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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You NEED this album!
Frank Zappa once said of this and the previous "Waka/Jawaka" album (of which Grand Wazoo is really a continuation on a theme) something along the lines of "they sold a few copies in Scandanavia". This is a great shame. The Grand Wazoo is a masterpiece, and really deserved to be remembered along with the other classics of the 70's.
This is as close to conventional...
Published on 14 Sep 2005 by M. J. O. Callaghan

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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I have no idea how other reviewers could have compared this with either Hot Rats or WakaJawaka. And it was on this basis that I bought it. However, it's nowhere near the technical or musical ability of his other two master pieces. Although I've tried to listen to this on a repeat basis in the vain hope that it will grow on me it hasn't. Rather, it has only served to...
Published on 4 Dec 2010 by R. Harris


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You NEED this album!, 14 Sep 2005
By 
M. J. O. Callaghan "cal2000" (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
Frank Zappa once said of this and the previous "Waka/Jawaka" album (of which Grand Wazoo is really a continuation on a theme) something along the lines of "they sold a few copies in Scandanavia". This is a great shame. The Grand Wazoo is a masterpiece, and really deserved to be remembered along with the other classics of the 70's.
This is as close to conventional jazz as Zappa got, and by God it sounds great! While you have the expected "far out" workings on most of the tracks, "Blessed Relief" really has to be heard to be believed, and shows that he COULD follow conventional forms if he chose to and create a "pretty" song.
Waka/Jawaka, though it has its merits, is a minor work. This is not. Buy it.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa plays jazz, 27 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
Anyone who is even only slightly familiar with the work of Frank Zappa will know that he didn't rest very often. He wrote just about every form of music possible and impossible. He then seemingly had queues of superbly talented musicians just lining up to play it. "The Grand Wazoo" had perhaps the best set of musicians he ever managed to gather. He had been attacked on stage and had fallen into the orchestra pit and was confined to a wheel chair for nearly a year. In this time he wrote "just another band from L.A.", "Waka/Jawaka" and "The Grand Wazoo". The last two were very jazzy and I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite. Anyway "The Grand Wazoo" starts off with the title track. It's a kind of straight piece of modern jazz that just twists a bit and includes some great solos on guitar and trumpet. "For Calvin (and his next two hitch-hikers)" has one of those haunting Zappa tunes and also - lyrics. The only SONG on this album. Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus is Zappa really having some fun by making the band work. No rest for the wicked. "Eat that question" is the BIG one. A great tune which is kept interesting all the way through and such a great overture (at the end you know). "Blessed Relief" is a bit of a change to finish off the album. The tune is very melodic and floats over a slow free bass and beat. A great instrumental tune that leaves you very chilled. I played this album to one of my friends. He said it was rubbish. He told me that I should listen to good music like Tubular Bells 2. Chalk and cheese my friends and this is good cheese Suzy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Wazoo: Frank Zappa - Blessed relief from the straight jacket of soundalike pop., 2 Mar 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
Many years ago I heard a George Harrison song called `Blood From A Clone'. The third line runs `you need some oompapah, nothing like Frank Zappa', as Harrison railed against the creative straightjacket the record bosses forced him into. There's also that line in `Smoke On The Water' describing a Zappa concert that goes wrong and results in a burnt out recording studio. Ever since I have been on the lookout for an opportunity to hear some of Zappa's work and try to get a flavour of what Harrison was being told to stay away from, and what so excited the crowd at the Mother's concert.

Well, the time came and I decided it was time to look into getting a Zappa CD. I picked this one because, frankly, I like the title. Scientific stuff eh? I have to say that I really enjoyed what I heard, and I will be getting more Zappa in the near future on the basis of this.

Recorded in 1972, this is very different to other music of the era. Whereas rock musicians were going down the path of ever more pretentious noodling prog rock, this is a very tight recording, made with a clear vision. It is a logical extension of the freeform jazz workouts of Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk, fused with the blues rock style. A big band was recruited for the recording, giving it a majestic, rich feel. It's complex where it needs to be, simple in other places, and all has a sense of humour behind it that never overpowers, but just gives a knowing wink and a smile as the album progresses.

