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The Grand Wazoo

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Album Review

Like its immediate predecessor, Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo was a largely instrumental jazz rock album recorded during Frank Zappa's convalescence from injuries sustained after being pushed off a concert stage. While Zappa contributes some guitar solos and occasional vocals, the focus is more on his skills as a composer and arranger. Most of the five selections supposedly form a musical representation of a story told in the liner notes about two warring musical factions, but the bottom line is that, overall, the compositions here are more memorably melodic and consistently engaging than Waka/Jawaka. The instrumentation is somewhat unique in the Zappa catalog as well, with the band more of a chamber jazz orchestra than a compact rock unit; over 20 musicians and vocalists contribute to the record. While Hot Rats is still the peak of Zappa's jazz-rock fusion efforts, The Grand Wazoo comes close, and it's essential for anyone interested in Zappa's instrumental works.

Biography

Born: 21 December 1940 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on jazz and complicated, modern serious music, sometimes inducing orchestras to play along. As if his music were not...
Full Bio
The Grand Wazoo, Frank Zappa
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  • $17.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz, Fusion, Arena Rock
  • Released: May 1973

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