Sunday, June 10, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Joe Zawinul
Song:Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz
Though Joe Zawinul doesn't fit the stereotype of the typical jazz musician, He is one of the most important figures in the latter part of the 20th century. He was born July 7, 1932 in Vienna, Austria. He studied classical piano at the Vienna Conservatory but his interest in jazz inspired him to come to the US in 1958. He spent some time in Maynard Ferguson's band and two years as Dinah Washington's pianist. But it was his nine year stint as Cannonball Addreley's pianist and musical director that established him in the jazz community. After working with Miles Davis on In A Silent Way & Bitches Brew, Zawinul formed Weather Report with sax player Wayne Shorter & bassist Miroslav Vitous in 1970. They would be the most popular jazz/rock fusion band over the next 15 years. Zawinul is one of the few keyboard players who has mastered jazz on the synthesizer. Joe Zawinul still extends the boundaries of jazz with his current band Zawinul Syndicate. Brown Street is his latest CD. Zawinul doesn't seem like a nostalgiac guy but on this CD he has taken Weather Report classics and completely reinvented them with updated arrangements by Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band of Cologne, Germany. Bassist Victor Bailey & former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuna are featured and it was recorded live at Joe Zawinul's Birdland in Vienna and released on his own label. Too bad Wayne Shorter isn't on this. Joe Zawinul was one of the inventors of fusion music and it's great to see him still making great music today. Here's Joe Zawinul & the WDR Big Band performing the music of Weather Report at the 2006 North Sea Fazz Festival in Rotterdam. The video is about 35 minutes long.