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Frank Zappa - Jazz from Hell CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.42 | 253 ratings

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4 stars 'Jazz From Hell' was released in 1986. Zappa was together with Peter Gabriel and Pete Townsend among the first who bought the famous 'Synclavier', a tool permitting him to excecute his music, the way he wanted it without depending on 'the human element'. Except for one track 'Saint Etienne' the record is composed and executed by Zappa on the Synclavier. BTW 'Jazz From Hell', a totally instrumental record, got a sticker for offensive lyrics! Speaking about humour & music!

'Night School' an uptempo track with a twisted 'Zappa rhythm track' and two different piano sounds, play the 'jerky' quick melodic patterns over synth pad chords, followed by the 'The Beltway Bandits' another nervous uptempo track with a horn sound and a marimba (sound) pattern.

'While You Were Art II' a longer track with another series of impossible time signatures, a marimba pattern, beautiful alternating melody lines for clavinet, horn and bassoon (sounds).

'Jazz From Hell' is an adequate title for this track, a ragged rhythm pattern at the edge of collapsing or exploiding into the void with a horn and a flute (sound) giving it some recognizable effect : Yes this is music!

'G-Spot Tornado' a monster hitsingle with a a catchy melody over a quick marimba pattern, some woodwind sounds, one of my favourite Zappa compositions.[ even better in the the version played by the Ensemble Modern on 'Yellow shark']

'Damp Ankles ' introduced by ambient bird and water noise, a minimalistic track with several superposed rhythm patterns and a synth lead sounding like a Toy symphony.

'St. Etienne' is the only non synclavier track recored live (1984/85), a guitar solo with band, with the trademark sheet of sound guitar sound, not unlike the tracks on 'Guitar', but a little misplaced on this record.

'Massaggio Galore' an uptempo track with sampled vocals, that give an an cartoon athmosphere to the track.

A great Zappa record coming close to Zappa's personal conception of composition, but missing the 'human element' and sounding a little stiff sometimes.

Alucard | 4/5 |


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