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Frank Zappa - Wazoo CD (album) cover

WAZOO

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.09 | 51 ratings

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Andreas G
4 stars This is the long-awaited live recording of the Grand Wazoo band. In 1972 Zappa assembled a big band comprised of some of the top LA area jazz musiciansl. This band recorded 2 studio albums - Waka Jawaka & Grand Wazoo. This is as close as Zappa got to jazz. "Grand Wazoo", in particular, is a must-have for any Zappa collection.

2006's "Imaginary Diseases" (also highly recommended!) was a recording of the "Petit Wazoo" tour, which had a smaller brass & wind section. The full "Grand Wazoo" band only did 12 shows. This is a recording of the final concert in Boston.

Disc 1 inlcudes "Grand Wazoo" and "Big Swifty", the long songs from each of the two albums, plus "Aproximate", another long-format tune, which is more in the avant-guarde style. The band sections and solos are all excellent, and really give the peces a very different character than the originals. I consider the version of "Big Swifty" superior to the studio version.

Disc 2 includes a lengthy instrumental version of "Greggery Peccary", minus the narration. Though I love the narration on the studio version, it does overpower the music. This version allows you to focus on the instrumental music in a new light. It is stretched out to 32 minutes and, though there is a slow spot or two, is generally excellent. A very interesting cello solo is a highlight.

This is a very enjoyable album. I think this is the best new release since "Lather". Any fan of Zappa's instrumental music will want to get this one. If you like "Grand Wazoo" and "Roxy and Elsewhere", you need this!

Andreas G | 4/5 |

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