The Grand Wazoo
|The Grand Wazoo|
|Studio album by The Mothers|
|Released||November 27, 1972|
|Recorded||Paramount Studios, Hollywood, April – May, 1972|
|Genre||Big band, jazz fusion, progressive rock|
|Frank Zappa chronology|
|The Mothers chronology|
|Singles from The Grand Wazoo|
The Grand Wazoo is a 1972 jazz fusion album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers. Composed and recorded during Zappa's period of convalescence following his assault in London, the album, along with its predecessor album, Waka/Jawaka (July 1972), represent Zappa's foray into big band fusion, the logical progression from Hot Rats (1969), which used a much smaller lineup. The album was the last release on Zappa's Bizarre Records label.
Recording and production
The instrumental makeup of The Grand Wazoo is big band. It was the third album released in a period where Zappa used a wheelchair and was unable to tour after being assaulted and pushed offstage into an orchestra pit during a London concert. The Grand Wazoo consisted largely of instrumental pieces, similar to three of Zappa's previous albums: Hot Rats (1969), Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970), and Waka/Jawaka (July 1972).
In this same period in analog recording the number of tracks available was expanding. Hot Rats (1969) had been released a few years prior to The Grand Wazoo (1972) and was recorded on one of the first 16 track tape machines. It featured multiple tracks of clarinets, flutes, saxophones, piano and organ parts played by a single musician, Ian Underwood. At the time of the Grand Wazoo, the compositions were arranged for large ensembles which were conceived as studio recording vehicles, rather than live touring bands.
"Eat That Question"
The track is a vehicle for George Duke's electric piano and begins with a rubato intro followed by the entrance of the full rhythm section in time. On this and several other tracks, Zappa plays a flat top acoustic/electric guitar using a wah-wah pedal and a Maestro phase shifter or Leslie speaker for a chorale effect. The Barcus-Berry transducer used was at the time a novel way of amplifying the instrument instead of using a traditional magnetic guitar pickup.
The Zappa Plays Zappa (led by Dweezil Zappa, the eldest son of Frank Zappa) tours since 2006 regularly have featured "Eat That Question" with the song serving as a vehicle for both keyboard and guitar solos. Beginning in 2010, the Zappa Plays Zappa shows also have incorporated "Blessed Relief", usually introduced by Dweezil as an underappreciated Zappa composition.
All songs written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.
|1.||"For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)"||7:15|
|2.||"The Grand Wazoo"||13:24|
|4.||"Eat That Question"||6:42|
|1995 Ryko remaster|
|1.||"The Grand Wazoo"||13:20|
|2.||"For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)"||6:06|
|4.||"Eat That Question"||6:43|
- Musicians and production per CD booklet.
- Huey, S. (2011). "The Grand Wazoo - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- Miles, Barry. "The Rainbow Theatre Incident." Zappa Wiki Jawaka. N.p., 13 May 2007. Web. 13 May 2015.
- (1969). "Hot Rats liner notes". In Hot Rats [Album cover]. Bizarre.