links: frank zappa, captain beefheart, the residents and others

* blast: a sophisticated face
(1999, cd, us, cuneiform records rune 125)
Here's another beautiful release on te cuneiform label. Blast is a dutch band and this is their fourth album (their third with cuneiform after their self-released "Puristsirup" in 1992).The line-up makes one expect a little orchestra: two saxes, guitar, bass, percussion & vibraphone plus guests on trumpet, violin and cello, but that's the last thing you think of when you hear them play. This is something between contemporary classical music and avant-garde rock music (but who cares about the label). This is great stuff: all-instrumental compositions combining complex polyrhythmics and calm breathing spaces. This is an excellent cd; a must-have.

* simon steensland: led circus
(1999, cd, sw, ultimate audio entertainment uae disc 11)
Two years after his project with Sten Sandell ("Under Öknar", uae 6) Simon Steensland is back with a new album called "Led Circus" , his fourth release. As always, the music is difficult to describe. If you're familiar with his previous album, you know what I mean. Multi-instrumentalist Steensland makes avant-garde, progressive rock. Despite the up-tempo and almost jazzy approach, especially shown in the haunting rhythms, the general feeling stays very dark and heavy. "Led Circus" is a very impressive and rather difficult album. It invites you to multiple listenings. I like it a lot.

* pierrejean gaucher new trio: pick's dilemma
(1996, cd, fr, siesta records sta 960309)
Pierrejean Gaucher got an earlier mention in this column with his "Zappe Zappa" album, an all-Zappa material release from 1998, also on Siesta. "Pick's Dilemma" is an earlier album, and to be quite honest, in my opinion a better one. It consists mostly of Gaucher compositions and as Gaucher is a fusion guitar player, this results in a couple of interesting songs. Besides this, he also takes on a couple of better-known compositions: 'Don't you ever wash that thing', 'Inca Roads' & 'Sofa' (Frank Zappa), 'Sister Moon' (Sting) & a beautiful 'She's Leaving Home' (Lennon/McCartney). Very fine coverversions.

* links: ouvrir ici
(1999, cd, nl, vsop cd 9920972)
Links is a new project by Corrie van Binsbergen. Links is a double trio: strings (violin, viola & cello) plus electric guitar, piano & percussion; or: one classical and one improvisational trio. The ensemble premiered when Corrie van Binsbergen received the Boy Edgar (??) award somewhere earlier this year. (anyone has the date on this?) "Ouvir Ici" is their first album and it is essential listening.

* v.a.: frank you, thank!
(1999, cd, i, il popolo del blues cd 045)
"Frank You, Thank!" is the original title of a very fine italian compilation album. The various bands have names like Muffin Blues Band, If Six Was Nine, Camarilli or even Ella Guru (but also Yahozna and the Tankio Band are present) and they all play a Zappa composition. It's a bit like an italian version of the spanish "Unmatched" series. Maybe every country should have it's Zappa coverversion cd series?

* b.s.o.los enigmos: se buscan fulmontis
(1999, cd, es, virgin records / chewaka 8478872)
Includes "Dirty Love" (Zappa).

* the tea servants: the sound of the tea servants, greatest hits, vol.1
(1998, cd, es, gelmar 126 - cd z-1731-98)
Includes "Let's make the water turn black" (Zappa).

* warren cuccurullo: thanks to frank
(1996, cd5"pro, us, imago 23002)
A little promo thing for Cuccurullo's former album. Three tracks: 'Thanks to frank' (edit & album version) & 'Tardinha'. And a nice picture of Warren and Frank Zappa on the back.

* deus: sister dew
(1999, cd5", uk, island cid 750/562 107-2)
(1999, cd5", uk, island cid 750/562 111-2)

* deus: the ideal crash
(1999, cd5", uk, island cid 760/562 499-2)
I did mention a new deus album in an earlier "big nOte". ("the ideal crash"
- 1999, cd ,uk, island cid 8082/524 643-2)
Well, if you liked that one, you should also try these. In an attempt to make these cd5"s commercially attractive, each one of them includes some extra, new tracks. "sister dew" presents sessions from the 'twee meter tv sessies', an excellent dutch tv show; and 'the ideal crash' has a soulwax remix of 'everybody's weird' plus two songs taken from the british 'steve lamacq radio 1 evening session' radio show.

* mike keneally: nonkertompf
(1999, cd, us, exowax records ex 2403)
Former Zappa- and now Vai-sideman Mike Keneally's "nonkertompf" cd was originally made available through his own web-site. It was a double cd set: one music disc and one interview disc. I don't know how many copies were made of this one, but it was a limited edition. And now, Exowax records is making it available for everyone, but as a single (only the music) disc.

* frank zappa / john trubee: letters from jeepers / the rain keeps falling
(1999, 7", ger, musical tragedies efa 12604)
This blue vinyl 7" looks like a saw blade and has an ancient zappa track on side A and a John Trubee track on side B. If you're not familiar with John Trubee And The Ugly Janitors Of America, try "world of lying pigs". Also on Musical Tragedies.

