The Mothers - The Grand Wazoo
Label: Reprise Records – MS 2093, Bizarre Records – MS 2093
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold
Record: VG+ VG++ few light scuffs
Laminated Gatefold Cover: VG+ VG++ slight cornerwear
Genre: Jazz, Rock
Style: Jazz-Rock, Prog Rock
A1 For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers) 7:15
A2 The Grand Wazoo 13:24
B1 Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus 2:55
B2 Eat That Question 6:41
B3 Blessed Relief 8:00
"Grand Wazoo" was released, it remains as much a stunning example of Zappa's uncompromising musical vision now as it did then.
Although it is accurate to say that it continued the Jazz explorations of "Waka Jawaka" or deserves to be compared with "Hot Rats" as one of Frank's most accomplished instrumental albums, this alone does not paint the full picture of what this album has to offer.
"Grand Wazoo" is an astonishinng work of melodic inventiveness and orchestration, each of its tunes can leave you breathless with their wealth of ideas and ironic genius.
1 Grand Wazoo
Incredibly catching fusion of styles. Extremely melodic and groovin. Everything is here. This tune is exceptional. Some called it the Zappa's answear to Miles "So what", but this is a lot more than a D pedal (maybe was "Blessed relief"? the answear ... I don't know but who cares?). Sure it is a modal tune (Frank hated chord progressions to solo over, he liked modal vamps only) but there's more here as I told you. The theme, the rhythmn and the orchestration parts are far more elaborated and solos are no less fantastic than the "So what" excursions by Trane, Cannoball, Bill Evans and Miles.
The bridges are equally superlative. I mean. This is one of my all time favourite tunes. ALL TIME FAVOURITE. The trombone solo here is something UNFORGETTABLE. Pure splendid jazz! And behind you can hear the orchestra pumping, growling, roaring wanting to come up front. Oh my god, GRAND WAZOO. This is really among my all time favourite tunes. FRANK, THANXS FOR THIS TUNE.
2 For Calvin
Pure Zappa's extravaganza. In the melody, harmony and orchestration. It starts weird and ends weirder. If you are not accustomed to strange harmonies and melodies this one can shock you a little bit. Anyway Zappa's awkward but splendid sense of melody and atmospheres is very clear here. The tune swings slow like a broken toy, or a broken watch ... at a certain point there are dissonations going on, you may think you don't know were you are, then a siren shout!
These moments of entropy, of chaos are sublime, I swear, sublime. The drums is still alive behind, giving the pulse, confirming that the tune is not dead yet. Slowly we go on, following the trombone and the trumbet which are saying strange things, than the tune accelerate, you are completly disorientated .... than a genial absolutly genial orchestrated bridge part arrive!! I mean this is Zappa at his very weird best. Another crescendo! The tune comes to the end. Frank you did your VERY VERY best for sure in this album.
A strange very melodical romp begins at the end of Calvin's song, it's Cletus. And here we are again with Frank's melodical genius. Piano is up front here. Than strange voices take the first places. It's delightful. Something that you can't miss. Its pure ingenuity is something marvellous which only a true pure genius can communicate without sounding childish.
4 Eat that question
George Duke steals the show here. This is quite an unbelievable tune. This is fantastic. A funky fist in your face, the more challenging tune of the album from a technical standpoint. The melody is perfect, catching, hard, a really fantastic riff played in unison by the electric piano and the guitar. The rhythmn section works effortlessy on this hard funky vamp. Everything flows easy and hard at the same time.
Duke's solos on the Fender Rhodes range among the very best jazz stuff I have ever heard (I own and Know thousands Jazz records). The energy of this tune is so dramatic! Exceptional. What a band! When you think the tune is over the theme returns harder than ever. Wow! It leaves you speechless! What an orchestrated riff! I mean. No words here. THIS IS PERFECTION IN MUSIC! (Frank's fuzz guitar tone here is expecially cool too).
5 Blessed relief
This tune closes one of Zappa's greatest achievement. GRAND WAZOO. Blessed relief is a calm, soft, delicate tune, unforgettable. It begins as a dreamy ballad but then evolve in a magic melodic line and after that in an unbelievable spotlight for the soloists. When the theme, the melodic line returns you wonder where you have been in the last minutes. Away. Lost in a beautiful dream.
Frank Zappa - For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)