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Frank Zappa - Wazoo CD (album) cover

WAZOO

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.96 | 53 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wazoo is a live album release by American experimental rock artist Frank Zappa. Itīs a 2 CD release with a total playing time of 96:03 minutes. The album was recorded on the 24th of September, 1972 at the Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The album was recorded on the last night of the Grand Wazoo 8-night big band tour. The band consisted of 20 people including Frank Zappa himself on guitar. Frank Zappa also conducted the band. In addition to the more ordinary rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards ( and of course vibes, marimba and assorted percussion which are a Frank Zappa trademark) the real attraction on this live album are the addition of a brass and a wind section.

The music on Wazoo is a mix of Jazz rock/ Fusion and avant garde classical. A few of the songs are taken from the two jazz/ rock albums Waka/Jawaka (1972) and The Grand Wazoo (1972) which were the most recent releases by Frank Zappa at the time, but we also get an instrumental 32:37 minute long version of The Adventures of Greggery Peccary ( which was unreleased at the time) and also a great version of Approximate ( and a few other shorter songs). The music is fully instrumental except for Frank Zappaīs always entertaining comments between and sometimes in songs. I especially enjoy his explanation of how Approximate is meant to be played ( only rythms. All notes are improvised). While there are lots of structured sections in the songs, the album also features lengthy improvised sections with various members of the band soloing. A real treat and fortunately the soloing is never overdone. The improvisations lasts just the right amount of time to never get boring. The musicianship on the album is outstanding. But thatīs no surprise if youīre familiar with Frank Zappaīs high standards and demanding nature ( he was notoriously known for being very demanding during rehearsals).

The production is warm and itīs nice to hear a live album with absolutely no overdubs ( Well thatīs how it sounds anyway). The album has got a real live feel to it.

Wazoo is an excellent addition to my collection and while I do feel some of the more experimental classical parts exhaust me a bit, itīs hard not to be very impressed by the high level of musicianship and the great jazz/ rock groove that is a big part of the sound too. A 4 star rating is deserved, but I fully understand those that feel this is a 5 star masterpiece. However you want to rate the album itīs a much anticipated archive release for the fans of Frank Zappa but certainly not exclusively of interest to the fans.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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