Duprees Paradise 1973 (Howard Carter Music Company HCMC-016/017/018)
Disc 1 KB Hallen, Kobenhavn, Denmark, August 18, 1973: Intro, Duprees Paradise (George Duke Prelude), Duprees Paradise (Main Theme & Solos), Cosmik Debris, Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue, Kung Fu (World Premiere), Penguin In Bondage, Dog Meat, Rdnzl, Brown Shoes Dont Make It
Disc 2: Village Of The Sun, Echidnas Arf, Dont You Ever Wash That Thing?, Montana, Father Oblivion, Encore Break Medley, Son Of Mr Green Genes, King Kong, Chungas Revenge – Son Of Mr Green Genes
Disc 3 William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ, November 11, 1973, Early Show: Duprees Paradise, Pygmy-Cheepnis Preamble, Pygmy Twylyte, The Idiot Bastard Son, Cheepnis, Inca Roads Preamble Pt 1, Inca Roads Pt 2, Dickie Preamble, Dickies Such An Asshole, Encore Break, I’m The Slime, Big Swifty
I am always glad to see silver pressed Zappa material, I love his live performances especially from the mid 70’s. This release is especially exciting since I have no other versions of either of these shows. They may have been available before, but not in my collection. So this review has no point of comparison, except other shows from this tour.
August 18 1973 KB Hallen, Denmark – Disc One and Two: The Mothers of Invention music is so multi-faceted with so many instruments that much is lost with poorly recorded material. This is the sad case with this concert. This is recorded from the audience and some of the music is not clear. Bass and drums suffer the most with muddy lows. The guitars, vocals, and highs are clear and the audience is not much of a distraction. During the more complicated sections some of the sound is not all clear. The solos sound the best. I would rate overall sound Good.
The performance is Very Good. Zappa is so entertaining and his song introductions and audience interaction are typically humorous. Highlights include a very long “Dupree’s Paradise” which begins with an excellent piano introduction before stating the theme and then diving into some very jazzy jamming totaling almost twenty minutes! “Cozmik Debris” is exceptionally bluesy tonight. The next suite “Eric Dolphy”>”Kung Fu”>”Penguin in Bondage”>”Dog Meat”>”RDNZL” allows Zappa to display some of his qualities as maestro. It is during these complicated passages I feel the sound suffers the most. They are played quickly and the highlight of this suite is the “Dog Meat”. “Brown Shoes don’t make it” sounds good, but seems a little hurried. The second disc is all a highlight. The performances just get better and better. The opening trio of “Village of the Sun”>”Enchindas Arf”>”Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?” is really cool. “Enchinda’s Arf” is actually introduced as “Excentrifigul Force” and definitely includes those riffs and also includes a nice quote of “Advance Romance”. “Montana” has nice guitar as usual, and “Father Oblivion” blazes to finish the show, Fifteen Minutes of CoolJamming! The encore is also exceptional with a “Green Genes” bookending “King Kong” and a very hot guitar solo in “Chunga’s Revenge.”
November 11, 1973 William Peterson College, Wayne, NJ (Early Show)- Disc Three: The sound on this show is much better than disc one and two, but still not excellent. The separation is much clearer and the audience is almost unheard. The problem is it is almost too clean as if it has been overmastered. The sound at times is unnatural, but it really doesn’t interfere with the performance so overall I would rate the sound on this disc Very Good.
The performance I would rate as Excellent! I prefer this performance to Discs 1&2, which could just be a result of clearer sound quality. Highlights – All! “Duprees Paradise” begins with a synthesizer solo which blends into a very strange spacey jam which is interrupted by the lone vocal phrase “very interesting” then bang right into the Duprees theme. This is followed by excellent flute, drums, and bass solos. Finally Frank plays some very psychedelic guitar before the final theme. This “Dupree’s Paradise” is excellent. Next up is the medley “Pygmy Twylyte”>”Idiot Bastard Son”>”Cheepnis”. “Pygmy Twylyte” is introduced as a song about drug abuse and “Cheepnis” is introduced as a song about monster movies. There is a section of lower quality tape spliced in for a good chunk of “Cheepnis”. “Inca Roads” is introduced as a song about flying saucers and has a nasty fade out in the middle, but picks up again just in time for some excellent solos by Frank and the Mothers. The show closes with “Dickie’s such an asshole” which is introduced with Frank getting some audience participation. The highlight here is the soulful vocals of Napoleon Murphy Brock. The encore is outstanding. “I’m the Slime” which contain some of Zappa’s best lyrics jamming perfectly into “Big Swifty” a fan favorite instrumental.
The Mother of Invention at these shows are: George Duke – Keyboards; Tom Fowler – Trombone; Bruce Fowler – Bass; Ralph Humphrey – Drums; Jean Luc Ponty – Violin; Ian Underwood – Clarinet; Ruth Underwood – Vibes; Frank Zappa – Guitar. Not listed on the back, but present on 11/11/73 was Napolean Murphy Brock on vocals and saxophone.
This title is released by Howard Carter Music, which I am not familiar with. They claim it is Digitally Remastered. I do not know from what, I have no point of comparison. I assume they did the best they could with what they have. The sound is not great but very enjoyable. The performances are typical for this era Zappa – GREAT. With a slight edge on the New Jersey show. For the Zappa fan I recommend this release and hope there is more to come.
“MUSIC IS BEST” – FZ