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The Grand Wazoo

The Grand Wazoo by Frank Zappa
Released: Dec 1972
As with its predecessor Waka / Jawaka, 1972's The Grand Wazoo documents Zappa's foray into big band art-rock and fusion. The music -- obscenely difficult and elaborate -- serves as the bridge between Bitches Brew-era Miles and Henry Cow's chamber-prog-jazz aesthetic. What's interesting about this stuff (especially compared to his late-'60s output) is how it never explodes into full-throttled madness; rather, it slowly drives the noggin bonkers with its zigzag movement and pointillist compositions. Then again, closer "Blessed Relief" might be one of the prettiest pieces Zappa ever recorded.
Justin Farrar

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