Frank Zappa & The Mothers: Little House I Used to Live In
Little House I Used to Live In
Fillmore East: June 197 (Rykodisc RCD 10167)
Frank Zappa (guitar),
Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan (vocals), Ian Underwood (winds, keyboards, vocals), Don Preston (Mini-Moog), Bob Harris (keyboards and vocals), Jim Pons (bass and vocals), Aynsley Dunbar (drums).
Composed by Frank Zappa.
Recorded: live at the Fillmore East, New York, June 1971
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
As jazz.com's editor-in-chief Ted Gioia makes clear in his review of Frank Zappa's "Peaches en Regalia," Zappa possessed real jazz sensibilities. Jazz-rock would be the music he impacted. Fusion cognoscenti always include Zappa's music in any conversation of the genre. But sometimes jazzophiles give him less credit than he deserves because he didn't appear to be taking jazz seriously. His famous quote that "jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny" probably rubbed some jazz snobs the wrong way.
The first couple of measures of "Little House I Used to Live In" sound like Return to Forever. And Return to Forever didn't even exist yet! The tune quickly becomes a blues, then a funk fusion number with some nonsense vocals thrown in. (That's the stuff the snobs didn't like.) The band kicks into a double-time jam as Zappa shows off his playing skills. Of particular interest, though not heard much on this particular tune, is Don Preston's use of the Mini-Moog keyboard synthesizer. In 1971, this was a new and rare sound. Its inclusion in Zappa's band automatically made it sound fusion-like.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky