359

Joe Zawinul: Faces & Places

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Zawinul: Faces & Places Joe Zawinul wants us to know a secret, if you take the portrait in the liner notes at face value: fusion never died. Zawinul made his reputation at the keyboards with Miles Davis and soared to stardom as the guiding light of Weather Report, a pinnacle of jazz-rock fusion which the genre has rarely surpassed. Lately he's been delving into fusion of another sort, one that might be called "world music" without any of the ethnocentrism this term usually implies. Faces & Places marks a distinctive high-water point for Zawinul, a sentinel of its possibilities and depth.

For Faces & Places, Zawinul has assembled musicians from five continents, including (most notably) Zakir Hussain on tablas, Maria Joao on vocals, and Alex Acuna on percussion. These fourteen tracks span an unpredictable range of styles from the percussion-rich Arabian soul of "Good Day," to the Indian/African fluxus of "Tower of Silence," to the spare call-and-response dance of "Cafe Andalusia." For the most part, it's radio-friendly material (read: no avant excursions here). The depth of percussion on almost every track lends these tunes a full-bodied pulse, and that unyielding foundation helps unite the record. Perhaps that's Zawinul's statement about drums being the center of music, though to be honest he rarely strays from all-too-familiar 4/4 rhythms. No big loss—view it as an artistic choice if you will. Another constant on Faces & Places is the human voice, which appears on all but two of these tunes. Sometimes it's Zawinul on his vocoder, but mostly these voices use unfamiliar languages (or none at all) that convey meaning more through cadence and spirit than literal meaning.

Each track on this record offers promise and intrigue, except for the dismal "Familiar to Me," sandwiched right in the middle. (Nice lyrics, but it's more trite than the lamest of slow jams. Fast forward.) With that said, this record is beautifully lyrical and often surprising. Listeners familiar with Zawinul's Weather Report fusion days will find it a refreshing new angle; and those who've kept up with his more recent multicultural outings will find Faces & Places a fine addition.


Track Listing: The Search; All About Simon; Introduction to Tower of Silence; Tower of Silence; The Spirit of Julian "C" Adderley; Familiar to Me; Cafe Andalusia-A Day in Tunisia; Good Day; Barefoot Beauty; Rooftops of Vienna; Borges Buenos Aires Part 1; Borges Buenos Aires Part 2; Siseya; East 12th Street Band.

Personnel: Joe Zawinul: keyboards, acoustic piano, spoken word, vocoder, chicken neck and keyboard bass; Paco Sery: drums, percussion, kalimba, guitar; Etienne Mbappe: bass, vocals; Amit Chatterjee: guitar, vocals; Bobby Malach: woodwinds, tenor sax; Alex Acuna: shakers; Dean Brown: guitar; Richard Bona: bass, vocals; Victor Bailey: bass; Zakir Hussain: tablas; Nathaniel Townsley; Manolo Badrena: percussion; Rudy Regalado: percussion; Lester Benedict: trombone; Harry Kim: trumpet, flugelhorn; Maria Joao: vocals; Sabine Kabongo: vocals; Richard Page: vocals; Perry Sisters: vocals; Kitty Winter: vocals.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: ESC Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius
bass, electric
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Weather Report Weather Report
band/orchestra
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Mike Stern Mike Stern
guitar
Dave Weckl Dave Weckl
drums
Trilok Gurtu Trilok Gurtu
tablas

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Rope" CD/LP/Track Review Rope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Roma-Rio" CD/LP/Track Review Roma-Rio
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Jazzin' Around Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Jazzin' Around Christmas
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!