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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Frank Zappa - The Sanzini Mothers a Paris

Zappa009In 1969 Zappa disbanded The Mothers (because of their musical limitations? Because of financial reasons?), and started to play with some other fellow musicians. In the August of 69 he recorded Hot Rats, in October they made an album called King Kong for Jean Luc Ponty. On the spring on 1970 FZ toured with a small band (called Hot Rats Band), the core is Ian Underwood, Max Bennett and Aynsley Dunbar, and in May they tried to bring the original Mothers back into life, by organising a really big show featuring the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta - some of the music played here was released later on 200 Motels. Unfortunately there was no recording made of this very event, because of the union.
Zappa008So the years 1970-71 are marked by Flo & Eddie - lots of people like them, some don't, some have some pros and cons about them. Albums released from this period (Fillmore East, Just Another Band from L. A.) are mostly present a special segment of these years, while Playground Psychotics - while providing some really geat music and sound - punishes us with plenty of long dialogues. The interesting thing is that these records only show us the 71 lineup, and we only have the album Chunga's Revenge from 1970, but it mostly consist of studio-recordings, not material of the touring band. The same lineup made 200 Motels, too. To make things balanced one can listen to bottlegs from the Beat The Boots series: BTB I: Freaks & Motherf*#@%Motherf*#@% Motherf*#@%! and BTB II: Tengo Na Minchia Tanta shows some great moments of this year, while BTB II: Disconnected Synapses features pieces of this very show we are about to present here.
Zappa010This is the one of the last shows of the tour, there is a video tape of this show somewhere in the world.
The show starts as usual these days with a loose improvisation - just an easy jam, a little warm up. Zappa's solo is in the main thing, but his fellow musicians are good, too: Duke's keyboard accompaniment is fine, Dunbar does a great drumming-job - a good way to start a show. Then comes Call Any Vegetable, and we're right in the middle of the show (it seems that the beginning of the song is missing). Flo & Eddie sing quite a few songs from the times of the "Original Mothers" - the reason ot this could be that in the classic times there wasn't a real good singer. Voilá! - here are the two Turtles guys, bringin the songs from the Absolutely Free times into life.
Zappa011While the band fixes the amplifiers, we get some filler material: The Sanzini Brothers. This is a kind of stage madness, Flo & Eddie making some jokes, but I have to admit I don't really get what is exactly happening. Well, at least it's funny, and fortunately doesn't last long (George Duke plays trombone). After repairing things we're right in Penis Dimension, approximately as we know it from 200 Motels. Horns sound fine.
After the theatrical part we get some music: Pound For A Brown is a good reason to play a long guitar solo - of course with a nice musical accompaniment. The song then turns into the instrumental version of Sleeping In A Jar, with an orchestration really close to the one in '69. After Porc O The Magnificent, which is some stage madness again (meanwhile: There's No Business Like Show Business; I Can't Give You Anything But Love) the first part ends with Sharleena.
Zappa012The second part starts with improvisation again, after Zappa Duke gets an opportunity to play a nice solo, which later turns into some collective musical game, that leads us into a vocal-oriented block from the old days (The Air, Dog Breath, Mother People, You Didn't Try To Call Me). And here comes the Big Monster Song of the second part: King Kong itself. It goes for more than 30 minutes!!! - it's great. After the main theme Ponty also joins, and the solos start. The first one is Duke: finally he can play long, relaxed and funky. Then comes Ponty with an endless improvisation, the band becomes more quiet behind him, Zappa joins in but the violin comes back again, and it all turns into a kind of duel with the keyboards. The next one is Ian Underwood (woodwinds, intimacy) and Aynsley Dunbar (drums). Flo & Eddie joins the game adding some fun to it, the last five minutes is collective crazyness. Soon they destroy Blue Danube and Judy Blue Eyes, quite normal. The main Kin Kong theme comes back again, and the show is over.
Zappa013They come back with Who Are The Brain Police? As an encore - and what a great encore this is! What a great cover! The tempo goes up, started with a heavy guitar-riff, Volnam and Kaylan does a great job here. Ponty plays in this, too, but the solo belongs to FZ alone. Really great song


Frank Zappa - Live at Palais Gaumont Paris 1970

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