FRANK ZAPPA — Burnt Weeny Sandwich (The Mothers Of Invention) (review)

FRANK ZAPPA — Burnt Weeny Sandwich (The Mothers Of Invention) album cover Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
After having heard the satirical bizarre side of Zappa this album took me by surprise as it is rather restrained by Zappa's standards. It features lengthy flute sections and some mesmirising beauty on organ. Frank Zappa plays multi instruments such as organ, and guitar. He is joined by the accomplished Don Preston on bass and piano, as well as Jimmy Carl Black on drums. The excellent guitar embellishments are courteousy of Lowell George, and the basslines of Roy Estrada are rhythmic augmenting the sound. There are others involved in this polished craftsmanship such as Gabby Furggy on vocals and Zappa stalwart virtuoso Ian Underwood on keyboards and guitar. The brass section of Bunk Gardner's horns and woodwind lend a truly majestic ethereal quality, and these are backed by Don "Sugarcane" Harris's violins. Together this band is able to create a compelling sound and one that is unique in the extensive catalogue of Zappa related projects.

The album is mainly instrumental and at times the jam sessions hook into a hypnotic groove that entrance the listener. The trademark doo wop style is there as usual but it is not as laboured as other albums. The music ranges from neo-classical to straight out rock. Highlights include WPLJ, Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown and the epic Little House I Used to Live In. The opening track and epic finale are the best moments but overall the album is an enjoyable listen showcasing the virtuoso musicianship of the Mothers of Invention. The tracks blend together and come across as one seamless work of art. Zappa is notorious for chatting to the crowd and this is no exception as he backchats an audience member who complains about the soldiers in the arena; Zappa retorts "Don't fool yourself, everybody in this room is wearing a uniform." Another solid album for Zappa in a period where prog music was becoming defined and formulated.
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