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Frank Zappa - Jazz from Hell CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.43 | 254 ratings

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2 stars Otherwise known as: Zappa discovers the Synclavier and noodles around on it for a half hour without realizing it's recording.

..And that's just about it. The compositions on Jazz from Hell (except for one major variance) amount to a seemingly random flurry of synthesizer solos over mostly bland electronic drum beats. Sometimes the beats are just as all-over-the-place as the synth solos which makes for a completely unmemorable experience all around. And in case that wasn't enough unpredictability for you, often times odd special effects and noises will enter into the fold, only to serve no purpose at all. I can't recall any melodies from the album at all, and I just listened to it to refresh my fading memory of it! I do recall that "St. Etienne" is much more meaningful than the rest of Jazz from Hell because unlike the rest of the album, it's played by an actual band. On this song, Frank performs a guitar solo over the rhythm section's free-jazz support. It's refreshing since the rest of Jazz from Hell leaves me completely cold. I get the feeling that all of Jazz from Hell was played with a live, fluid band, I'd give it a much higher rating.

Jazz from Hell is only for those dying to complete their Zappa collections. If you're not one of these fans, don't bother.

stonebeard | 2/5 |


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