Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Weasels Re-Ripped
(Cordelia Records CD062, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-09-07

Weasels Re-Ripped Cover art

Even with his tragically young death, Frank Zappa had a career that spanned many phases, from the early experiments with avant-garde doo-wop to computerized music. Lately I’ve been enjoying the early recordings a lot — the wildly creative combination of elements is very engaging. Weasels Ripped My Flesh, along with its companion Burnt Weeny Sandwich, can be regarded as the transition from the early Mothers to the more jazz and progressive early 70s material, as they were assembled from a wide variety of recordings after Zappa had disbanded the original Mothers of Invention. Given its hodge-podge origins, Weasels is an interesting candidate for a tribute, but there are a lot of creative musicians in the world who have been inspired by Zappa’s music, so it should be no surprise that the result is pretty darn good. Not that any of the contributors are well known – the only one I’ve encountered before is Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra. Other entries come from Spanner Jazz Punks, Inventionis Mater, Gumbo Variation, Jerry Outlaw & Friends, Evil Dick, Fuchsprellen, Muffin Men, and Zappatika, some of which might be ad-hoc groups thrown together just for this collection. Zappatistas is the only band I can find outside of this and other Zappa tributes on Cordelia. But no matter, the quality of performance is consistently high, and most of the tracks hit the right balance between adhering to the original and contributing something new. The odd spoken bits of the original album are replaced by similarly-toned spoken parts. In general, the music comes off as avant-jazz-rock. Unsurprisingly, “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama” (by Muffin Men) leans more to the rock side; “Oh No!” is one of the jazziest tracks, with a lovely guitar solo from John Etheridge of Zappatistas; Evil Dick’s “Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque” is a scattered electro-acoustic bit of strangeness. In other words, nothing that a fan of Zappa’s original shouldn’t be able to get into. A worthy addition to the legacy of an American original.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Frank Zappa, Various Artists, Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra (ZERO), John Etheridge, Zappatistas, Annie Whitehead

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - Recollection Harvest – I have a dilemma about this CD. The band claims it’s actually two albums: the relatively heavy Recollection Harvest and the mellower Indian Summer. On one hand, this absolves them of the...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues