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1974 11 27 St. Paul, MN  
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thebonecat
Joined: 2006-12-17
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Location: Cleveland, OH
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Post 2008-07-01 19:39   [Quote] 
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=7928

Frank's words in Tush Tush Tush are what make me love this tour: "Well, that's sort of in tune." In my mind, this is the last tour before the Zappa touring legacy starts to turn in the 'Frank Zappa and his minions' experience. After this tour, it's "what can you do for me (that is fantastic)." I don't know the exact stories on each of these band members entrance into this band, but there seems to be no terrifying George Duke audition story like say members of the late 70s groups. Take that as you want it. Be offended, agree, disagree, agree to disagree. It's just my 2 cents. Don't look too much into it.

That aside, let's get to show at hand. I might be a little biased to this show as it was my first Fall 74 show and one of the first I ever heard once I found this site. It will always be one of my most favorite shows. And while the quality of the tape is fine, I find that most of the Fall 74 SBD's tend to flatten out the sound of the band. However, I digress. Things start of as normal with the Tush Tush Tush and Nappy noodling around on his tenore sax. Frank makes the comment above and we delve into Stink-foot. All of the pre-solo guitar fills seem to be more explosive than just your normal Stink-foot fills between vocal lines. Even with the flattened out sound Frank's sound reminds of the sound on Florentine Pogen on the Dub Room Special as opposed to the heavier YCDTOSA 2 or Bathtub Man sound. These solos seem to be a bit stinkier and are longer than they were in the beginning of the tour. Birdlegs gets off by a beat towards the end of the solo, but no harm, no foul. We then move to the highlight of the show: RDNZL. By this time in the tour, it has replaced Inca Roads more or less in it's scale. The solo is in this is THE reason to get this show. Words cannot describe. Except maybe absolutely gorgeous. Frank starts off very simple, getting the most out of each note. He is very melody to start off. One could almost put lyrics to it. He quickly moves to typical-of-this-tour fast note frenzies. Nevertheless, he hasn't topped off early. Despite trying to fit more and more notes into each beat, the solo keeps soaring. He then starts trading the extreme registers until he gets to his ultimate freak-out of the solo where he just plays as fast as he can for about 8 measures. For me, this is the 10 29 78 Yo mama for this tour. While the sound of the band obviously isn't as outrageous as the band in that Yo Mama, the scale and architecture of this solo can't be beat. The interlude after the solo is almost a let down. But never fear, George never fails to impress. Frank's rhythm work is so intense that it almost covers up George’s solo. We then move to the rock around the clock version of Village of the Sun with your typical frenzied Brock solo. Echidna’s just keeps getting faster as does the head of Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing. Boy these guys can play. We think Frank is gonna start quoting Inca Roads in his solo, but it’s only 4 notes. George whips out an interesting sound for his solo. Very space boogerish. He then moves his typical electric piano sound once the vamp comes in and Chester tries here to fit in as many notes as possible during his solo. Seriously, it’s Terryster Thompzio. I love it. We go straight into one of my most favorite all time Zappa tunes: Penguin In Bondage. Shows you how Zappa can get down ‘n dirty in the strangest of ways. Frank’s solo starts off laid back but still narsty. The rest of the solo I will describe at the end of this review and ultimately showing why I love this show so much.

Things continue to segue into the T’Mershi Dog Meat Girl medley with Chester’s drum intro being much more extended. Ruth jumps in during his solo and Frank gives one of his “my god that’s cheap” type comments. After almost a 3 min drum/percussion intro we finally get into the T’mershi melody. Frank continues to push the tempo in this one as the band holds on for dear life. The band gets even lighter on its feet for the rest of the TDMG medley with Ruth shining as always. We finally get a break while the band tunes up for Dinah-Moe. Sue me for liking this tune, especially when this band plays it. I would rather hear this a hundred times before listening to teenage-wind, dumb all over, harder than your husband, etc. Ok maybe not a hundred, but you get the idea. Frank starts to delve into the history of Dinah-Moe Humm and the search of the origin of her. Just when this tune had something of true historic value, we get a cut in the tape. Probably the only time you’ll wish there wasn’t a cut in this tune. Camarillo Brillo comes tearing in with this always soothing version (keep your eyes out for The Hook).

