Zappa Wazoo Live Album

By Team JamBase Jun 12, 2008 4:03 pm PDT

Previously Unreleased 2-CD Concert Album Wazoo

Frank Zappa
Vaulternative Records released Frank Zappa‘s 2-CD concert recording Wazoo on May 27, 2008, marking the first 2008 anniversary release exclusively from the Zappa Family Trust. The Trust – headed by Zappa’s widow Gail Zappa – celebrates the musical legacy of Frank Zappa with new albums, DVDs and AudioDocumentaries.

Wazoo is the third concert release from Vaulternative Records, which releases whole concert albums and other miscellaneous Vault recordings. The Trust also runs Zappa Records, which consists of finished masters or album projects produced exclusively by Frank Zappa. Zappa Records releases include MOFO: two historic multi-disc packages on the making of Zappa’s seminal debut album Freak Out!

Recorded at a historic Boston Music Hall concert on September 24, 1972, Wazoo captures the final performance by Zappa’s 20-piece aggregation (named the “Grand Wazoo/ Hot Rats/ The Mothers of Invention” band). Zappa himself termed the group an “electric orchestra, capable of performing intricate compositions at the same sound-intensity levels normally associated with other forms of pop music… [It] bears little resemblance to any previous form of rock and roll band.” The instrumentation includes the contrabass sarrusophone, euphonium, and baritone horn. Wazoo is the first recording of this group ever released.

The 2-CD set also includes liner notes by Wazoo member and session player Malcolm McNab, Gail Zappa, as well as photos from the rehearsals in a layout prepared by Frank Zappa with notes he wrote for The Grand Wazoo and the live concert series in 1972. The cover features a whimsical 2003 surrealistic (in the manner of Dali) painting of Zappa by American artist Christopher Mark Brennan. The “Vaultmeister” (the Vault’s chief archivist and resident authority on what lurks where), Joe Travers is credited as co-producer with Gail Zappa. The Vaultmeister is also the drummer in Zappa Plays Zappa. The album will be available at and at select retailers.

Wazoo celebrates the thirty-fifth anniversary of Zappa’s studio album The Grand Wazoo, which in itself was a necessary but thoroughly expensive departure for Zappa whose life as a composer was entirely supported by virtue of being a rock and roll musician. All Music Guide calls the May, 1973 album “essential for anyone interested in Zappa’s instrumental works.”

Frank Zappa, American composer, was born in 1940 and died in 1993.

Look out for additional releases on Vaulternative Records and Zappa Records in 2008.

Wazoo Lineup:

Frank Zappa – guitar and white stick with cork handle Tony Duran – slide guitar Ian Underwood – piano and synthesizer Dave Parlato – bass Jerry Kessler – electric cello Jim Gordon – electric drums Mike Altshul – piccolo, bass clarinet and other winds Jay Migliori – flute, tenor sax and other winds Earl Dumler – oboe, contrabass sarrusophone and other winds Ray Reed – clarinet, tenor sax and other winds Charles Owens – soprano sax, alto sax and other winds Joann McNab – bassoon Malcolm McNab – trumpet in D Sal Marquez – trumpet in Bb Tom Malone – trumpet in Bb, also tuba Glenn Ferris – trombone and euphonium Kenny Shroyer – trombone and baritone horn Bruce Fowler – trombone of the upper atmosphere Tom Raney – vibes and electric percussion Ruth Underwood – marimba and electric percussion

JamBase Collections