From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frank Zappa - Waka-Jawaka.jpg
Studio album by Frank Zappa
Released July 5, 1972
Recorded April 17–21 and May, 1972
Studio Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Jazz fusion, progressive rock, big band
Length 36:08
Label Bizarre/Reprise
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Just Another Band from L.A.
#14 (1972)Just Another Band from L.A.String Module Error: Match not found
#15 (1972)
The Grand Wazoo
#16 (1972)The Grand WazooString Module Error: Match not found
Audio sample
Sample of the album's title track
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB[2]
Kerrang!2.5/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[4]

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."[5]


"Big Swifty" is a jazz-fusion tune, similar to many of Zappa's pieces from the jazz period of his compositional time line. It features many horns to achieve a thick brassy sound as well as room for improvisation and use of multiple time signatures. Opening in a fast 7/8 riff, the tune continues to alternate between 7/8 and 6/8 (or 3/4) times, finally ending on a 4/4 swing time signature. Known recorded live versions expanded rhythmic diversification to 11/8 and rubato parts (e.g. live in Texas, 1973).[6]

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.[7]


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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.

Side one
1."Big Swifty"17:22
Side two
2."Your Mouth"3:12
3."It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal"4:16


Musicians on the album[edit]


  • Producer: Frank Zappa
  • Engineers: Marshall Brevitz, Kerry McNabb
  • Mastering: Frank Zappa
  • Supervisor: Marshall Brevitz
  • Concept: Sal Marquez
  • Creative consultant: Sal Marquez
  • Design: Cal Schenkel
  • Cover Design: Cal Schenkel
  • Cover illustration: Marvin Mattelson
  • Illustrations: Marvin Mattelson
  • Photography: Philip Schartz
  • Back cover: Philip Schwartz
  • Packaging: Cal Schenkel
  • Repackaging: Ferenc Dobronyi


Album - Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1972 Billboard 200 152


  1. ^ Couture, F. (2011). "Waka/Jawaka - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 4155". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Henderson, Paul (28 January 1989). "Slippery Customers". Kerrang!. No. 223. p. 18. ISSN 0262-6624. 
  4. ^ Houghton, Rob (2011). "Frank Zappa: Waka/Jawaka : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Frank Zappa interview, November, 1972, on WGOE-FM Richmond VA interview by Jerry Williams from the Frank Zappa GSW Project Vol. 6 1971-72, disk 2 track 22
  6. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/big-swifty-mt0011390668
  7. ^ Page 199; Frank Zappa: "The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play" by Ben Watson, St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1995
  8. ^ http://www.redtelephone66.com/?s=kris+peterson

External links[edit]