Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention: The Grand Wazoo Song by Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Musicman1998, May 12, 2018.

  1. Rne

    Rne Tangled up in blue

    Location:
    Malaver
    Frank must have considered that "The Grand Wazoo" was a stronger opening track after all. That's the only reason I can think of.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  2. SurrealCereal

    SurrealCereal Forum Resident

    For Calvin
    This isn’t my favorite song on the album, but it’s an interesting experiment in Zappa’s distinctive style of warped jazz.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    sorry to ask on this thread, but im guessing some zappaphile here may know. did sleep dirt ever get released on cd without the vocals? if so what year please?
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  4. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes, the 2012 CD is the original without vocals.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    cheers mate!
     
    Musicman1998 and mmars982 like this.
  6. Cheevyjames

    Cheevyjames Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, NC
    For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitchhikers)

    I first heard this from the Ryko '95, so it's very odd to think of this as the first song on the album. I agree with Frank's 90's decision to make the title track the opener. The majesty works better up front.

    I love how astoundingly weird this song is, especially the vocal section. Maybe I'm just so used to his work that everything seems normal, but this one...still weird as hell. The Big Swifty quote about half way through is unexpected and hilarious, then it turns into this...I know he's conducting the band but it sounds incredibly trippy. It's hard to write about because it feels so "out there". For Calvin is truly one of his more mind-melting songs.
     
  7. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
  8. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Did we do The Grand Wazoo? I was going to make some technical comments about the piece and make a fool out of myself. :D
    Hopefully some of the jazz guys here will be able to help me.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  9. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Not yet. It will be up tomorrow
     
  10. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    The Grand Wazoo:

    And now we move onto the title cut, which was originally written under the title “Think It Over” and also initially had lyrics.
    Frank kicks the track off on guitar, with Aynsley and Erroneous supporting him very rhythmically, and Frank is rather tasty on this song. Soon at 2:14, the horns take over and have such a quirkiness that it keeps you interested, and Tony Duran gets a fantastic slide solo that works wonders within the track’s structure. The band gets increasingly chaotic as the song progresses, creating a sense of unrest and tension within the track. The horn solos by Sal Marquez and Bill Myers are absolutely awesome, as is how the group comes together big band style near the end.
    Great great track and I personally like this more as an opener.
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    great tune. it has so much going on, it is hard to nail down. elements of rock, big band, classical and zappaisms.
     
  12. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    A rehearsal version with lyrics is on the Joe's Domage CD.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  13. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Even though I prefer Calvin as the album opener, I love this piece, maybe my favorite on the album, toss up with this piece or Eat That Question. Even though I've been listening to this album for decades I get all hyped up everytime I hear Tony's solo and the groove underneath . . . so badass.

    Here's a neat take on it that I had never heard until today.

     
  14. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The inner photos of all the music nerds! Posted here for music nerds.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    I think the reason The Grand Wazoo works best as the 2nd track is because after the weird flavour of Calvin it just explodes like a horse from the gate in a very straight ahead way

    Like coming out of a trance....
    aand....you're off!


    Sure it's a great opener but it feels like "the money shot"
    it should come "after"
     
  16. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
  17. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Great review.
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  18. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident


    The Grand Wazoo
    Just some highlights and my two cents. Jazz guys correct me if I am wrong anywhere please.

    The song opens with funky D Dorian figure and some funky guitar soloing over the vamp. Some great double bends. At :59 Frank gives us a cool foreshadow with a whole step rock like A-B riff line. The theme at 1:06 follows still in D Dorian and the whole step from A-B is in the tail of the theme. I love how Frank does this in many of his songs.....he teases with foreshadowing. At 1:37 a turnaround with a descending D Dorian line and then an ascending line follows based on a different modal scale. At 2:12 the tune returns to D Dorian with the whole tone riff but now with C-D with a rock type riff on guitar. A horn interlude follows and then at 2:43 a modulation to B minor with another rock type section with some fine soloing in B minor pentatonic. At 3:19 another transition section follows and we get back to D Dorian with a great trumpet solo. At 6:10 I like the touch of Mingus and Dolphy that goes on until 10:20 with the return of the whole step riff of C-D. The main theme returns in D Dorian and goes thru some variations. The descending and ascending transition section follows. Great stuff. The theme has Zappa written all over it. At 12:01 the song returns to B minor over a great riff of B minor -G with fine horn accompaniment. A breezy blues workout follows and then an ascending line brings the song to an end on a F triplet.

    Lots of subtle mingling of closely related scales on this tune give it the Zappa sound. Beautiful use of the themes and the arrangement is brilliant. Just enough rock touches as well make the song a work of genius IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  19. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    What a lineup!
     
    mcchocchoc and Musicman1998 like this.
  20. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront

    14 Cheerleader Coldfront Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Spent the last couple evenings listening.

    What an incredible album, and sound quality on the blue label Bizarre is astonishing.

    Can't wait to hear what CB (I assume) can do with a new master!
     
    Hot Ptah and Musicman1998 like this.
  21. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
    If nothing else, the album's namesake is appropriately titled.

    Grand, indeed.

    Dunno why I'm so ambivalent about it, but I'm good with either TGW or Calvin as opener.
     
    Musicman1998 and mark winstanley like this.
  22. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    The Grand Wazoo will always be a favorite, one of the high points of FZ's catalog. I have a question though, at various points in the thread, Hot Rats, TGW, & Wakajawaka have been referenced but surprisingly, no one's mentioned Chunga's Revenge, the follow-up to Hot Rats. Wassup wit dat!?;)
     
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  23. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    The Flo & Eddie material on Chunga's Revenge distracts from the jazz/rock theme. Still a good record I think.
     
    gd0, Musicman1998 and vudicus like this.
  24. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    I like Chunga's Revenge as much as any other album by FZ. I may do a song by song of the album.
     
  25. rufus t firefly

    rufus t firefly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long island, NY
    Has anyone caught the British- made TV show Classic Albums ? The "Overnite Sensation" show was well done. Any fan of FZ would enjoy it.
     

Share This Page