Waka/Wazoo (50th Anniversary Edition Remastered) Frank Zappa
Label: Frank Zappa Catalog
Artist: Frank Zappa
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
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- CD 1:
- 1Your Mouth (Take 1)05:28
- 2Big Swifty (Alternate Take)15:11
- 3Minimal Art (Eat That Question - Version 1, Take 2)10:28
- 4Blessed Relief (Outtake)10:19
- 5Think It Over (The Grand Wazoo) (Outtake)11:23
- 6For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers) (Outtake)08:10
- 7Waka/Jawaka (Outtake)13:41
- CD: 2
- 8Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus (Alternate Take)02:51
- 9Eat That Question (Version 2, Alternate Take)11:08
- 10Big Swifty (Alternate Mix)14:52
- 11For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers) (Alternate Mix)06:29
- 12It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal (Alternate Mix)04:18
- 13Waka/Jawaka (Alternate Mix)15:53
- 14Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus (Alternate Mix)02:57
- 15Eat That Question (Alternate Mix)05:43
- CD: 3
- 16For Love (I Come Your Friend) (George Duke Demo)04:56
- 17Psychosomatic Dung (George Duke Demo)05:12
- 18Uncle Remus (George Duke Demo - Instrumental)03:57
- 19Love (George Duke Demo)03:32
- 20For Love (I Come Your Friend) (George Duke Session Outtake - Basic Track, Take 1)05:02
- 21Psychosomatic Dung (George Duke Session Outtake - Basic Track, Take 2)02:51
- 22Love (George Duke Session Outtake - Basic Track, Take 1)07:13
- 23Approximate (Live - FZ Record Plant Mix)11:06
- 24Winterland '72 Opening and Band Introductions (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)04:47
- 25Little Dots (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)18:37
- CD: 4
- 26America Drinks (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)06:06
- 27Montana (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)06:57
- 28Farther O’Blivion (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)15:02
- 29Cosmik Debris (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)08:11
- 30Chunga’s Revenge (Live At Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco - 12/15/1972)18:04
Info for Waka/Wazoo (50th Anniversary Edition Remastered)
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mothers Of Invention/Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo experience from 1972. During the aftermath of being pushed off the stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London, England; Frank Zappa found himself recuperating for months in his home in Laurel Canyon. Although he was confined to a wheelchair, his work ethic could not be tamed. During this time, he managed, among other things, to assemble an ensemble that quenched his thirst and desire to work with a large “Electric Orchestra.” Ultimately, a 20-piece group was contracted, along with recording sessions and an 8-city tour. Shortly thereafter, a scaled down 10-piece configuration, now known as the “Petit Wazoo” toured for almost two months. After all was said and done, Frank Zappa finished the experiment with two albums in the can, Waka/Jawaka & The Grand Wazoo, plus two tours and an archive of show masters in his Vault. It was a monumental feat for a guy with a cast on his leg and a conductor’s baton in his hand. The Waka/Wazoo box set features a complete historical run-down of the entire project, featuring alternate takes of almost every composition recorded during the album sessions, along with Vault mix session outtakes and oddities. Also included is the full final show of the 10-piece tour, recorded at the famous Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on December 15, 1972.
Finally, during the album recording sessions at Paramount Studios, Frank Zappa worked with George Duke on some of Duke’s solo material. These demos were produced by Zappa, who also played guitar. Although George would go on to re-record the compositions for his own albums, the versions with FZ have never been officially issued until now.
Following the completion of 1972's Just Another Band From L.A., recorded live at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles in August 1971, Zappa turned to assembling an electric orchestra, a large group of musicians that would be able to play super intricate compositions with the intensity and volume of a modern rock concert. The musicians largely consisted of players new to Zappa, with a few familiar faces in the mix, and included folks like drummer Aynsley Dunbar and bassist Alex "Erroneous" Dmochowski, who Dunbar brought into the fold, longtime Mothers keyboardists George Duke and Don Preston, guitarist Tony Duran, percussionists Alan Estes, Bob Zimmitti and a whole host of brass and woodwind players that included the likes of Sal Marquez, Malcolm McNab, Kenny Shroyer, Earle Dumler, and Tony "Bat Man" Ortega.
Rehearsals started for the album recording sessions sometime in late March/early April and once the material was honed to his satisfaction, Zappa and crew decamped to Paramount Studios where recording began on April 10, 1972. By the end of the month, Zappa, who handled production, guitar and conducting duties, had recorded the bulk of two albums, the jazz-influenced Waka/Jawaka (intended by Zappa as a sequel to Hot Rats), recorded with a lineup of six to nine musicians, and the epic and ambitious jazz-fusion masterwork, The Grand Wazoo, recorded with a larger ensemble ranging from eight to as many as 20 musicians.
Zappa planned that following the Waka/Wazoo sessions, a touring version of what he dubbed the "Mothers of Invention/Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo" would perform a short eight-date tour in September of 1972. As Travers writes in the illuminating liner notes, "once the Wazoo project was set in motion, the first thing Frank did was hire Kenny Shroyer to help enlist and contract the musicians. 20 of them were eventually hired, and new musical relationships were created. Some musicians such as Sal Marquez, Bruce Fowler and bass player Dave Parlato would go on to be involved in future Zappa endeavors. The debut of the live 20-piece would take place at none other than the Hollywood Bowl on September 10, 1972. It was the first time Zappa ever played the historic venue. After a trip to Europe and back with the monstrous group, seven shows later it was over. Within six months, the concept switched to a 10-piece line up that was billed as the Mothers Of Invention but would later be endorsed as the "Petite Wazoo."
The Wazoo 20-piece band seems to have been only captured on tape once, or at least that's all that has been found in the Vault thus far. Included in the box set is Zappa's sonically treated edited master of "Approximate" from the September 24th, 1972 Boston Music Hall show. The version is unreleased, although the full Boston performance was released in 2007 as Wazoo. Following the Grand Wazoo tour, Zappa, as Parker writes in the liners "then headed back out on the road in late October 1972 for a two-month tour with a scaled down, more financially viable 10-piece band, playing yet another repertoire of largely new compositions. This show is historically significant not only because it was the group's last, but it also brought a conclusion to FZ's Wazoo-era experiment."
Presented in the order they were recorded, the alternates and outtakes on the Waka/Wazoo box set provide a window into Frank Zappa's creative process as he worked on two of his most ambitious and beloved albums as he was going through one of the most emotionally and physically challenging times of his life. Waka/Wazoo commemorates fifty years of Zappa's incredible output in 1972, a year when he found recovery and "blessed relief" in his art.
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