Frank Zappa: Finer Moments
Frank Zappa’s introduction on the newly released Finer Moments album has him promise “Zany music pieces and also some zany mothers of invention bullshit.” But these 12 performances are taken from shows Zappa and his amazing bands performed between 1967 through 1972 and are pretty fine moments indeed.
We get ole Frank Z’s trilling guitar on the instrumental “Sleazette,” Ian Underwood’s lilting speedy piano and ballet dancing (Zappa introduces dancers who get copious applause during this tune) happens across “Mozart Piano Sonata in Bb.” Then we are into the scary organ opening, guitar scratching and at times jaunty horn bleats of “The Walking Zombie Music.”
“The Old Curiosity Shoppe” sees the first real beat of any song here, again with Zappa wailing, horn screaming and drummer Ansley Dunbar in especially fine funk/rock form. The march-like, spikey “Uncle Rhebus” is here too, one of the most Zappa-like songs ever (if that makes any sense) with its great long horn jam dead center.
“Squeeze It, Squeeze it, Squeeze It” is pretty much Zappa silliness; lots of discordant horn runs and laughter. As amazing a musician/composer/guitarist as Frank Zappa was, it’s on songs like this when he loses me though, sorry to say.
“The Subcutaneous Peril” is more in keeping of the weirdness that I like from Zappa. He finds and mines some great guitar playing in front of the great drumming, plus great organ playing and that crazy jam at the end.