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lunes, 11 de mayo de 2015

Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart & The Mothers - Bongo Fury (1975)

Artista: Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart & The Mothers
Álbum: Bongo Fury
Año: 1975
Género: Rock / Progressive rock / Experimental / Jazz / Psychedelic rock
Duración: 40:58
Nacionalidad: EEUU

Lista de Temas:
1. Debra Kadabra
2. Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy
3. Sam With the Showing Scalp Flat Top
4. Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead
5. 200 Years Old
6. Cucamonga
7. Advance Romance
8. Man With the Woman Head
9. Muffin Man

- Frank Zappa / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards, vocals
- Bruce Fowler / trombone
- Chester Thompson / drums
- Tom Fowler / bass
- Captain Beefheart / harmonica, harp, vocals
- Terry Bozzio / drums
- Murphy Brock / saxophone, vocals
- Denny Walley / vocals, slide guitar

Ooootro aporte de Carlos, que está copando todo. Ahora con un registro en vivo entre el maestro Zappa, su banda Mothers (o al menos gran parte de ellos) y Van Vliet, mejor conocido como Captain Beefheart, quienes se unen para traernos este buen disco.

Bongo Fury es un álbum en directo (excepto 2 de las pistas) de Frank Zappa y Captain Beefheart, lanzado al mercado el 2 de octubre de 1975. Las pistas grabadas en directo fueron grabadas en mayo de 1975 en el Armadillo World Headquarters de Austin, Texas. Las dos canciones de estudio se grabaron en enero de 1975, durante las sesiones de grabación de los álbumes de Zappa One Size Fits All y Studio Tan.

Grabado principalmente en vivo en mayo de 1975 y lanzado en octubre del mismo año. Fue la única gira que Captain Beefheart realizó con el grupo y además es el último disco que tiene como integrantes a la mayoría de los Mothers. Otro punto a destacar es que es la primera participación de un tal Terry Bozzio en la banda de Zappa.

Un directo grabado en Austin, Texas, que juntaba a dos viejos amigos, Zappa y Beefheart… la banda que los acompaña son The Mothers con la incorporación de Danny Walley a la guitarra y el enorme Terry Bozzio a la batería. El resultado es un directo mágico. El boggie de ‘Debra Kadabra’ con Beefheart cantando como un loco, o ‘Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy’, que pronto se convertiría en un tema habitual de los directos de Zappa, y que tiene un ritmo contagioso. Dos temas realmente locos: ‘Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top’, que es indescriptible, y ‘Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead’. Incluye dos temas grabado en estudio, los geniales ‘200 Years Old’, un blues poderoso, y ‘Cucamonga’. ‘Advance Romance’, de nuevo en el directo de Austin, es uno de los pilares del directo, con maravillosos solos de Beefheart a la armónica, Walley a la guitarra slide, y Zappa. Y ‘Muffin’ Man’, uno de los mejores temas de Zappa, con una introducción hablada y un solo de guitarra de los que quitan el sentido.
Sebastián Ruffo

Frank Zappa me lo descubrió un amigo del instituto. Me puso un día el álbum Strictly Commercial (1995) y flipe. Viene a ser un grandes éxitos aunque con lo raro que ha sido siempre Frank Zappa, el disco sea mas un recopilatorio de grandes temas. En ese resumen de su carrera hubo un tema que me volvió loco y sigue haciéndolo cada vez que lo escucho; Muffin Man.
En octubre del 75 salía a la venta Bongo Fury (1975), un conjunto de temas parcialmente grabados¹ en los conciertos del 20 y 21 de Mayo y otra parte lo fueron en estudio en enero del mismo año. Fue el último en que participó la banda que llevaba en los setenta y con los que grabó algunos de sus mejores discos (Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe (‘), Roxy & Elsewhere o One Size Fits All, todos altamente recomendables). Comentar también que colabora Don Van Vliet, otro excéntrico como Zappa mas conocido como Capitan Beefheart.
La edición que conseguí yo de segunda mano es la que salió en 1975 en España por Reprise y prensada por Hispavox.
Muffin Man es probablemente mi favorita de Zappa y entraría perfectamente en un Top5 de los mejores solos de guitarra que haya escuchado en mi vida. Quizás fue mi perdición ver el vinilo en las estanterías de la tienda Revolver de Barcelona y fue quizás por esta canción por la que tengo el vinilo en mi colección. Zappa era un genio componiendo y seguirá siendo mi perdición cuando este entre cajas de vinilos haciendo digging.

Vamos a los comentarios en inglés, y al disco, no demos tantas vueltas.

