Friday, May 27, 2016

Zappa's Road Tapes #3 on Spotify now

Today is the official release date of Road Tapes venue #3, and the music is also available through Spotify and Apple Music. 
In fact all three volumes in the series can be streamed through Spotify now.
This one, like the previous ones, is a 2 CD set. We get one show per disc. Yes, there were two shows that evening at Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
We expected to be a bit tired to hear yet another recording of the Flo & Eddie band, BUT this is actually surprisingly interesting. The later releases of the Flo & Eddie band have actually featured the 1971 line up. This is with the 1970 band at an early stage. That means we get to hear George Duke on keyboards and Jeff Simmons on bass.
Although the band had not been together for more than maybe two months they had managed to rehearse a rather big repertoire: two different shows with around a dozen songs each. No more than three songs are played twice.

At this time Zappa chose to play many songs that were already released, which wasn't the case when the old Mothers of Invention were around. Here we get several songs from Uncle Meat as well as We're Only In It For The Money. Actually, all of them do not sound that great, Mark and Howie's harmonies does not always match and on other places the p.a. system eats it,

There seem to be two sound sources: the better of them is probably a multi track recording (the ol' four track?). where they have set up several microphones on the stage. Quite a lot of stereo effect. It is not our impression that this is a line recording.
There must have been some recording problems during the 1st show since the other source cuts in here and there. And the second source sounds like an audience recording.
Now, if you put on a pair of decent ear phones you will hear a strange thing. During the "audience recording source" there is a leakage of (orchestral ?) music of unknown origin. We first assumed that there was another event going on in the venue and that the sound leaked through, but after listening again we think it is from the tape. The tape used must have been a badly erased one, so the earlier recording remained on the tape to some degree. Something like that. A little disturbing.

Overall this is actually quite a gem. The highlights are the instrumental pieces, the epic version of Chunga's Revenge that ends the 2nd show for instance.
And you hard core fans are probably very curious to find out how the track The Nancy & Mary Music was pieced together. It was recorded during these shows and released on the Chunga's Revenge album.

Listen to Road Tapes #3 here.

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