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Little Dots

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Album Review

Little Dots contains more recordings of the under-documented Petit Wazoo Ensemble, which toured at the end of 1972 (previously heard officially on Imaginary Diseases). Again, the sound isn't pristine here, but it's quite listenable. The show starts with a very early version of "Cosmik Debris," but other than that and "Rollo" the material is all new (mostly due to being largely improvised). "Little Dots, Pt. 1" is a previously unreleased piece that features bassist Dave Parlato and drummer Jim Gordon in dialogue, joined by FZ on guitar about halfway though. "Little Dots, Pt. 2" kicks off with a Tony Duran slide solo, and heads into a trombone solo followed by another FZ guitar solo. This version of "Rollo" has the lyrics at the beginning that were cut on Imaginary Diseases before moving into more familiar territory. "Kansas City Shuffle" is a basic blues elevated by a smoking little big band with more great soloing, but the real treat of the set is the piece from Columbia, South Carolina. This one is completely improvised from absolutely nothing, beginning with Frank selecting the players who would begin. It's amazing how the piece comes together, thanks to some fantastic musicianship, and it's quite unlike anything else released by Zappa. Little Dots is a great set, but "Columbia, S.C." is practically worth the price of admission on its own. It's a real shame that Zappa didn't continue with this experiment. Little Dots seems to indicate that he was more intrigued by possibilities than repertoire with this band.

Little Dots, Frank Zappa
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Big Band
  • Released: Oct 14, 2016

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