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Frank Zappa - Make A Jazz Noise Here CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.41 | 147 ratings

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4 stars I think the biggest appeal for this album for me is the fact that it is primarily instrumental. Having such a gigantic lineup of musicians certainly only helps the instrumental Zappa experience here. The Jazz element is quite strong, of course, but I would never call this a jazz or even jazz rock type of album. Certainly, a song like Big Swifty was always a jazzy number, and gets quite the treatment here, along with King Kong, which wasn't quite so jazzy on it's original release. Those two are highlights for me on this album.

But with that many horns on stage, you really can't help but have a jazz rock, or even brass rock type of feel to all the music. Still, songs like When Yuppies Go To Hell and Star Wars Won't Work are far more experimental and strange, using more electronic sounds and dissonance (they seem to be improvisations, so I suppose the strangeness is not surprising).

Luckily for me, the few vocal numbers are ones I can deal with and even enjoy. Stinkfoot being one of the first Zappa songs I ever heard, and given a pretty uncomplicated reading here as sort of gentle introduction to the more dense and complex instrumentals to come. City Of Tiny Lights has always appealed to me, despite its somewhat disco era beat in the verses. Stevie's Spanking perhaps lacks for missing Via in the lineup, but still a worthwhile rendition. And Cruising For Burgers gets a grand reading here, as good a version of this one as you are likely to hear.

The last two tracks on CD 2 are two of Zappa's more involved and impressive compositions, and the expanded lineup on stage makes these versions something special.

A great live album, and a great document of Zappa's 1988 touring band. I prefer this one to The Best Band...., but that album is also well worth owning for the sake of getting the full picture of a Zappa performance (it contains far more vocal songs and some astonishing cover versions). For me, an essential Zappa album. But since it is live, and being aware of the somewhat shaky nature of live Zappa units in general (this is not easy material to pull off folks) I will settle on 4 stars.

infandous | 4/5 |


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