Though it's not of a piece with the rest of the album, the opening track on Life Echoes — 76 seconds of burping, farting, screeching and squealing on the saxophone that goes under the name of The Crocodile — sets the tone for how to listen from here on. Think dada cabaret rather than jazz conservatoire. I thought the Boy might like it, and I wasn't wrong: he cackles at the sound and then asks, "What's that noise? … Is it a guitar?" Not quite but it might as well be.
In Beck's extensive discography over more than 20 years (already featured on Music Arcades here, here and here), I think I'm right in saying this is the first under his own name. It's a genuine solo album, with Mick playing unaccompanied bassoon, sax and whistles. As he explains in the notes, "The majority of tracks are pure improvisations, but there are four compositions ([two] by me, [and two by] others [Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman] whose music inspired me to play."
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