* joe satriani: ceremony
(1998, cd5"pro, us, epic 4845)

* joe satriani: a train of angels
(1998, cd5"pro, us, epic 41342)
Two promos for Satchmo's "Crystal Planet" album. Different edits, nothing new.

* frank zappa: uncle penguin's brain
(cd-boot, fzub14)
5 tracks from 1978/10/02, Cambridge, USA and 7 from 1973/05/02 Passaic, USA
The first part was previously released on "The Brain"; but I can't find anything on the second part of the album. Maybe the date is wrong? And I'm convinced that I've seen it as a vinyl title as well, somewhere.

* frank zappa / mothers / beefheart: no bacon for breakfast (cd-boot, fznoba15)
= another bootleg reissue. This one has the main part of the "No Bacon For Breakfast" Volumes I & II. = 1975/04/27 Boston.

* frank zappa: what's new in loreley?
(cd-boot, fzlo16)
= the 1984 Loreley concert. Previously released as "Frank Zappa In Loreley", a double vinyl bootleg.

* guitar & bass no.66 - magazine + cd (oct 1999, mag+cd, fr)

* guitar & bass no.67 - magazine + cd
(nov 1999, mag+cd, fr)
Guitar & bass is a french magazine for the guitar & bass playing musician. The october issue had a part of Zappa's 'Hungry Freaks, Daddy" in the magazine as well as on the cd (played by O.Freche and B.Brand). The november issue featured Zappa in the section "Guitaristes Alternatifs": it shows a very Zappa-like solo on the cd played by PJL Robert, and partially transcribed in the magazine.

* tour: The Muffin Men, featuring Jimmy Carl Black the tour kicked off in Stockport (UK), october 19, and is coming to the continent real soon:
20/11 haarlem, NL
21/11 ??,NL
22/11 verviers, B
23/11 osnabrück, D
24/11 emmerich, D
25/11 köln, D
26/11 wuppertal, D
27/11 mülheim, D
28/11 oldenburg, D
30/11 hamburg, D
1/12 berling, D
2/12 belzig, D
3/12 leipzig, D
4/12 grimma, D
5/12 ilmenau, D
6/12 jena, D
8/12 halle/saale, D
9/12 singwitz/bautzen, D
10/12 weimar, D
11/12 gotha, D
13/12 münchen, D
14/12 bamberg, D
15/12 schweinfurt, D
16/12 wetzlar, D
17/12 ??, NL
18/12 delft, NL

(actually, I'm not sure that all the gigs that I placed in germany really are in germany, but, hey, if one is in your neighbourhood, you know where to go...)
and their new cd "god shave the queen" should be out. including multi-media gizmo.

- concert: I Fiamminghi (Antwerp, Belgium)
september 15, 1999
september 16, 1999
september 17, 1999
These three concerts took place a little while ago, and I was fortunate enough to attend two of them. "I Fiamminghi" is a rather famous classical ensemble (at least in belgium it is) but I never saw them perform life before. The concerts were part of the fifth edition of some small festival. The ensemble was scheduled to play Schumann, Strawinsky, John Adams, Mozart and others, but 'composer in residence' was Frank Nuyts. This meant that works by Nuyts was performed each concert (the three concerts had completely different sets) and that Nuyts' band Hardscore performed on thursday. The whole thing was broadcasted on belgian Radio 3 but don't look at me: I wasn't able to tape it. I was at the concert. Anyway, if you might be able to track down some of these broadcasts /recordings, you should try. Especially the Nuyts pieces were very good.

Beefheart's 1980 Amsterdam concert & Zappa's 1980 Rotterdam concert were recently broadcasted by Co de Kloet on dutch radio 4. Even more recent, the complete Asko concert from Amsterdam june 25, 1999 was broadcasted (entitled: Frank Zappa and the Fathers of Invention). I'm pretty sure fine recordings of these concerts will pop up real soon.

short bits:
* * * Blast (see above) will be touring early 2000 to promote their latest album "A Sophisticated Face".
* * * the Fraternity Of Man has a new album out! yes, recorded only a couple of years ago and featuring Elliot Ingber. how about that.
* * * new cd by Stackwaddy, a rerelease of both their dandelion albums (John Peel's label). so this should contain a zappa coverversion as well as a beefheart coverversion?
* * * Jempi wrote a full page article on Beefheart in the august issue of Stage.
* * * The very same issue of Stage mentions Cree Summer covering Zappa's 'dirty love' at the Torhout / Werchter festival. They talk a bit about Zappa in the interview as well. Hmmm. I don't know who Cree Summer is... but I'd sure like to hear her play 'dirty love'.
* * * the latest Belew release is called "salad days".
* * * the new (swedish) Spotnicks compilation contains 'lumpy gravy' (fz).
* * * and there's a new Zappa album coming out real soon, but I guess that's already old news for most of you.

and please note my change of snail mail address:
welstraat 6
B - 2350 vosselaar

(İpeter van laarhoven - belgium)

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