This incarnation of the Mothers(with George Duke,Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ruth Underwood as the core)was one of the best,and this material,mostly from Los Angeles in 1973,is fantastic.The sequence of "Village of the Sun","Echidna's Arf" and "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" is truly wonderful-and remember the musicians did it all from memory,no charts.
FZ's humour,not of the cheesy sexist variety so common on his late 1970s albums,is well displayed on "Penguin in Bondage" and "Cheepnis",his contempt for Nixon(this was recorded while touring the US during the Watergate crisis)shows up on "Son of Orange County"-a good reworking of "Oh No"-and there's more musical gymnastics on "Be Bop Tango".
This band is also the band on YCDTOSA Vol.2,recorded in Helsinki in 1974.If I had to choose between them.....mmm,I'd have to go for"Roxy and Elsewhere".However,if you have the readies,try both of 'em.
There are persistent rumours that a DVD of the Roxy shows is imminent,so there may well be some more of this incarnation of the Mothers released soon.If you are a completist,there's more of the 1973-74 band on YCDTOSA
Vol 1 and 4.