Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Dr. Dopo Jam's best, Cruisin' At Midnight from 1981 by request
I mentioned this album when discussing the related band Tequila and thereupon (or rather, some years upon) someone requested it, so here it is. Listening to it again, I can repeat that it's the best DDJ album, but that's not saying too much in my books. The other Euro-Zappa band I posted called The Locals in my opinion is better than the famed Dopo Jams, not to mention the more recent discovery, Mo's First Album, which, admittedly, belongs in a class to itself: sui generis.
Anyways back to the record. Again here we have a bizarre mixture (let's not call it a successful amalgam because it isn't) of Zappa weirdo stuff, funk, ordinary blues, a strange love of mexican mariachi, plus the most elevated and compositionally advanced classical chamber music played by a small orchestra. In particular the record is weaved together with three short passages called Concertos written by Kristian Pommer. Yet the track Mists Sits is about as fiercely original a musical composition as I've ever heard:
Again, it goes to the heart of what we mean by progressive music. There is the utter oddness of it, the successful beauty of its wild originality, its brilliant evocation of the title, the elevated quality of the composition: we can't ever find another 'rock' song that sounds like it.
What is strangest to me is the way the same composer wrote this as wrote the humble bumble "The Blue Blues" track on side a, which is neither original, funny, nor interesting as a blues song... as my wife's favoured explanation goes, they were all on drugs back then...
On discogs there is the following description of Kristian:
Danish producer, keyboard player and primus motor in jazz-rock-mambo rock big-band Dr. Dopo Jam.
Quotation: The meaning of life is, to please and inspire other people, and if you can make them please and inspire even others, then you are really good going.
Very sadly, this was his last effort as composer or pleaser-inspirer, according to the database. But I really love this one and it was his best, I think.