A really good album, 4 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant jazz, 2 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
By early 1972,FZ was in a wheelchair,recovering from being thrown into the orchestra pit of the Rainbow in London by a deranged fan.The Flo+Eddie version of the MOI was no more.Could it get any worse?
FZ's response was this and "Waka/Jawaka",which can be seen as a double album,except the band on "Grand Wazoo" is bigger.The music is fantastic,from the title track,with it's driving theme and great solos,to the quirky pop of "Cleetus Awreetus-Awrightus" and the gentle tones of "Blessed Relief".
As this and "Waka/Jawaka" are sandwiched between the "200 Motels" film,the Flo+Eddie MOI and MOI Mk.3(kicking off with "Overnite Sensation"),and it sounds radically different to any of those albums and films,these two CDs are often unfairly overlooked,even by Zappaphiles.
If you like this,try "Wazoo",this band's last US show from Boston in 1972,or "Imaginary Diseases",which is a smaller scale version of this band, sometimes called The Petit Wazoo,live in the US and Canada in late 1972.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivals Hot Rats, 6 Aug 2001
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
I bought this album (and Waka/Jawaka) a few days ago having heard it would be a worthy companion to his earlier hot Rats album. Like Hot Rats, The Grand Wazoo is primarily instrumental. I was pleased that this album delivered what had been promised. It is a continuation of what had come on Hot Rats with a greater leaning on Jazz and horns in addition to the superb (as always) guitar of Frank Zappa.
The album was cut during the same sessions as the other mainly instrumental album, Waka/Jawaka at Paramount studios featuring dozens of crack musicians making what is no doubt one of his best ever bands. This album in my opinion is better than Waka/Jawaka though anyone who bought and liked the much praised Hot Rats album needs to invest in this comparatively underrated album in addition to Waka/Jawaka.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Zappoo, 16 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
I had this as a record years ago but wanted to rediscover it. The CD has the first 2 tracks reversed and I commend you to listen to 'For Calvin' before 'The Grand Wazoo' track as it creates a better intro. I swapped them around on my own iPod for that reason.

The actual album is magnificent and is certainly one of Zappa's best. It a fantastic mix of jazz and rock with an exquisite finale 'Blessed Relief'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 tracks... 5 stars, 5 Oct 2005
This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
My favourite zappa album for quite some time,Frank's previous release 'Waka/jawaka'is excellent, but it doesn't flow throughout as well as this album.
A very big band, with musicians such as Sal Marquez shining out in particular. There's no better introduction than the title track, as it smoothly moves onto the next track 'For calvin'. It goes through many changes and never manages to bore the listener.
Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus is a comedy jazz song,with many of the 'amusing' voices Frank used on many of his albums, instead of the in your face parody of 'sheik yerbouti', Frank rather 'created' as opposed to mocking some politician.
Mentioning Marquez above, I think that George duke for his exquisite key solo on eat that question.
The finishing track is Blessed relief, which is wonderful for taking stress away, particularly after a rough day. Amongst the best moments on the FZ catalogue all together.
I find it annoying that almost none of the grand wazoo got performed by his later bands, other than a brief version of eat that question on 'make a jazz noise here'. FZ covered a wide spectrum of genres during his career (as you most probably know),considering him to be a 'rock' musician however is quite unfair,if all you've heard about him is Apostrophe than this sweet album should make you look at him in a different way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand indeed, Edgar!, 9 Feb 2013
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
Epic!

Frank Zappa does jazz fusion his way. This album has perhaps the largest band that Frank ever assembled playing their socks off, producing some of the finest jazz fusion ever played.

The 2012 remaster is a significant sonic step forward on previous issues. The clarity is hard to credit, all of the instruments(of which there are a lot, especially brass) are clear as the proverbial and do not mush over each other.

Found out that the mad scientist on the back cover is meant to be Edgar Varese, who Frank held in greatest esteem. So there you go, something new learned everyday.

First class music, first class album. Essential Zappa purchase.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Dec 2010
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R. Harris "rjh" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Grand Wazoo (Audio CD)
I have no idea how other reviewers could have compared this with either Hot Rats or WakaJawaka. And it was on this basis that I bought it. However, it's nowhere near the technical or musical ability of his other two master pieces. Although I've tried to listen to this on a repeat basis in the vain hope that it will grow on me it hasn't. Rather, it has only served to endorse my initial impression. Fans who like everything of Zappa's regardless of quality (seems to be loads of them around) will love it.
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