Bongo Fury captures Captain Beefheart aka Don Van Vliet with Frank Zappa during their brief reunion for a series of shows in the spring of 1975. This album is a pastiche of both live performances -- taken from two evenings at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, TX -- and studio recordings that were almost a year-and-a-half old. This is the last album to feature the highly technical jazz fusion of Mothers of Invention, whose roots can be traced back to 1973 circa Over-Nite Sensation. The live portions are highlighted by the latest addition to the band -- frenetic percussionist extraordinaire Terry "Ted" Bozzio, who would stay with Zappa for a majority of the '70s. Most Zappa enthusiasts either love or hate Bongo Fury. Much of the disparity has to do with the lack of the extended fusion-based instrumentals that had graced their predecessors One Size Fits All and Roxy & Elsewhere as much as it does with the inclusion of Captain Beefheart. Conversely, those consumers whose passions tend toward both Zappa and Captain Beefheart consider this disc as a mutual zenith. Either way, there is a little something for every element. The album plunges directly into the ballsy rocker "Debra Kadabra." Although the track is credited solely to Zappa, the schizophrenic animation given by Van Vliet is an inspired combination of singing and spoken word -- as might be delivered by an amphetamine-drenched preacher. Zappa and the Mothers give the multi-tempo song a full-throttled workout, which is met headlong with "Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy." This track comes from Zappa's long tradition of "tales from the road" involving various encounters with female enthusiasts. The song also includes some fiery fretwork from Zappa during the waning moments. Additional stellar guitar work can be found on "Advance Romance," as the best elements of this particular band occur here. The track grooves with a force similar to that of "Florentine Pogen" from One Size Fits All and contains a memorable Napoleon Murphy Brock vocal. The song also features the most extended instrumental interaction on Bongo Fury, running at over 11 minutes. Likewise, the two Captain Beefheart penned spoken-word selections, "Sam With the Showing Scalp Flat Top" and "Man With a Woman Head," are key entries into his anthology of surrealistic prose.
Lindsay Planer

It witnesses the "Bongo Fury's Tour" in a remarkable way, but containing also some studio stuff... "Cucamonga" and "Muffin" are classic performances, instead the choir within "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy", with his usual talented guitar and such a balanced use of the trombone as well, enrich this album. Sometimes it's bizarre from the point of view of the ironical lyrics, in other circumstamces is less inspiring, but at last the output is very interesting...

Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart (aka Don Van Vliet) had been friends since their early days at Antelope Valley High School (they became friends in 1958). Beefheart's entire career can be attributed to Zappa in two ways: the first is that Zappa essentially forced Beefheart into singing, and that Zappa produced Beefheart's "masterpiece" in Trout Mask Replica. In 1975, Frank Zappa decided to start another project with his old friend in Vliet and in that feeling came the Bongo Fury tour and this album. You'd expect from a Zappa/Beefheart collaboration that they'd do something totally out there, but this album is somewhat subdued from the crazy avant-garde stylings that we know both of these artists were capable of. What you'll find here is a more blues oriented affair with many vocal introductions and bits from Beefheart and Zappa as well as a more humorous approach, perhaps more humorous than Zappa at that time. What can be seen for certain, though, is that this would be Beefheart's last great album and his last true moment in the spotlight before leaving music all together.
From the get go in Debra Kadabra you can here the bluesier influence on the sound, as it is very raw and earthbound rather than over the top like we've come to know as Zappa's style (in a way, that is). Beefheart's jagged and rough vocals never sounded better and the backing band (which consisted of members such as George Duke and Terry Bozzio) is great at the more simplistic approach to the sound. Zappa's style on this album can be seen as a strict blues player, as well, providing the basic riffs and ideas for pieces before really going off on a tangent with his guitar solos. Carolina Hardcore Ecstacy is a bit of an anthem type piece with an epic chorus and some great vocals from Beefheart as well as a superb Zappa solo in the middle. Despite this being a live album, there are two studio tracks to be found in the middle with 200 Years Old and Cucamonga (a reference to a town where Zappa lived when he was a youth). Both tracks arent bad, but there's something left to be desired with them.
Advance Romance is the epic of the album, an 11 minute piece with a rollicking instrumental section and some great (I mean GREAT) Zappa soloing on top, as well as some great rhythmic work from Bozzio and Tom Fowler (who's one of the more underrated Zappa bassists, in my opinion). I forgot to mention that there are two Beefheart written compositions on this album, the first being Sam With the Showing Scalp Flat Top, which is more like a song that could be found on Trout Mask Replica. So what you should expect is zany blues riffing that is more atonal than anything and some wild vocals on top of it. The second is the prelude to the ending of the album, Man With the Woman Head. This piece is mainly a vocal monologue from Beefheart and ranges into the territory that Beefheart is known for (and very adept at, which is totally abstract). The album ends with the best song on the album (and a Zappa classic) in Muffin Man. The toy piano and the vocal introduction by Zappa (probably one of the best introductions of this nature he ever did) are coupled perfectly with the epic solo section, which takes up most of the track itself. It ends the album on a high note, because as I said, it is the best song on the album.
In the end, the final collaboration between the two long time friends Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet would prove to be a strong effort, ranging into the repetoir and the skills of both musicians. That said, the two studio tracks are a bit of a disappointment, but they make up a small amount of the album. The rest, though, is pretty solid and fun material to listen to and if you're looking for a good mid-70s Zappa album, you can't go wrong with this one.
Robert Peña

