Captain Beefheart, R.I.P.

Don Van Vliet (pronounced /væn ˈvliːt/; born Don Glen Vliet,[2] January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range,[3] Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition.[4] An iconoclastic mix of complex instrumentation, atonal melodies, and often humorously surreal lyrics, it was crafted through dictatorial control over his musicians and creative vision.

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