Uncut (magazine) - p.69
"CHUNGA'S REVENGE is his first attempt to assemble a smaller, more streamlined band."
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar, harpsichord, drums, percussion); George Duke (vocals, trombone, electric piano, organ); Jeff Simmons (vocals, bass); Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan (vocals); Ian Underwood (electric alto saxophone with wah-wah pedal, guitar, piano, electric piano, organ, pipe organ); Sugar Cane Harris (organ); Max Bennett (bass); John Guerin, Aynsley Dunbar (drums).
Engineers include: Dick Kunc, Stan Agoi, Roy Baker.
Recorded at T.T.G. Inc. and The Record Plant, Hollywood, California; Whitney Studios, Glendale, California; Trident Studios, London, England. "The Nancy & Mary Music" was recorded live at the Tyronne Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Digitally remastered by Bob Stone.
Recording information: T.T.G. Inc., Hollywood; The Record Plant, Hollywood; Trident Studios, London; Whitney Studios, Glendale.
Illustrator: Cal Schenkel.
Arranger: Frank Zappa.
This 1970 release finds Zappa and band at the apex of their improvisational powers. CHUNGA'S REVENGE largely eschews both high concept and satire in order to focus on the considerable jamming expertise of Zappa and his cohorts. In its original LP form, the album was divided into two discrete halves. The first side consists of extended, largely instrumental pieces where Zappa and his musicians stretch out and show off their improv chops over relatively simple, often blues-based structures. The keyboard-based instrumental interlude "Twenty Small Cigars" provides an interesting semi-classical change of pace.
Side two contains shorter, vocal-oriented numbers, with harmonies that draw on the doo-wop influence of Zappa's youth (a recurrent element in his work). Slightly schizophrenic though it may be, CHUNGA'S REVENGE is something of a showcase for the members of Zappa's group, displaying their vocal and instrumental interaction to fine effect.