Thursday, September 03, 2009

beefheart revisionismo

scored a vinyl shiny beast at doc's the other day and when i listened to it back-to-back with the dust sucker boot of '75 bat chain puller sessions, i had to conclude that the '78 release really was the better album. (i think it was the keyboard bass and trombone that put me off back when it was new.)

my toledo poetry-rock pal dan mcguire opines that "some of [trout mask replica] is good, a lot of it is crap...i like the later stuff better." i have to admit that from the evidence of youtube vids (particularly the french ones from 1980) and a lifetime of listening to audience recordings, i think don's bands got better as he went (with the exception of the '74 "tragic band" when alex st. claire led a mutiny and the captain was forced to tour with under-rehearsed hacks). then again, the original magic band boyzzz were blazing a trail, while those latter aggros (including the denny walley-moris tepper-eric feldman-robert williams lineup i saw twice in '77) were learning a method.

(was telling t. horn on our peregrinations of my 'hood yesterday that i recently realized the two musos who most represented "freedom" to me as a snotnose -- beefheart and ornette -- weren't really improvisers. _all_ of don's music was through-composed, of course, and while ornette improvises, his major achievement since shedding the constraints of bebop harmony has been devising new settings to frame his unique song.)


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