Jeff Simmons "The Straight Years" 2CD
This 2CD set presents the Straight label years of Zappa´s multi-talented sideman Jeff Simmons. In 1968 in Seattle Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa were in the audience after his sound check and listening to Easy Chair, Jeff´s group. Fascinated by his talent, he was signed for Straight records. Both albums, "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" and "Naked Angels" were recorded in 1969.
CD1, the "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up"-album was produced by by Chris Huston (Led Zeppelin II, Undertakers, Young Rascals) and Frank Zappa under the synonym La Marr Bruister, who wrote the title track, played lead guitar on two tracks and co-wrote "Wonderful Wino". Lucille contains 10 catchy and heavy Blues-Rock and Folk numbers. Jeff is playing a hard-driven and groovy bass, piano, organ, accordion and singing in a similar style to Jack Bruce in Cream.
Simmons presented a brace of strong, harmonically sophisticated songs that have some of the explosive, multi-hued impact of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Jeff was in the Mothers of Invention at the time of "200 Motels". He also played rhythm guitar on "Waka/Jawaka" and clown about with Frank and George Duke on "Roxy & Elsewhere".
CD2 is "Naked Angels", a soundtrack for a biker movie with mostly instrumentals that combine melody and fuzz guitar to create sort of a heavy, psychedelicate surf-rock. This 2 CD-set presents in a 20 p. booklet with all original artwork, lots of memorabilia from Jeff´s vaults (posters, cool photos, linernotes). The music was carefully remastered to sound today as fresh as it was 40 years ago, incl. plus 2 bonustracks.
Lucille was rated in Mojo Magazine as the 2nd best release on Straight Records. Strange Things Art Magazine mentions it as "the closest in execution to contemporary Mothers", but Jeff´s individual talent made this album to an all time masterpiece. Never has a musician in psychedelic Rock´n´Roll captured the essence of deep emotion and soul like the Zappa-"sideman"!
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