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Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo CD (album) cover

THE GRAND WAZOO

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.31 | 574 ratings

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Shakespeare
4 stars Zappa's Grand Wazoo was a grand album, arriving in one of the most prestigious prog years: '72, where many of the classics were also released. But I speak as if this gem isn't considered one of those classics, when indeed, I think it should be. This album is one of Zappa's jazz outings, and likely his strongest jazz outing, but also with the spontaneous, swiftly shifting aspect, which would become key in his music later on. There is less genre-jumping (as I like to call it) that most modern RIO bands (Mr. Bungle comes to mind) make a fundamental component of their music. However, his big band style jazz compositions are progressive and intricate enough to satisfy any prog-lover. The polished production just puts it over the top, and there is no doubt in my mind that any jazz-lover simply must own this one. Right from the get-go, everything is tight, progressive, and extremely layered, and at the same time, moody, swingy, and with excellent feel. Zappa chose his musicians excellently, and composed his songs masterfully. The energy is really strong, and extremely captivating, and the atmospheres are diverse enough, and the concept (and short story accompanying the album) are amusing enough to see this album as a masterpiece, as important to the jazz community as Close to the Edge is to the symphonic community.
Shakespeare | 4/5 |

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