USA, 1969, jazz-rock / jazz fusion

Frank ZappaHot Rats: There are moments when the stars align and the muses themselves come down to touch the lips and fingertips of artists they favor. This is one such album—or rather, the way “Willie the Pimp” and “The Gumbo Variations” go together. Willie is the only actual voice on this whole album, but “Gumbo” is him speaking in a different way—speaking with his feet as he walks his neighborhood, speaking with the back of his hand when he has to put his hos in line. I wish I hadn’t given my pimp costume to my friend. I had this amazing pimp costume I wore at Halloween. It was made of (fake) crushed velvet, lined with zebra-striped felt—and platform shoes to match. The ridiculous, wide-brimmed hat was lined in glittery gold ribbon. I’d wear it right now while listening to this album, the way Buscemi puts on lipstick and listens to “Telephone Line”.

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