The Meandering Hexagon

Listener's Log: Lumpy Gravy by Frank Zappa

Album: Lumpy Gravy
Artist: Frank Zappa
Release Date: May 1968 (Re-released edition)
Date Listened: 27 January 2017
Remarks: Zappa's first solo record is a bit of a mess compiled from the original Lumpy Gravy (apparently a fully orchestral album) and a few bits of earlier material, stuff from the 'We're Only in it For the Money' sessions, and the usual bunch of strange psychedelic conversation and eccentrically juxtaposed sound effects. Despite the hodge podge, it is actually Zappa's best album yet on the chronology. His style is fully mature here and I can't wait to hear what comes next. The symphonic sections in particular are truly captivating.
Stand Out Tracks: Part One- but you ought to listen to the whole shebang

Listener's Log: Relayer by Yes

Album: Relayer
Artist: Yes
Release Date: November 1974
Date Listened: 24 January 2017
Remarks: I've always been of the camp that believes that Yes pretty much only released 3 albums: 'The Yes Album,' 'Fragile,' and 'Close to the Edge.' There's no denying that when Bruford left, so did the magic. But when I started re-listening to 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it wasn't all gone. 'Relayer' strikes me as one of their strongest efforts. It reminds me of everything I love about classic Yes- including the stellar Roger Dean artwork.
Stand Out Tracks: The Gates of Delirium, Sound Chaser

Listener's Log: Electronic Meditation by Tangerine Dream

Album: Electronic Meditation
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Release Date: June 1970
Date Listened: 24 January 2017
Remarks: While I'm not much of an electronica connoisseur, the work of Tangerine Dream has always fascinated me. Their live album 'Poland' got me hooked, and I'm looking forward to diving into some of the classics. This one is a bit surprising in that there is not much electronic in the focal point of the sonic arena. The driving force is electric guitar and it is backed up by some flute and saxophone-esque sounds. Still, the keyboards are there: providing that classic ambience.
Stand Out Tracks: Cold Smoke, Ashes to Ashes, Resurrection

Listener's Log: Absolutely Free by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Album: Absolutely Free
Artist: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
Release Date: May 1967
Date Listened: 24 January 2017
Remarks: Zappa's 2nd record is much better than the first. The music is more sophisticated and the abstract sections are less banal. The satire is more subtle, and thus, more effective.
Stand Out Tracks: Plastic People, The Duke of Prunes, Call Any Vegetable/Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin, Brown Shoes Don't Make It