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Frank Zappa - Waka / Jawaka CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.92 | 459 ratings

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4 stars Personally, I don't think there is any better way to herald a hot summer afternoon than the first few notes of "Big Swifty". When, this past Monday" I walked out into the bright sunlight, sunglasses on, headphones affixed to skull, and this came flowing into my ears, I knew it was summertime and a bounce found its way to my step and I was off to stroll around Philadelphia, with my old pal Frank Zappa.

In 1970 Frank Zappa was pushed offstage during a show at London's Rainbow Theatre. The injuries he sustained took a full year to heal. He took up convalescence in his studio, giving most of the Mothers the year off and turning his attention towards more serious composition. Although there are five records between 1969's classic Hot Rats and Waka/Jawaka this is the first since 1969 to be recorded and intended to be heard as a whole (the others being compilations). It's a logical next step. While Hot Rats mated Hard Rock and Jazz with furious and fruitful success, Waka/Jawaka adds some more ingredients to the stew. There's funk, Bop, big band, and even a little country in here. Zappa enters into Miles Davis and John Coltrane realms here and predates much of P-Funk's experimentation. This is beautiful, baffling, challenging music.

My favorite moment on the record. About a minute-a- a-half into "It Just Might Be a One- Shot Deal" there is a pedal steel solo. accompanied by strummed guitar, mandolin, bass, and drum. It's a transcendent few minutes, some of the most beautiful ever captured on record. It features Burrito Brother Sneaky Pete Kleinow, one of the greatest (and unsung) musicians of our time.

Just perfect for a sunny stroll though Philadelphia- Greg Trout

| 4/5 |


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