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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Absolute Ensemble Featuring Joe Zawinul: Absolute Zawinul

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Few musicians have left a stamp on modern music as indelible as Josef Zawinul. In an artistic life that spanned over fifty years, playing and absorbing the sounds of nearly every continent, Zawinul not only wrote and played beautiful music on the piano but also extended the horizons of the synthesizer in contemporary music. No one--not even Ralph Towner and Lyle Mays--has done more for the instrument in all its incarnations and Zawinul, probably out of a certain diffidence, made its vocal peripheral, the Vocoder, something of his own. On Absolute Zawinul, a project that came together in the sunset ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Absolute Ensemble featuring Joe Zawinul: Absolute Zawinul

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The musical legacy of Austrian-born composer/keyboardist Joe Zawinul extends further than his illustrious tenure with Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis (1960s-1970s) or as co-leader of the fusion super-group Weather Report (1970s-1980s) with fellow icon musicians Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius. In his later days, although with less notoriety, he continued to gain momentum by recording and performing with his newfound ensembles Weather Update and Zawinul Syndicate, which produced an eclectic and vibrant body of music. The posthumous Absolute Zawinul is Zawinul's last studio recording before his passing on September 11, 2007. In collaboration with Estonian-born conductor/composer Kristjan ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Zawinul: Money In The Pocket

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Recorded in late 1965, while keyboard player Joe Zawinul was still a member of saxophonist Cannonball Adderley's band, Money In The Pocket is a remarkable album--remarkable in that gives absolutely no hint of the shape shifts that would transform Zawinul's work a few years later. The first of three albums he recorded for Atlantic, it's a conventional mix of mid-1960s hard bop and soul jazz. Trumpeter Miles Davis' revolutionary In A Silent Way (CBS), recorded in early 1969, which featured Zawinul (who also wrote the title track), is on another planet, while Weather Report's eponymous debut (CBS, 1971) is in ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Joe Zawinul: A Musical Portrait

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Joe Zawinul A Musical Portrait Arthaus Musik 2008

Joe Zawinul was a man of many parts. Player of keyboards, composer, vocalist, and boxing enthusiast: he rolled them all into one. All of these are given a close look by director Mark Kidel on A Musical Portrait.

Zawinul was born in Vienna and brought up playing classical music. But there was a far greater calling for him one that was nudged by his natural curiosity. When he was around seven, he took the green felt from a billiards table and added ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate: 75

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Some artists play until they drop--not always a good thing--but for Weather Report co-founder/Zawinul Syndicate leader Joe Zawinul, his life was defined by a tough stoicism. Unlike drummer Elvin Jones, whose final days were tragic in the loss of his signature strength, the groundbreaking keyboardist gigged--despite the Merkel cell carcinoma that would result in his passing on September 11, 2007--until very near the end. Based on 75--taken from gigs recorded within two months of passing--there were certainly no indicators that he was ill, let alone approaching death. The closing tracks on the second of this two-CD set ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate: 75

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A gift. That's perhaps the most effective description of the late Josef (Joe) Zawinul and what he has given to the world of music. So it follows that on his 75th and final birthday, one of the pioneers of jazz fusion performed the music that would become the two-disc 75, his final recording. Zawinul was born in Austria but moved to the United States, where he played with such luminaries as Maynard Ferguson and Cannonball Adderley. It was during his time with Adderley's band that Zawinul composed the often-covered “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," a favorite among jazz and blues ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Zawinul: Brown Street

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If you're looking to relax and maybe have a little background music to help you snooze, don't go near Brown Street, the new release by Austrian-born Joe Zawinul. If, on the other hand, you need a pick-me-up, this is it. Revisiting some of his past hits and backed by the WDR Big Band, Zawinul reiterates that he's an exceptional musician and songwriter. Zawinul's career has spanned more than four decades. Among the jazz icons he has performed or recorded with are Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley. It was during his years with Adderley that Zawinul ...



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