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Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo CD (album) cover

THE GRAND WAZOO

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.31 | 585 ratings

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seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator
RPI
4 stars There are some similarities between Frank Zappa's big band fusion album and the highly rated Hot Rats, but in my opinion The Grand Wazoo is the stronger album. The 13-minute title track is the album's tour de force with its large-scale exploration of the main themes. These are presented mainly by the winds and developed with the use of different tempos, solos and tutti passages. Although the album is arranged for large wind ensembles it's keys man George Duke who steals the show, particularly with his superb electric piano contributions on the last two tracks. EAT THAT QUESTION really showcases his dexterity on the keyboard although Zappa's wah wah guitar and Aynsley Dunbar's busy drumming match his nimble- fingered runs. BLESSED RELIEF is altogether smoother; it's more laid back and provides a nice contrast to the rest of the pieces. Duke's chiming electric piano alternates solos with winds and guitar, while Don Preston tantalises with some all too brief mini-Moog pulses toward the end. The only tracks to include vocals are the bizarre FOR CALVIN (AND HIS NEXT TWO HITCH-HIKERS) and the uber-catchy CLETUS AWREETUS-AWRIGHTUS, with its wordless vocals, barroom piano and squawking sax providing some rare humour to the album. Great stuff!
seventhsojourn | 4/5 |

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