All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate: 75

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
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 enthusiasts. Zawinul then spent some time with Miles Davis, an association that led to "In a Silent Way." Zawinul brought the Wurlitzer and Fender-Rhodes electric pianos into the jazz mainstream. A founding member of the fusion juggernaut Weather Report, he later created the Zawinul Syndicate.

"Orient Express" kick starts this musical adventure. After an ominous introduction, the entire ensemble sizzles, particularly bassist Linley Marthe and drummer Paco Sery. Guitarist Alegre Correa and a trio of percussionists add to the stunning level of energy presented. Zawinul shows his skills on keyboards and vocoder, but it's the overall play of the band that sets this track in motion.

"Scarlet Woman" has an easygoing groove with a touch of funk. The congas are a powerful presence. Sery scores several rapid-fire strikes on the cymbals and later delivers some hard-charging rolls on the toms. Marthe's solo brings to mind another of Zawinul's associates, the late bassist Jaco Pastorius.

"Fast City / Two Lines" opens the second disc with the same level of energy that began the first. Correa's solo is framed by the percussion, along with more of Marthe's stunning bass, the friction high during his solo later in the song. Sabine Kabongo of Zap Mama fame adds a vocal scat, in addition to her percussion play.

After being treated to a rendition of "Happy Birthday" by the band, Zawinul is joined by fellow Miles Davis band and Weather Report alum Wayne Shorter. Soprano sax and keyboard perform a duet on "In a Silent Way."

Despite poor health, Zawinul continued to perform. This 75th birthday concert was recorded at a festival in Lugano, Switzerland, on July 7, 2007, about two months before he died of cancer. That he delivered such an exceptional performance is a testament to his talent and dedication in sharing his gift.

Track Listing: CD1: Introduction to Orient Express; Orient Express; Madagascar; Scarlet Woman; Zanza II; Cafe Andalusia. CD2: Fast City / Two Lines; Clario; Badia / Boogie Woogie Waltz; Happy Birthday; In a Silent Way; Hymn.

Personnel: Joe Zawinul: keyboards, vocoder; Sabine Kabongo: vocals, percussion; Alegre Correa: vocals, berimbau; Linley Marthe: bass; Paco Sery: drums, kalimba, vocals; Jorge Bezerra: percussion, vocals; Aziz Sahmaoui: percussion, vocals; Wayne Shorter: soprano saxophone (CD2#5).

Title: 75 | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Heads Up International


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Heads Up International



Kedar Entertainment Group


To You With Love

Kedar Entertainment Group

Brown Street

Brown Street

Heads Up International


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Witchy Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review Witchy Feelin'
by Doug Collette
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Hesitantly Pleasant" CD/LP/Track Review Hesitantly Pleasant
by John Sharpe
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Dirt In The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt In The Ground
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Together Apart" CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2018