What happens next is what they call in the business as “segue”. This time into Montana. Things proceed as normal with Frank quickly instructing the band to go into half time at the beginning of his solo. Shortly after the time switch Frank begins his patented 74 “space trilling”. I’ve never been a fan of this technique that Frank frequented on this tour. At the same time, we find ourselves in pseudo-In My Time Of Dying Zeppelin flavor during the solo. The solo still rocks despite it concluding with another pet peeve mine: the copy-my-rhythm-and-we’ll-play-it-12-times-in-a-row-together stunt. Next comes Dupree’s Paradise without the actual music of Dupree’s Paradise. We get everything in George’s opening from finger cymbals to scat drum solos. The funk starts to creep but George takes us to another dimension. We get an interesting comment by Frank by calling Ruth a “void except in conjunction with Ian.” The inspiration for Po-jama People is becoming clearer. Frank’s improve dialogue deals with Nixon, chitlans, and blood thinner before heading back to Duke. Duke quickly heads back into funk land for the rest of his solo while Brock ad libs on top. We get quite a swaggering attitude while they all look for the dog. I could describe all the landscapes that they then continue to pass through, but I suggest you listen to it yourself. The rest of the music made in this jam is quite wonderful. Brock, Ruth (yes, Ruth, on her whole setup), and Frank take their solos with Frank’s clocking in at around 10-11 minutes complete with Zoot Allures teases and everything. The show closes out with a very satisfying Oh/Son/Trouble trio with some nice ad libbing and solos from Frank.

Now, what about this show that makes the sum of the parts greater than the whole? True, there’s nothing all that special about the setlist and there’s no real one shot deals in this show. However, to me, Frank’s soloing in this show is quite unique. There’s not really conceptual continuity in his soloing, but I feel all of the solos are part of a whole. Throughout the entire show, he’s developing one story. The story passes through different stages from RDNZL to Penguin to Montana, etc. It’s like if you were to mash all of the solos from this night together, it would be one continuous developing of ideas. I always thought, if for some reason, the ZFT decided to release fall 74 show, this would be a great one. It’s complete from beginning to end, the band is obviously great, and Frank’s soloing has a unity that I don’t think you would find anywhere else in this tour or others. When I saw this page of the ‘teers website, I figured I’ll throw in a review of one of my favorite shows. I hope it wasn’t too boring and maybe if we get enough people to throw in a couple, we can continue to resurrect the Tape Reviewing Society. If anything, it can be a helpful guide for people who have limited storage space on their computers and are looking to know what shows they might want. That or just a big time killer.
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Post 2009-01-23 06:39   [Quote] 
thebonecat wrote:
In my mind, this is the last tour before the Zappa touring legacy starts to turn in the 'Frank Zappa and his minions' experience. After this tour, it's "what can you do for me (that is fantastic)."

Spring 1975 is where I'd draw the line, though the 77/78 and (of all things) 1984 bands went against the current to some extent. I think a chunk of this had to do with the amount of time the band was together - the spring 1973 band can be a little "faceless" at times, despite being largely the same group of people. Napolean added something in time for Roxy, but winter 1974 had the same "facelessness" at times. Who knows.

thebonecat wrote:
Take that as you want it. Be offended, agree, disagree, agree to disagree. It's just my 2 cents. Don't look too much into it.

I am, of course, heavily offended here. Very Happy

thebonecat wrote:
I find that most of the Fall 74 SBD's tend to flatten out the sound of the band.

Without going off on (too much of) a rant here, I believe this has more to do with the somwhat inept remastering process they went through during the original tape > CD transfer than the original sound. Compare the old "master clone" of 9/25/74 with the more recent 3rd generation, which is a lot more listenable despite being a few generations higher.

thebonecat wrote:
We then move to the highlight of the show: RDNZL.

I vaguely remember this being a good RDNZL, but now it seems I'm going to have to go back and listen to it again to make sure Wink Very Happy

thebonecat wrote:
For me, this is the 10 29 78 Yo mama for this tour.

Did I say "it seems"? Let's replace that with "definitely".

thebonecat wrote:
Echidna’s just keeps getting faster as does the head of Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing.

Oddly enough, my favorite Echidna's is the half-speed one on the 9/11 late show. It's sorta arranged similar to the album version of Pick Me I'm Clean, with a jump in tempo midway through.

thebonecat wrote:
Probably the only time you’ll wish there wasn’t a cut in this tune.

Hehe.
I actually like the Fall 1974 Dinahs, as they tended to end up in a very nice funk jam - 11/17/74 is a great example of this.

thebonecat wrote:
Next comes Dupree’s Paradise without the actual music of Dupree’s Paradise.

Reassuring to see that I'm not the only one who thinks of it like this. I guess asking a brand-new bassist to play the Dupree's vamp for 20 minutes at a time was a bit much - but then again, Frank made the poor guy play RDNZL! The "Bird Legs tape" from 11/29 Naperville is a fun - though cringe-inducing - tape, RDNZL in particular.

thebonecat wrote:
hope it wasn’t too boring and maybe if we get enough people to throw in a couple, we can continue to resurrect the Tape Reviewing Society. If anything, it can be a helpful guide for people who have limited storage space on their computers and are looking to know what shows they might want. That or just a big time killer.

Far from boring! Though it took me a while to reply, I do like seeing new blood in this joint - and here's to the resurrection Very Happy
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