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JOE ZAWINUL

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Austria


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Joe Zawinul biography
JOSEF ERICH ZAWINUL was born in Landstraße district in Vienna, Austria in 1932. He was classically trained at Konzervatorium Wien, and he played on various occasions with broadcasting and studio bands before he went in United States in 1959, on a music scholarship at Berklee. He started playing with trumpeter MAYNARD FERGUSON and he met WAYNE SHORTER. The very beginnings of the Zawinul's prolific jazz career shown artist's powerful personality: Shorter left to play with ART BLAKEY, and Zawinul abandoned Ferguson's band for wanting to have too much control. For the next two years, Zawinul recored and toured with DINAH WASHINGTON.

Zawinul's career took another step forward in 1961, when he joined saxophonist CANNONBALL ADDERLEY (or his quintet, to be more precise). He will remain here for the next 9 years, polishing and upgrading his artistical expression and style, composing jazz hits such are 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' and 'Country Preacher'; on the latter one it became evident that among many aspects of Zawinul's talent, there's also understanding of African/Black concepts of motion, interval and cool.

All of this led to the perhaps most important moment in contemporary jazz, and that is the birth of jazz fusion.

Let's see. Zawinul played with MILES DAVIS on his two landmark albums; 'Bitches Brew' and 'In A Silent Way'. In fact, he composed 'In A Silent Way' title track, and had a big part in contributing on twenty-minute tune 'Pharaoh's Dance'.

Zawinul (along with another two geniuses that were both Davis sidemen, CHIC COREA and HERBIE HANCOCK) was pioneering at using of the electric pianos and synthesizers: he used Wurlitzers at the beginnig, Fender Rhodes pianos thereafter, often processed through the Wah Wah pedals.

Jazz fusion was born, and when in 1970 WEATHER REPORT was founded, it was well nourished: in this band co-founded with saxophonist WAYNE SHORTER jazz rock/fusion took another dimension; at the beginning of the band's career, they were working mostly in a way Miles Davis was working on his breakthrough fusion cornerstone albums. However, with the band's third album, 'Sweetnighter', the band took a change by incorporating funk elements; Wah Wah pedal, electric bass and synthesizers; Zawinul will became famous for his usage of ARP 2600, however, the usage of Oberheim systems was also a cornerstone, because it's on of the first occasions the polyphonic synthesizer was used in jazz.
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ZawinulZawinul
Remastered
Mosaic Contemporary 2007
Audio CD$5.65
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Brown StreetBrown Street
Heads Up 2007
Audio CD$5.44
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JOE ZAWINUL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JOE ZAWINUL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
To You With Love [Joe Zawinul Trio]
1958
4.00 | 1 ratings
Soulmates [Ben Webster and Joe Zawinul]
1963
3.05 | 3 ratings
Rise & Fall of the Third Stream
1965
3.00 | 1 ratings
Money In The Pocket
1968
3.67 | 9 ratings
Zawinul
1971
3.13 | 4 ratings
Di-a-lects
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Immigrants [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
1988
3.50 | 2 ratings
Black Water [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Beginning [Joe Zawiul Trio]
1990
4.50 | 2 ratings
Lost Tribes [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
1992
3.50 | 2 ratings
My People
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stories Of The Danube
1996
2.00 | 1 ratings
Mauthausen - Vom großen Sterben hören (Chronicles From The Ashes)
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Faces And Places
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Joe Zawinul and the Austrian All Stars 1954-1957
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music For Two Pianos [with Friedrich Gulda]
2006
4.00 | 5 ratings
75th [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
2008
2.95 | 2 ratings
Absolute Zawinul (with Absolute Ensemble)
2009

JOE ZAWINUL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
World Tour [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
Vienna Nights: Live at Joe Zawinul's Birdland [with The Zawinul Syndicate]
2005
4.00 | 3 ratings
Brown Street
2006

JOE ZAWINUL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate (aka Live At The Munich Philharmonie)
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Weather Update
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
75th
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Musical Portrait
2008

JOE ZAWINUL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Concerto Retitled
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Warner Jazz: Les Incontournables
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rise & Fall of the Third Stream/Money In The Pocket
2002

JOE ZAWINUL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Bimoya
2008

JOE ZAWINUL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rise & Fall of the Third Stream by ZAWINUL, JOE album cover Studio Album, 1965
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Rise & Fall of the Third Stream
Joe Zawinul Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator 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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 Absolute Zawinul (with Absolute Ensemble) by ZAWINUL, JOE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Absolute Zawinul (with Absolute Ensemble)
Joe Zawinul Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Last Joe Zawinul album recorded before he passed away in 2007. Musically all release is based in Zawinul's post-Weather Report music,played with Absolute Ensemble, conducted by Estonian director Kristjan Järvi.It's interesting, that two members of one of most current Zawinul band's (Zawinul Syndicate) are participated on recordings as well (Congolese vocalist Sabine Kabongo and the Mauritius-born bassist Linley Marthe).

