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Joe Zawinul - The Rise & Fall of the Third Stream CD (album) cover


Joe Zawinul

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Joe Zawinul's third solo album, coming still from his pre-Miles/Weather Report period. Austrian born musician lived in States from 1961 and learned plenty from American jazz musicians.

This his album is very eclectic and transitional. Without big relation with "third stream", mentioned in the album's name, music there is hard bop and fusion mostly. OK, there are some some strings section's arrangements, but they sound mostly always out of place - European classical elements added without relation with musical material.

It's interesting to hear how Zawinul himself splits time between piano and electric keyboards: it very often looks like his roots are still in soul jazz and cool jazz of his previous works, but he's in seeking of something dramatically new. As a result there are melodic piano-based soulful compositions and early fusion keyboards passages (and they sound really revolutionary for 1968!).

In all, album sounds too much eclectic for my ear, more as collection of not too much successful experiments with some old and new (for the moment when this album was recorded) sounds and instruments. This album came a year before his work on Miles Davis 'In a Silent Way' and it is really interesting to hear how and when he found his electric keyboards' sound and techniques.One of really interesting Zawinul solo albums for his fans, but possibly not so attractive (even if far not bad at all) for others.

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Posted Saturday, March 12, 2011 | Review Permalink

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