lyrics and vocals "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" (originally only titled "Greggery Peccary", the "feel good" fast paced rock song "Lemme Take You to the Beach" (originally titled "Let Me Take You to the Beach"), which features a strong Beach Boys influence (although it´s delivered in a pretty over-the-top cartoonish fashion), and the two relatively long (around 8 minutes long) instrumentals "Revised Music for Guitar & Low-Budget Orchestra" and "RDNZL" (Originally titled "REDUNZL").

"The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" is a bit of a gem in Zappa´s discography, although the lyrics (which feature many conceptual continuety references) and the cartoonish "mouse" voice vocals are pretty silly (but silly in a good way). The music on the long track is a combination of avant garde classical music and assorted rock styles, and it must have been a major task stitching together the multi-part composition. "Lemme Take You to the Beach" is another highlight on "Studio Tan". It´s a unique track in Zappa´s discography, although the late 50s/early 60s pop/rock music influence isn´t new in Zappa´s music, it´s however done different here than what is usually heard from Zappa. "Revised Music for Guitar & Low-Budget Orchestra" is a decent quality instrumental, but not a track which makes my blood boil, and I must say that earlier live versions of "RDNZL" are more interesting than this studio version (the song was played a lot by the 1973/1974 band).

Upon conclusion "Studio Tan" features two rather unusual tracks and two tracks which are a little more in sync with other contemporary releases by Zappa. Ultimately it´s the two former which are the most interesting tracks on the album, but all material are of a high quality. So while "Studio Tan" wasn´t originally released the way Zappa had intended it´s still an intriguing, unique, and adventurous album. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Does Zeuhl belong in JMA?
    As I wrote it was just an example of how a non-jazz tag could work if it is deemed that some releases in an artist´s discography are not "jazz" enough. As such I´m not commenting on Magma or Zeuhl. It´s not exactly my area of expertice.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Does Zeuhl belong in JMA?
    [QUOTE=Sean Trane][QUOTE=UMUR] On MMA we have a non-metal tag option, which means that the release can´t be reviewed. If you have a similar option here on JMA, maybe you can tag the first couple of Magma releases with the jazz-related rock tag and apply the non-jazz tag to the rest. ...ah the beauty of individual release tagging. [/QUOTE]   I personally feel that there is enough jazz on all Magma albums that they should be reviewed.    [/QUOTE]  I don´t know which releases should be tagged non-jazz and which shouldn´t (maybe you are right that non of them should be tagged non-jazz) because I´ve only listened to the first couple of albums at this point. It was just an example of how things could work.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Does Zeuhl belong in JMA?
    On MMA we have a non-metal tag option, which means that the release can´t be reviewed. If you have a similar option here on JMA, maybe you can tag the first couple of Magma releases with the jazz-related rock tag and apply the non-jazz tag to the rest....ah the beauty of individual release tagging.

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