One familiar with Joe Zawinul post Weather Report music knows for many years he concentrated on world music (particularly with his Weather Update and Zawinul Syndicate). From other hand, Absolute Ensemble is known by his orchestrated reworks on many known classic composers and modern jazz and rock musicians. Combination of two gives us easy accessible but very well played and arranged orchestrated versions of Zawinul compositions with Joe himself playing keyboards (and vocoder) and big ensemble, supporting him with strings, African/Asian percussion some oriental vocals and plenty of strings and brass.

Zawinul's composed material is really melodic and quite catchy, and even under orchestral arrangements it sounds still jazzy (thanks to tasteful and not over-arranged orchestral musicianship). As main target for critics could be mentioned that Afro-Asian rhythms and tunes are used as just exotic component for quite traditional Central European orchestral music without saving their authentic potential, what really is a lost.

In all - pleasant and accessible listening with light jazzy flavor and some world scent in it.

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 Di-a-lects by ZAWINUL, JOE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.13 | 4 ratings

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Di-a-lects
Joe Zawinul Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Weather Report was exactly a group that left a lot of a lot of legends and works for the history of Jazz/Fusion. It is said that Jazz was killed as a result and is said that it made the road where Jazz is new at the same time the work though "Bitches Brew" that Miles Davis had thrown on the world of Jazz created some ripple. At that time, existence that was the nearest the wave motion of Miles of the period might have been Weather Report in the musician and the band that derived there. WR was changed of course in the age, too and the music of the highest class was offered. However, the history of the brilliant WR also faces the end in 1986. The last album "This Is This" of WR had already been produced in 1985 year of the previous state. And, Wayne Shorter : in 1986. To start own band, secession is declared from WR. Other Zawinul goes out to the United States tour holding this album at the same time. The band of this Zawinul was called "Weather Update". The band where Wayne did not exist was a group that developed WR further by Zawinul and expressed the done music. It was one step in this album that threw out a new creation to the world as Zawinul exactly sloughed off WR. Zawinul has almost started and the whole of the album can be really satisfied of the world of Zawinul though a special group of the song is received in the guest and it is produced. It will be able to be said at the same time that how to make the sound is feeling that develops the idea of WR at latter term further by flow the tune having an element near world music. The element of feeling the tastes of the tune are united overall and with the anacatesthesia and a little Latin is included. The feeling might be expressed in the album art.

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 Concerto Retitled by ZAWINUL, JOE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1976
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Concerto Retitled
Joe Zawinul Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

— First review of this album —
2 stars Concerto Retitled is a collection of music that Joe Zawinul recorded between 1965 and 1970 that was released by Atlantic in 1976 in an apparent attempt to cash in on the rising popularity of his fusion group, Weather Report. What we have on this hurriedly slapped together mess is one horn driven hard bop tune, two third stream (jazz mixed with 20th century classical) compositions, three traditional jazz numbers and two 70s psychedelic fusion numbers. Most of these songs are good, but the way they are sequenced on this album makes no sense at all. If they had put the traditional jazz on one side with the third stream and fusion numbers on another they would have had a coherent album, instead songs are thrown together with little regard for flow or coherence.

This collection does give us a decent overview of the three albums that these songs are pulled from, Money in the Pocket, Rise and Fall of the Third Stream and Zawinul. Money in the Pocket is a mix of traditional jazz and hard bop, but I was a little disappointed in Zawinul's somewhat old-fashioned approach and harmonies. I was expecting more of Corea and Hancock's post- Bill Evans piano sound. Rise and Fall of the Third Stream presents the style of music claimed in it's title with Zawinul's acoustic piano joined by a string section with compositions that fall between Ellington styled jazz and Gershwin styled classical. Overall I would say that Duke Ellington is the major influence in Joe Zawinul's acoustic piano playing, whether he is playing traditional jazz or third stream.

For my money though, I think the album I am going to have to get someday is Zawinul, the album which provides the two outstanding psychedelic fusion numbers that close this compilation. These two songs sound like the bridge between Miles' Big Fun and Weather Report's first two albums, three albums on which Joe provided a lot of direction and creativity.

On the back of Concerto Retitled the A&R dude at Atlantic claims he was inspired to re-release this material when he saw Zawinul play a well received acoustic piano set at a Weather Report concert. I think what really happened is that when he saw Weather Report's young fans enjoying some of Joe's older music his eyes went $$!!!

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