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by Nic Jones
The idea of the music of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) without his idiosyncratic bark of a voice might be difficult for devotees to take, much as his music will perhaps always be for other people. The sharp division of opinion this might imply is however rendered irrelevant by the strength of this program, the purpose of which is arguably to highlight just what a composer and conceptualist of music he was. His music is worthy of such re-examining for ...read more
by Martin Longley
Fast 'n' Bulbous Waxed Oop Cuneiform 2009
Many people would agree with alto saxophonist Phillip Johnston's assertion that Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) was one of the twentieth century's very greatest composers. He was also one of its key innovators, conceptualists, singers and poets. When an artist is an extreme fan of another artist, they sometimes form tribute bands. If they inhabit the rock 'n' roll universe, this can be viewed ...read more
by Troy Collins
The greatest measure of any enduring composition is resilience in the face of re-interpretation. Even the most abstract renditions of works by composers as diverse as J.S. Bach, Thelonious Monk and Frank Zappa retain the core elements that identify their authors; such is the singularity of their vision.
Don Van Vliet (aka, Captain Beefheart) possessed a similarly inimitable style. Beefheart's enigmatic writing fused intricate counterpoint and polyphonic harmonies to unorthodox rhythms and primal blues expressionism. This fertile combination ...read more
by Jochem van Dijk
Once, in a salon in the 19th Century, several ladies reportedly fainted when Robert Schumann had the nerve to end one of his piano pieces on a dominant chord. Since then, we the world, our senses bombarded non-stop and ubiquitously, have toughened up considerably to the point of almost total indifference.
So we should be grateful that there still are records around that from the very first note elicit an immediate strong reaction. The ones you unleash upon your unsuspecting ...read more