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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 August 2010
1972 and what sounds like the same lineup as the Grand Wazoo sessions, of which I would say this is the twin album. Early 70's Jazz ensamble rock par excellence. Aynsley Dunbar drumming like he's on another planet but linked to FZ (bass by Erroneous-this must be Frank?) by an invisible ectoplasmic cord ( or is that chord?).
Your Mouth is a kinda boogie shuffle, jazzed up and sleazed up with some neat guitar and brass licks. In fact Sal Marquez's trumpet features really heavily throughout this album, to great effect.
One Shot Deal - FZ playing "electric bed springs", is what people did before samplers. This song almost smells of some crumby Texas redneck diner where, if you dared to select it on the jukebox you're gonna git stomped by Lonesome Cowboy Burt - ya commie!
The title track, has Don Preston doing fantastic things with his MiniMoog - no one plays a Moog like Don, superb! The long outro brass melody is brilliant in the extended fade out, with tubular bells adding lush texture as it poots away into the sunset.
The digital remastering process has really done this album justice. There's no nasty bass reductions like on some of the remastered back catalogue and I'm hearing stuff in the mix now that I never heard on vinyl.
An often overlooked album by Zappologists but one that I reckon deserves shelf space in any collection.....shame about the tanktop Frank !
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on 1 October 2012
At last there is a new 2012 CD edition of Waka/Jawaka (Zappa Records) and it does not have any of the copious amounts of additional reverb that were added to the older 1995 Ryko CD.

The new 2012 issue of Waka/Jawaka CD has been remastered from original analogue tapes, and sounds to me as good as, if not better than the original LP.

Running at just over 35 minutes, this is a very listenable album that includes some surprising pedal steel & Hawaiian guitar playing on "It Just Might Be A One Shot Deal" courtesy of "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow & Jeff Simmons. Other musicians featured on this album include Aynsley Dunbar (Drums) & George Duke (Keyboards).

If you decide to add Waka/Jawaka [Hot Rats 2] to your collection make sure you order the new, improved upgraded 2012 one!

* Note - all reviews written prior to September 2012 relate to an earlier REMIXED CD edition.
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on 19 April 2001
didn't think i would like this album but god does it grow on you. it starts and ends with excellent jazz/rock instrumentals, with some legendary zappa solos. there are also some excellent satirical songs thrown in for good measure
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This is amongst Zappa finest essentially instrumental albums. This one features mutated versions of the Grand Wazoo big band . Zappa had a non stop work ethic which led him to record stuff with band lineups that would see the tracks left to one side until the right album came along for the track to "fit into" and this is the case here, four tracks and four lineups. The Hot Rats, Grand Wazoo, Sleep Dirt stuff was mainly recorded during Franks recovery from serious injuries sustained when he was pushed off the stage in London by an irate and jealous fan. Frank was unable to do much of anything except write music while he was at his worst. When he recovered sufficiently he got into the studio and got various groups of folk, depending on availability, to drop in and record his new music.

The vocals of It Might Just be a One Shot Deal often get a firm slating due to the almost monotonal delivery by the apparently tuneless Janet Ferguson, but I like them. They certainly create an impression. The pedal steel work on this track by Sneaky Pete Kleinow is outstanding, light and optimistic, adding a sound that is unique amongst Zappas output. The only other moment of levity that is as heartwarming as this is the track Sleep Dirt where James Birdlegs Youman gets his fingers stuck in his guitar..

Big Band Jazz that is not jazz, nor fusion, in the Zappa style.

The sound is sublime having been mastered by Doug Sax, who did the best sounding 2012 remasters in my opinion.

Absolutely superb!
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on 4 November 2012
The 2012 analogue remasters by Bob Ludwig are far better than earlier analogue remasterings. 1972s Waka Jawaka is subtitled Hot Rats 2 in Zappa's amazing Hot Rats jazz fusion trilogy ( Sleep Dirt 2012 remaster version is Hot Rats 3)

This exbanded band & horn section session draws heavily on Miles Davis Bitches Brew era fusion, featuring trumpet solos and at times McLaughlin like guitar work. As such its a real treat, as Herbie Hancocks Mwandishi was the only other band to expand and run with the Bitches Brew style. Always Zappaesque, it perhaps has a wider appeal than some of his more avante garde albums.

So definitely get all 3 Hot Rats albums, and if Waka Jawaka suits also purchase its big band twin The Grand Wazoo. All come highly recommended to jazz & fusion fans.
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on 4 March 2008
Having been knocked out by the brilliance of Apostrophe & One Size... when they were first released, as a teenager I then bought this thinking it would be more of the same. It wasnt.

However, the more I played it, the more I liked it & I still enjoy it today. It was the first album that I owned that I recognised as jazz because of the brass section & it took me into new areas of music. Subsequently I realised that Islands by King Crimson & Bundles by Soft Machine which had been favourites of mine whilst at school (mainly because of the guitar playing) were in fact jazz-rock, but Waka Jawaka was the realisation of my interest in the genre.

For more sophisticated tastes.
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on 16 February 2012
This is a great but not greatest album. Brother to the Grand Wazoo and Hot Rats it has 2 long jazz influenced tracks and 2 shorter ones. For me it just doesnt groove as well as Wazoo or have the cutting jazz of Rats. There is however one absolute classic track - it just might be a 1 shot deal - which you will listen to over and over.
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on 1 June 2016
In my top 10 best Zappa albums ever made, brilliant musicianship, listen to it on headphones nice and loud, superb remaster this 2012 edition!
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on 16 February 2016
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on 2 May 2016
Only buy 2012 Re-mix's (back to original) Zappa. Avoid anything re-mixed by Bob Stone.
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