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Frank Zappa - Hot Rats CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.34 | 1682 ratings

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4 stars My favourite of Frank Zappa's albums outside his body of work with the Mothers of Invention. HOT RATS sees Zappa abandon the mindless humour of the Mothers and insert copius amounts of extended jam sessions and jazz ideas making one of the first fusion records. There's many a blistering instrumental performance but it can sometimes get too long in the mouth. ''Gumbo Variations'' starts off with a nice bass riff but gets tiresome with solo upon endless solo (including a drum solo we never needed).

I also wish there was a more consistent lineup here; only Zappa and Ian Underwood play on all tracks with a multitude of violinists, bassists and drummers. Still, both of the main performers really get their chance to shine (Zappa on ''Willie the Pimp'', Underwood on ''Son of Mr. Green Genes''). For those with less patience, ''Peaches en Regalia'', ''Little Umbrellas'' and ''It Must Be a Camel'' are all shorter, more focused fusion pieces with emphasis on tight interplay between band members.

It's mostly instrumental save for Captain Beefheart on ''Willie the Pimp''. It's one of the better fusion records out there even if the jams get old before they end.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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