|Studio album by|
|Released||July 5, 1972|
|Recorded||April 17–21 and May, 1972|
|Studio||Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, California|
|Frank Zappa chronology|
|Frank Zappa (solo) chronology|
Sample of the album's title track
|Christgau's Record Guide||B|
Waka/Jawaka (also known as Waka/Jawaka — Hot Rats) is the fourth solo album by Frank Zappa, released in July 1972. The album is the jazz-influenced precursor to The Grand Wazoo (November 1972), and as the front cover indicates, a sequel of sorts to 1969's Hot Rats. According to Zappa, the title "is something that showed up on a ouija board at one time."
"Big Swifty" is a jazz-fusion tune, similar to many of Zappa's pieces from the jazz period of his compositional timeline. It features many horns to achieve a thick brassy sound as well as room for improvisation and use of multiple time signatures. The tune initially alternates between 7
8 and 3
4 time signatures, soon settling on a 4
4 swing feel for several extended solos. Known recorded live versions expanded rhythmic diversification to 11
8 and rubato parts (e.g. live in Texas, 1973).
The track "It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal" is a strange tale of hallucinations sung by Sal Marquez and Janet Ferguson (the "tough-minded" groupie in 200 Motels). Jeff Simmons' Hawaiian guitar sets up a dream-like, smooth quality, but with the words "but you should be diggin' it while it's happening cause it just might be a one-shot deal", though played in real time rather than achieved with a splice, it again sounds as if the music has started to run backwards.
Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "With Sal Marquez playing 'many trumpets' all over 'Big Swifty,' there are times you could drop the needle and think you were listening to recent Miles Davis. That's certainly what Zappa's been doing. But where Davis is occasionally too loose, Zappa's always too tight—he seems to perceive only what is weird and alienating in his influences, never what is humane. Also, Sal Marquez doesn't play trumpet(s) as good as Miles."
It was reissued in a digitally remastered version on CD by Rykodisc in 1986 (with much digital reverb added and missing the back cover artwork) and in 1995 (restoring the rear cover, but with identical sound). In 2012, Universal Music released a CD containing a remastered version of the original vinyl mix.
All songs written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.
|3.||"It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal"||4:16|
Album - Billboard (United States)