Exposé Online banner

Ossi Duri — L'Ultimo dei Miei Cani
(Electromantic FRFRFRZ 87453, 2005, CD)

Ossi Duri — X
(Electromantic FRFRFRZ 87451, 2003, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

L'Ultimo dei Miei Cani Cover artX Cover art

Ten years after his death – that’s what this “X” marks – one sees little decline in the interest in and dedication towards the music of Frank Zappa. The “X” also represents the tenth anniversary of Ossi Duri, an Italian band that has made something of a career of performing Zappa’s work in concert. This live album offers six pieces by Zappa, mixed in with five originals by the band. The blend isn’t always seamless, but the results are engaging enough. There’s some sizeable terrain between pieces like “Take Your Clothes off When You Dance” and “Florentine Goose.” Plainly trying to be more than a “tribute” album, X winds up in its own odd category. In the absence of that 60s social milieu – and missing the blatant sarcasm that Zappa managed to point at everything, including the music business – the bite of social satire that made so much of the early Mothers of Invention pieces so memorable is here felt more like some sort of nostalgia. Context aside, the compositional challenges Zappa offers both performer and listener leave a few big questions about performance once removed from the studio. Ossi Duri’s answer seems a practical one. By basing their performance on more guitar-centric arrangements X manages to offer some fine playing and some wit, along with somewhat self-consciously dispatched collage and spoken word passages sprinkled here and there – less gleefully perhaps than they ought to be. Like the following CD, the group eschews many subtleties of the music in exchange for force and seem to align their aesthetic behind the “Art is not a mirror, it is a hammer” banner. So, a few years on we are not so surprised to find the all-original L’Ultimo dei Miei Cani to be a big, brash, and brassy sounding line-up that sets a hectic and often heavy-handed pace. The music slams and bangs its way along without any pretense to finesse. The great slabs of melody and chunks of rhythm blow by with the sole interest of colliding, violently at times. While the traces of Zappa’s influence are found throughout, the record as a whole starts to tilt more and more to that sort of biggish-band Chicago-style sound. The pieces here are generally shorter, with emphasis on arrangements in favor of the fine points of composition and pretty well non-stop overtness: loud, up front, and unapologetic. The name of the band, after all, translates as the sort of people you’d imagine hanging out with Willie the Pimp: “Tough Guys.” No kidding!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Ossi Duri, Frank Zappa

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Minimum Vital - La Source – On this, their fourth outing in nine years, les frères Payssan and company continue moving boldly into new territory, while retaining the essence of the sound that makes them unique among...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues