The Mothers of Invention
Foo Eee Records
I used to own a few of these Beat The Boots/Rhino Foo-Eee series of Zappa bootlegs, but parted with them because the sound was either putrid or simply not as entertaining as their studio album or legitimate live releases. I did hang on to this one as it's rather good and is also a spotlight on my favorite configuration of The Mothers.
And this is a good example of what rock critics used to write about the Mothers; the wacky amalgam of Classical, jazz and 50's hit parade crap. Also, it seems Zappa boots are all the rage, and I don't see this one around yet. Here's a much better review of it (from The Daily Vault) than I can muster:
But what sets this album - and, for that matter, The Mothers --apart from everything else is the mixture of music that they play onstage. From the shuffle-waltz tempo of "You Didn't Try To Call Me," Zappa leads the band into a portion of Stravinsky's"Petroushka," and instantly transforms a classical work into a catchy pop number. (Hardcore classical music fans would call this sacrilege; I call it introducing a form of music to a newaudience.) If this weren't enough, the band segues from "Petroushka" to "Bristol Stomp," then into "Baby Love"...finally into "Big Leg Emma," all without skipping a measure or leaving a noticeable seam. This, my friends, is Talent.Although, I disagree with his assessment of King Kong. I could listen to a whole album of versions of that song.
The highlight of Tis The Season To Be Jelly is an early performance of The Mothers' jazz-rock masterpiece "King Kong," including a brief description of the song from Zappa. Admittedly, "King Kong" is the type of song you must show some patience to get through, but in the end, it's well worth it, and may even open up some people's minds and ears to the world of jazz.
- You Didn't Try to Call Me
- Baby Love
- Big Leg Emma
- No Matter What You Do (Tchaikovsky's 6th)
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Hound Dog
- King Kong
- It Can't Happen Here