Frank Zappa: The Gumbo Variations
The Gumbo Variations
Frank Zappa (guitar)
Hot Rats (Rykodisc 10508)
Composed by Frank Zappa.
Recorded: Los Angeles, July 18-August 30, 1969
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
While the Beatles were working on Abbey Road, Frank Zappa was playing around with Hot Rats. This was the way fusion should have sounded . . . raising rock to a higher level of musicianship and creativity, rather than packaging watered-down jazz for the masses. "The Gumbo Variations" is a hard-grooving 17-minute jam with one of the tightest rhythm sections you have ever heard on a jazz-rock album. And the solos are topnotch -- Ian Underwood's tenor sax outing deserves your immediate attention, and Zappa scorches everything in sight with his guitar work.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia