the big nOte, january 17, 1999

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

* tomoko mukaiyama: hello pop tart
(1997, cd, nl, bvhaast cd 9801)
having won the first prize at the international gaudeamus concours in rotterdam in 1991 and the japanes muramatsu prize in 1993, tomoko mykaiyama made herself quite a name as a concert piano player. on "hello pop tart", tomoko mukaiyama plays the music of various contemporary composers. besides pieces by henry cowell, charles ives, john zorn (and others) she also performs 'introduction to little house (i used to live in)' by frank zappa. a very impressive album, and a must-have for everyone who's in to New Music.

* steve vai: flex-able leftovers
(1998, cd, au, epic 492858 2)
published in 1984 as an EP that carried leftover material from his "flex-able" album, "flex-able leftovers" has now resurfaced as a full cd. and although some of this material has been published as a bonus on the "flex-able" cd-version, this cd is a fine addition for anyone's steve vai - files: about half of the tracks are songs that haven't been published before. all from the same period. this disc will also be published in the forthcoming 10-cd steve vai box set, but i couldn't wait.

* john french: o solo drumbo
(1998, cd, jpn, disk union avan 024)
former captain beefheart drummer john french has been busy: he has toured the world giving drum clinics and concerts, and he has recorded his first solo cd. the album is produced by henry kaiser, with whom john french has worked (and recorded) before. this is not an easy album. if you want to enjoy this, you've got to be familiar with what john french has done before. a lot of the tracks are variations of songs that he once played. the titles give it away: 'abba zaba drums' or 'bat chain pullar', both beefheart classics, or 'suzanne' from the french, frith and kaiser sessions. but do remember: drums only!

* captain beefheart: the original bat chain puller
(cdrec-bootleg, cbcd514)
the 1979 beefheart album "shiny beast (bat chain puller)" was originally called "bat chain puller". the captain wasn't too satisfied with the way frank zappa had produced it, so he retitled the album and produced it himself. the above mentioned bootleg cd first appeared a bit over a year ago, containing the zappa produced sessions plus seven live from paris 1973 bonus tracks. essential listening for every beefheart fan.

* frank zappa: jones crusher
(cd-bootleg, tendolar label tdr-035)
the cd reads 'live at the felt forum on halloween 1977'. to my best knowledge this should read 'live at the palladium on halloween (oct 30) 1977', but what's in a name? fabulous concert, fine quality. (previoulsy available on boots: "zurkon musik" & "tiny nightmares")

* frank zappa: time sandwich
(cdrec-bootleg, head records)
another cd-recordable from head records. the album presents six tracks of which the first two have historical importance: live at the fillmore west in 1966 and in 1968, and of which the other four are taken from various sources, but all from the 1973 world tour. impressive to say the least.

* scott duncan & paul pennington: phonograph blues
(1997, lp, us, psychlone sound recordings)
a limited edition vinyl album, 350 copies made. all blues material: sonny boy williamson, jimmy reed, muddy waters and blind willie johnson to name a few. they also play 'mirror man' (van vliet)

peter van laarhoven (belgium)

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