RCD 10516 Waka/Jawaka
Produced by Frank Zappa
Released on July 5, 1972
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10516 cover  

S omething of a sequel to Hot Rats, recorded while Frank Zappa was in convalescence following a serious stage accident. Maybe it’s the product of an itchy cast or a febrile mind, but Waka/Jawaka is more restless than usual; noisy, Frankly. The opening “Big Swifty” is standoffishly notey, forsaking the warm jazz/classical tones of earlier (and future) works to indulge in an agitated jam that smacks of post-bop elitism on a sprawling scale. At least that’s my take on it, though listeners who revel in jazz excess for its own sake might see big plans afoot here. Better by far is the instrumental “Waka/Jawaka,” a clear harbinger of the music for small, horny orchestra that would pop up all over The Grand Wazoo. In between the two “serious” works are a pair of vocal songs: the demented Dixieland blues (sorry, that’s not quite it at all) of “Your Mouth” and the delightful “It Might Just Be A One-Shot Deal.” Both could be seen as extensions of Chunga’s Revenge (“Road Ladies” and “Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink,” respectively), though “One-Shot Deal” is such a prime example of Zappa’s warped, offhand genius that I put it on something of a pedestal. Yet among the great Dubyas (Weeny, Weasels, Wazoo), Waka/Jawaka’s is an intermittent intelligence, an experiment that creates a lot of smoke but no groundbreaking realizations. Given that some folks’ antennae go up when they hear Frank and fusion cited in the same sentence, all I can do is offer the cautionary caveat that Waka/Jawaka leaves many of my Frank Zappa fusion buttons unpushed.

TRACK LISTING

  1. BIG SWIFTY
  2. YOUR MOUTH
  3. IT JUST MIGHT BE A ONE-SHOT DEAL
  4. WAKA/JAWAKA

CREDITS

FRANK ZAPPA -- guitar
GEORGE DUKE -- keyboards
AYNSLEY DUNBAR -- drums
TONY DURAN -- slide guitar
ERRONEOUS -- bass
SAL MARQUEZ -- trumpet, vocals
Mike Altschul --
Bill Byers --
Alex Dmochowski --
Janet Ferguson --
Sneaky Pete Kleinow --
Joel Peskin --
Chris Peterson --
Don Preston --
Kenny Shroyer --
Jeff Simmons --
Ian Underwood --

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 5, 1972 Bizarre LP MS 2094  
UK 1972 Bizarre/Reprise LP K44203  
US 1990? Barking Pumpkin CS 74215  
US 1991 Rykodisc CD 10094 digital remaster
US Apr/May 1995 Rykodisc CD RCD 10516 digital remaster

 

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