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Frank Zappa - 'Tis The Season To Be Jelly CD (album) cover

'TIS THE SEASON TO BE JELLY

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.78 | 22 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This album is from an old bootleg that was released officially by Frank Zappa and was also included in the Beat the Boots collection I. This recording is from a live performance originally taped for TV but was aired only over the radio. The performance took place in Konserthuset, Stockholm, somewhere around 30-Sep-1967, but this date is debated. Apparently, FZ was sick with food poisoning during this performance, but since it was going to be aired, he carried on with the performance anyway. Somewhere in the middle of the performance, FZ left the stage because of his illness and the Mothers carried on without him. I'm not sure whether he came back on stage or not, but none of the shows that followed were cancelled due to his illness.

The recording quality is actually quite decent for a bootleg and considering the year. The bootleg has also been released under several different titles and with other recordings, many of these included bonus tracks. It was re-issued: as "Child's Play" with bonus tracks and a different track order, as "King Kong Ripped My Flesh", together with "Drowning Witch (Toxic Shock Part 1)" as a double CD set under the title "Thigh", and who knows how many other ways.

This is a fun and entertaining performance and shows FZ compositional prowress as he combines and flows from the Mothers original song "You Didn't Try to Call Me" to a rendition of "Petroushka" by Stravinsky to an r&b song to rock and roll without sounding choppy or disjointed. There are other instances of classical music being injected into rock music throughout the performance and you also get to hear the Mothers doing some snippets of Elvis. On side2, one of (If not "The") earliest recordings of the work "King Kong" takes up most of the side. Even this early you can hear the professionalism and seriousness of Frank Zappa and the Mothers' music. There are better versions of this composition out there, but this has a lot of historical value and it still sounds good. This flows into "It Can't Happen Here" which starts out like the version on "Freak Out!" but seems to degenerate as it continues, but this can be forgiven considering FZ's health. Anyway, not an album for first timers to listen to, not necessarily essential but it does have some historical value. I think Collectors and fans that know FZ's music would be mostly interested in this one. However, you can hear some hints of progressive experimentation on side 2, so proggers might be interested also, but make sure to explore other official Frank Zappa recordings before taking this one too seriously.

TCat | 2/5 |

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