Frank Zappa: Little Umbrellas


Little Umbrellas


Frank Zappa (guitar)


Hot Rats (Bizarre/Reprise)

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Frank Zappa (guitar), Ian Underwood (keyboards, organ, saxophones), Max Bennett (bass), John Guerin (drums).

Composed by Frank Zappa


Recorded: July 18 - August 30, 1969, Los Angeles, CA


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Frank Zappa was the all-seeing master of the musical universe. Zappa was so many things; a genius and prolific composer, a satirical humorist, and a talented guitarist, with shades of doo-wop mixed with Johnny "Wah-Wah" Watson. Recorded during the summer of 1969, Hot Rats was a musical masterpiece, conceived not long after he disbanded the Mothers of Invention. The album is chalked full of extended, jazz influenced songs. Though the album is best known for "Peaches En Regalia," it features the three-minute piece "Little Umbrellas."

The song starts off with a two-chord vamp by Ian Underwood, who plays just about every instrument on the album, including countless overdubs with keyboards and woodwinds. The song rolls through the A section over a swinging upright bass line by Max Bennett. The real joy of this song is found in the orchestration, which foreshadowed the ground Zappa would cover with his work in the early 70s. This period marked the beginning of Zappa's departure into his own hybrid mix of jazz-funk-rock fusion. "Little Umbrellas" falls to the side when people talk about Hot Rats but this song is more than worthy of praise.

Reviewer: Jared Pauley


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