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Sunday, October 12, 2008


320 KBPS

How do you steer someone curious about Frank Zappa to a good place to start exploring his amazing career? Possibly the most prolific modern artist of all time, Zappa wore so many shoes it boggles the imagination.
Unlike some other classic Zappa albums that truly take getting used to, like "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" or "One Size Fits All", this CD rocks more than most anything else he did, with a minimal (in number, not ability) band to back him up. And, befitting his underappreciated guitar mastery, which easily is on a par with Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix for originality and overall excellence, "Zoot Allures" features plenty of Zappa guitar work, erasing any doubt to his brilliance.
Like all his material except for his instrumental works, Zappa was sarcastic, misanthropic and sometimes downright juvenile in his attacks on society in general. That acidic commentary is present here, but the real gem is the title track, "Zoot Allures", without question one of the most breathtakingly beautiful guitar instrumentals ever. It is indeed shocking to hear such elegance and sublety from a man not known for his restraint.
After this CD, one can leap virtually anywhere in the immense Zappa catalogue, but this reviewer recommends "Hot Rats" as his next stop and then perhaps "Shiek Yerbouti" or the "Joe's Garage" series. Zappa was a genius, and deserves more attention.
Frank Zappa - guitar, bass, synth, lead-vocal
Terry Bozzio - drums
Davey Moire - vocals on "Wind up…" and "Disco Boy"
Andre Lewis - organ, vocals on "Black Napkins" and "Disco Boy"
Roy Estrada - bass, vocals on "Black Napkins", "Ms.Pinky", "Find Her Finer", "Disco Boy"
Napoleon Murphy Brock - sax, vocalson "Black Napkins"
Ruth Underwood - synth on "Ms. Pinky", marimba & synth on "Friendly Little Finger" and "Zoot Allures"
Donnie Vliet - harmonica on "Find Her Finer"
Ruben Ladron de Guevara - background vocal on "Find Her Finer"
Dave Parlato - bass on "Zoot Allures"
Lu Ann Neil - harp on "Zoot Allures"
Sharkie Barker - background vocal on "Disco Boy"

1. Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station 2:29
2. Black Napkins 4:15
3. The Torture Never Stops 9:45
4. Ms. Pinky 3:40
5. Find Her Finer 4:07
6. Friendly Little Finger 4:17
7. Wonderful Wino 3:38
8. Zoot Allures 4:12
9. Disco Boy 5:09


Ian S said...

Your review has enticed me again, I gotta hear the title track. I've always been a bit unsure which Zappa to get so you can be my guide. Cheers!

Mr Moodswings said...

Did you get Zappa In New York? An awesome live album!

Anonymous said...

Thanks :D