Petit Wazoo Personnel

After the brief tour of the twenty-piece Grand Wazoo, FZ whittled the band down to half its former size. He kept the core of the rhythm section: drummer Jim Gordon, bassist Dave Parlato, and slide guitarist Tony Duran, but not keyboard player Ian Underwood, cellist Jerry Kessler, or percussionists Ruth Underwood and Tom Raney. He kept half of the wind players, primarily the brass rather than the woodwinds, which had been difficult to keep in tune. In were trumpeter Malcolm McNab, trombonists Bruce Fowler and Glenn Ferris, multi-instrumentalist Tom Malone, and oboist Earle Dumler. Out were trombonist Ken Shroyer, saxophone player Charles Owen, multi-reed players Mike Altschul, Jay Migliori, and Ray Reed, and bassoonist Joanne Caldwell McNab. Trumpeter Sal Marquez was replaced by Gary Barone. (Since Marquez was back in 1973, I assume that his absence from the Petit Wazoo line-up was due to previous commitments.)

The Petit Wazoo line-up was thus:

None of these musicians had played with FZ before 1972, and only three (Dumler, McNab, and Duran) had played on either of the 1972 studio albums. Only two of them (Malone and Fowler) played for FZ after 1972.

A noteworthy fact about this band is that there were ten soloists. (I think. FZ usually did not announce soloists, so I can't be positive that both trumpeters and both trombonists played solos.) Zappa regularly soloed on "Cosmik Debris", "Duke Of Prunes", "Imaginary Diseases", and "Montana". Malone, Fowler, and Gordon regularly took solos on "Farther Oblivion". Parlato and Gordon regularly duetted on "Little Dots". Dumler regularly soloed on "Duke Of Prunes" and "Rollo", and Duran regularly soloed on "Rollo". "America Drinks", "Chunga's Revenge", and various one-time-only performances featured a variety of horn solos.

But the Petit Wazoo wasn't just about solos. There was also fine ensemble work from the six-piece horn section--larger than on any subsequent FZ tour. The rhythm section was also impeccable. And finally, for those American audiences with little patience for instrumental music, FZ sang on four songs.

Profiles of individual musicians:

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Hunchentootin' by Charles Ulrich.