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Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo CD (album) cover

THE GRAND WAZOO

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.31 | 589 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars What's all the fuss? This album ranges from sporadic jazz meandering to some focused, genuinely interesting music. I'm definitely not going to overrate this album just because Zappa is Zappa. The fact is that the Grand Wazoo is a very uneven album.

The Grand Wazoo. What a choice for the opener...in a bad sense. Maybe I just don't "get" what Zappa is attempting here, but after a few years of listening, I'm likely not to ever get it. It's weird, sometimes random, noodling.

For Calvin. Now we have something that resembles music, and good music at that! A catchy horn melody sandwiches a series of percussion driven jams from the trombone and trumpet. Sure, it's overlong at 13 minutes and would fall flat on its face without the lively percussionists, but as it stands this is a very enjoyable listen.

Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus. Here Zappa's vocal playfulness comes into play, and the instrumentation follows. It's upbeat and bouncy, though short and necessarily memorble.

Eat That Question. The absolute highlight of the album, this tune starts with some keyboard meandering and builds in intensity and instrumentation to a blistering climax, to end with a clever variation on the main theme. Every player is at maximum rock here, and even Zappa throws in some of the great guitar that I keep hearing he is capable of (yet rarely hear). Fusion doesn't get much better!

Blessed Relief. A complete change-up, this mellow yet encouraging song is wonderful. A great lazy melody of horns is accentuated by some dreamy keyboard riffs that place you in as tranquil state as you could imagine.

I'm glad to have this album, but I'm not pleased with all of it. Overall, the music is enjoyable (excluding the title track), though not necessarily new or innovative for 1972. I'm sure Zappa fans love it, and non-Zappa followers should find enough to enjoy as well.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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