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Frank Zappa - Waka / Jawaka CD (album) cover

WAKA / JAWAKA

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.92 | 459 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This brassy, flashy, and playful Zappa release mixes the largely instrumental jams heard on the excellent Hot Rats with the full on jazz orchestra sound from Grand Wazoo. As such, it's an album in transition which is a little fluffy in terms of content to sink one's teeth into, but is never the less a lot of fun.

The big draws of Waka/Jawaja are the extended instrumental works, "Big Swifty" and "Waka/Jawaka". "Big Swifty" especially offers up tasty grooves, heavy brass hits, complex time signature changes, and non-stop soloing that interweaves its way through a rich palette of sounds. A genuinely great fusion song, and very likable thanks to the outstanding playing by the diverse band. "Waka/Jawaka" is a bit tighter in its composition, and has more Zappa guitar work. Despite having a shorter running length, it seems to get more done than "Big Swifty," probably because there's less open-endlessness to the soloing. Fans of rhythm section work are in for a treat.

The shorter songs are largely diversions that tickle the funny bone but don't stand up to the same scrutiny or repeated listens as the jams. Zappa doesn't hit it out of the park with Waka/Jawaka, but adds another solid record to his extensive library. A worthy release for fans of the mustached one's orchestra work.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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