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Joe's Domage, the second entry from the 'Corsaga' series gives you an insight into how Frank worked. The recording from this primitive cassette tape captures the first rehearsal of the Wazoo band, freezing in time early ideas and arrangements of material that went on to be used on The Grand Wazoo & Waka/Jawaka album sessions of 1972. Recorded ambiently in Frank's rehearsal room in Hollywood, Frank conducted these sessions while confined to a wheelchair after being pushed offstage in London, England roughly three months prior.
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Noted as a 'lost rehearsal tape' from 1972 sessions, 'Joe's Domage' is just that - a rehearsal tape! Just Frank and his band noodling around on pieces that show up on 'Waka/Jawaka' and 'The Grand Wazoo'. If you're a Zappa fanatic/collector who wonders what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall during these sessions, you might get something out of this. At $20 to $25, I found this CD to be way overpriced and sort of a cheap way to make a buck. While I never met the man, I have a hard time believing that Frank would have approved of this release. My faith in the 'Zappa Family Trust' has taken a serious blow...
If you're interested in this CD and do not own 'Waka/Jawaka' or 'The Grand Wazoo', purchase them instead. Excellent albums in which all of the material on this collection is fully realized and sounding great!! I rated this collection with two stars instead of one only because I really like what the pieces on here later become and as a big fan, I had a hard time giving anything of Zappa's that low of rating.
The problem for "normal" people comes down to the business practices of one person -- Gail Zappa. Her whole thing was to NOT tell you what you were getting when you bought a new release.
Had she written ONE SENTENCE to give potential buyer a clue WHAT they were buying (such as "This is a collection of recordings of the writing and rehearsals of some of the material that later became Waka Jawaka and Grand Wazoo") then nobody would have felt ripped off; they would have known up front WHAT it was and whether or not it would be something they would want to buy BEFORE they purchased it.
Her cryptic B.S. ways did more to hurt Frank's legacy than to help it. This release is a major example of that. Luckily for you, you are buying it on Amazon now instead of direct from the ZFT when it first came out so you can read reviews first and know what you are getting.
This CD comes from a 1972 rehearsal recorded on a cassette tape. It appears to be in mono and the sound quality is fair to poor. There isn't a complete run-through of any given song. Any one those factors by themselves wouldn't preclude me from buying this CD but taken all together they do, especially considering the relatively high cost of this product.
I do not ascribe greedy motives to the Zappa Family Trust for releasing this unusual material. Sometimes these "behind the scenes" peeks can be interesting, even fascinating, as on some of the Yes re-issues and the Beatles' Anthology series. Does every performance on CD have to be complete with state of the art sound quality? I don't think so but Joe's Domage would have been better if some of it was either one or the other. Let's just say that it was a good idea but poorly executed. I think that for perhaps a very small audience (most likely of musicians) this CD would be of some value. What I do fault the ZFT for is not being forthcoming about the particulars of this material. One can hardly be blamed for thinking that by their silence the ZFT are trying to hide something, and it is only natural that a buyer of this CD who feels that they have been "burned" would have second thoughts about buying other releases in the same series. It seems to me that, considering the obscure nature of the material on Joe's Domage, not only should the date, place, and method of recording be given up front but also sound samples should be available as well. Would this not be in the best interests of the ZFT and the fans alike? It would appear that the attitude of the ZFT is "You don't need to know anything about this. It's Frank Zappa, therefore it's good. Shut up and buy it." Well, sorry ZFT, but I need a bit more than that to go on before I make up my own mind if it's all the same to you.
It would seem that the content of Joe's Domage was not meant for commercial release or public consumption. However, I find it amusing that some reviewers feel so confident that they know the mind of FZ so well that they can presume to declare with utmost confidence that FZ never would have released this. I wonder how they would know that?
There are many posthumous FZ CD's I have found worth buying but Joe's Domage doesn't happen to be one of them. You might like this. My advice would be to preview it first, if possible, so you know what you're getting in to.