Not sure what possessed me to buy the thing other than, liking the Zappa I had heard so far. I think if I had heard this one first, I might have passed. Got it with Selling England By The Pound. A bit of an odd couple, but maybe not so much so considering it was the first Genesis album where they snuck in some humor. Of course, as it almost always is on a typical Zappa album, Frank jam packs his albums with humor. Also, Chester Thompson is present on two songs, and he went on to do tours with Genesis.
This is not album I'd recommend to someone just beginning to explore his work. By that time I had a pretty well developed weird sense of humor, so this one didn't wind up on my shelf gathering dust. The somewhat raunchy lyrics (Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy) helped some, too, as I was pretty much your typical teenaged male. I'm not a big Captain Beefheart fan to this day, but I really the two "poems" Sam With the Showing Scalp Flat Top and Man With the Woman Head certainly cracked me up. Cucamonga is my favorite track despite it's short length.
Bottom line, Frank does a good live album and this one's no exception, though not my favorite.
Brian S. Lindsey

Great live album from mid 70-s Zappa's discography. Captain Beefheart is on vocals, and an fact this album should be named as "Zappa & Cpt. Beefheart". Musicians are great, including early keyboardist George Duke work ( plus Terry Bozzio and Chester Thompson on drums).
If you like early Zappa's works, full of black humour, freaky jokes, jazz-blues and early progressive rock - this album is for you. Even if it sounds easy accessible, regular ear will easily hear how complex the music is there! It's just a Frank's magic - he knew, how play great complex things in a easy manner!
Would you like this album, or not mostly depends on your taste. If you like early Frank's works and Cpt.Beefheart craziness, have nothing against early blues-based jazz-rock and blues rock, than you will like this work as well. Don't expect endless Frank's guitar soloing or long instrumental compositions though - search for them on other Frank's albums.
Slava Gliozeris

Since I'm not a Captain Beefheart fan, I can't compare this to other albums that he has in his discography, and I know I have a hard time listening to an entire album of him by himself, but paired with Frank Zappa during a time ( out of several) when he was doing some great output, and the great band line-up of the time, this makes for an entertaining album. Beefheart's spoken word moments here are a little strange to me, but his regular singing on this album is not to bad. There is humor aplenty on this album, though it is very off the wall, not straightforward as on Shiek Yerbouti. The guitar work on this is simply amazing and the Captain's harmonica is outstanding. For the most part, the parts all fit together nicely throughout.
The highlights here are Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy, Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plains Ahead, 200 Years Old (for the great guitar solo), Advance Romance and Muffin Man (another great guitar solo). The highlights definitely outweigh the low points of the album and it makes it easier to "open your mind" to at least a few of the Beefheart ramblings, which fortunately there are only a few here. The production here is excellent, you almost swear you are listening to a studio album all the way through. (Tracks 5 and 6 and the beginning of 9 are studio, the rest is live). Not the best place to start your exploration into Zappa, but not one to be afraid of either. All in all, this is an excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

This is a very solid rock-blues album played very well. The Captain Beefheart's voice is incredible and zappa's guitar is excellent. Maybe here you can find the best Zappa guitar solos (Muffin Man in primis, Carolina Hardcore and Advance Romance). I like this album so much because here you can find a different Zappa, more regular, solid and bluesly. I read here in this site that this aspect isn't a positive but for me yes. The last positive aspect is the line up: a mix between "old" musician (Fowler, Duke and Murphy Brock) with the new entry (Bozzio and Walley). Strange line up but, for me, very nice. If you like Zappa i recommend you this album because you can hear a different aspect about this musician, if you like the guitar you must hear Muffin Man! If you like the rock music...buy this album without dubt. Finally a good strange album.
Roberto Aceti

I was feverishly sifting through final bins of a record store that was closing store and could find no Zappa, thus I asked the owner Hey Jeff! Have ye' got any Zappa? He replied No, I had some but I think its sold out and then it happened. Another customer reached into his stack and pulled out Bongo Fury and handed it to me and said, You can buy this one, I already have it. I was very pleased and thanked him profusely, thus I bought it along with numerous other titles.
I put it on the record playing without even knowing it was a live record of a sort, however I was very pleased with the results. This is ultimately a very bluesy effort for being a Zappa and Beef heart record and I usually tend to move away from blues as it usually does not have much variation but this record sounds fresh for some reason and works very well.
I find it very very enjoyable and catchy at times, and Zappas guitar playing really is top notch as always.

Alright, I know that a Zappa/Beefheart duo could of sound more avant-garde and unique, but no, I think that they wanted to have a good time playing bluesy country set list. You'll surely enjoy the release a couple of times with his humoristic parts and weird musical passages. The highlight on here is the live version of "Muffin Man". If you're a Zappa fan, that gives you two reasons to buy the album. First, it's Captain Beefheart singing! Second, "Muffin Man" is outstanding! But those two genius did some much more interesting music in their own careers than together.

Y seguiremos con el show de Zappa, porque esto aún no terminó...

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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).