Top critical review
44 people found this helpful
approach with caution
on 7 June 2014
Here's the good news:
You get a full length (151 minute) double cd at a budget price of a zappa 1981 concert. The band features old-handers ray white, tommy mars and ed mann together with newer faces steve vai, bobby martin, scott thunes and chad wackerman. The performances are excellent and this concert was apparently voted best concert ever by readers of 'guitar player' magazine in the 1990s. Jazz guitarist al di meola guests on 2 tracks, steve vai plays a lot of electric sitar and the underrated ray white plays a couple of great solos. Zappa himself solos to perfection as you would expect.
Here's the bad news:
The sound quality is not very good, unless you're a scott thunes fan as at times the bass threatens to overwhelm the other instruments. The concert was broadcast on US radio and I would guess the cd has been compiled from tapes recorded by bootleggers. Please note these are not complete recordings - some tracks come in halfway through and there are brutal edits in others, probably where the tapes ran out. This cd is not a zappa family release but released on gold fish records, whoever they may be. The sleeve notes are perfunctory at best and even manage to omit bobby martin from the band line-up.
So to sum up, 5 stars for the music and performances and 1 star for everything else.