FRANK ZAPPA — Hot Rats (review)

FRANK ZAPPA — Hot Rats album cover Album · 1969 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Warthur
As one of the first musicians to experiment with fusing jazz and rock - coming from a rock direction just as the likes of Miles Davis and Tony Williams were approaching the idea from a jazz direction - it was only a matter of time before Frank Zappa tried his hand at an all-fusion album. Showcasing both his own guitar technique and the multi-instrumental capabilities of Ian Underwood, Hot Rats is the tour de force which proved that Zappa was still a major progressive figure despite the breakup of the original Mothers of Invention. Captain Beefheart pops in to deliver a furious vocal performance on the jazz-blues-rock meld of Willie the Pimp - the sole composition with vocals - whilst Zappa, Underwood, and the assembled musicians make full use of 16-track recording technologies to create dense, layered labyrinths of sound over the entire album. Standout tracks include Son of Mr Green Genes, a rich vein of improvisation structured around a song originally appearing on Uncle Meat, and the epic Gumbo Variations, but every single song on the album is a furious, blinding sample of Zappa's hot new sound. Five stars.
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