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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:58 am 
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Lets talk about the late great Mr Zawinul. I know there must be other fans on here, I've seen the what are you listening to thread.

When I think about Joe's later life it amazes me that, IMO, the standard of his work continued to improve throughout his life. Of course, there is no reason to be surprised, there is no correlation between the older one gets and the quality of output. However, it is often the case that many artists seem to peak at a relatively younger age.

With Joe some of my favourite work was released in his '70s, Vienna nights, 75 and the absolutely wonderful Brown Street. I have recently been drooling over the magnificent DVD release of the 75 birthday concert. Same material as the cd but wonderful to see the interaction between Joe and the band + you get bonus tambourine dancing and cutting the head off a bottle of champagne with a sword!!

Hearing Zawinul's great work at this age makes me think what an even greater loss we suffered with FZ's untimely death. We must be grateful for the vast body of work but there is always the thought of what else might have been (not least a quality complete concert DVD - considering the riches of audio available, the paucity of visual is always surprising to me).

Notable comparisons can be drawn between the two great band leaders of course. For me the most striking is the search for new and exciting timbres. Unquestionably this was sometimes to the detriment of both of their musical fanbases. People, unfortunately, are reluctant to hear new and unusual sounds. Another striking comparison is in their continuing search for wonderful musicians to bring something new to the music. Neither men were shy about letting their side-men express themselves either, a trait which is sadly not as common with many other band-leaders.

Finally, although you'd be unlikely to confuse the two's music there are notable similarities. A deep, deep understanding of the role of rhythm and counter-rhythm in the music. Rarely would either be heard without at least one drummer and one percussion player. Statistical density, neither man was afraid to challenge their band or their audience with thick complex chords and fast syncopated runs. Use of themes rather than set passages, both valued improvisation and could send their bands out on a journey into new territory with no fear - there was no strict requirement to adhere to the default layout of a piece of music. Finally the single thing that sets both out as master musicians - the ability to recognise the need for and create simple, beautiful melodies.

The results were very different and I'm not sure the two could ever have performed together (two monumentally strong personalities) but well... I dunno what my point even is, I just dig them both and wish they were still making music :wink:

If anyone reads this hasn't listened to post weather report Zawinul, do yourself a favour and get a hold of his World Tour album (then listen to 'When there was royalty' followed by 'Little House I Used to Live In). For those of you who are fans let me know what your favourite memories/music/gigs are.

Almost exceeding the word limit here - sorry 'bout that!
Cheers for reading (back to work for me now)
Stewart


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:16 am 
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Joe Z was brilliant, go get I sing the body electric and crank up Vertical Invader !!!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:56 am 
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Joe and Wayne Shorter were like gods to me. Weather Report is in my top favorites of all time. Joe really had a thing for finding weird synth sounds and making them very musical. He was such a lyrical musician and always incredibly melodic with super chops to back it up. Weather report was the kind of music i would call life changing. I first heard Sweetnighter on a huge stereo system and it was absolutely mind altering.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:42 pm 
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I was lucky enough to see the band with miroslav, Dom,& company, plus the Chester Thompson band. They were very good.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:35 am 
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Hey Bravo,
I've never heard the body electric - I will need to go & see if I can get hold of a copy. I like weather report but not having been around at the time I haven't fully explored their back catalogue. Sweetnighter is one I have spent time listening to muziko, it's a good un.

The first time I saw a band live that wasn't playing rock or pop was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. We had taken a weekend over in Amsterdam (as you do when you are a 21 yr old looking for a good time 8) ) and decided to try and go check out some live music. I was vaguely aware of Joe but didn't know any of his music apart from Silent Way, Birdland etc. I was completely blown away by that band and have seen the syndicate several times since.

The metropole orchestra tribute to Joe at the NSJ was special as well, Peter Erskine on the drums and Vic Bailey on bass. Erskine is another monster in the music world. Have you guys checked out Zawinul's more recent releases? His last album 75 is mainly older weather report tunes at a live syndicate gig - it is fantastic. Brown Street with the WDR big band also features a lot of WR tunes, it is seriously good as well.

Speaking of Miles/Zappa sidemen, I saw Vinnie playing with Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Chris Potter and Lionel Loueke last year. Now that was some sick music!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:43 am 
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muziko wrote:
Joe and Wayne Shorter were like gods to me. Weather Report is in my top favorites of all time. Joe really had a thing for finding weird synth sounds and making them very musical. He was such a lyrical musician and always incredibly melodic with super chops to back it up. Weather report was the kind of music i would call life changing. I first heard Sweetnighter on a huge stereo system and it was absolutely mind altering.

I can only agree totally!

One of my first really "big" concerts were Weather Report in 77 with Pastorius, Badrena and Acuna. In some sense it changed my life in terms of music. I had only heard the Black Market album, but I was sucked into their music and the mood immediately. It was a night I still remember so clearly. Until then, music was LPs and charts and so on, but this concert triggered some kind of mental magic that I had never experienced before.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:07 am 
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HJ wrote:
One of my first really "big" concerts were Weather Report in 77 with Pastorius, Badrena and Acuna.



Very jealous :!:

"Manolo [Badrena] is crazy!.. but in a good way. You need crazy people in the music industry, it's getting too tight out here."

A Zawinul quote from some Syndicate cd or bootleg. Always makes me laugh.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:02 pm 
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One of my main entrances into Jazz and Fusion was Heavy Weather, a total classic...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:59 am 
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zawinul could be very exciting but sometimes also a little bit boring IMHO. especially this playing of 100s of synthie-sounds (uh, another keyboard in the lower right corner, how might this one sound?). in general, he was a great figure, of course. bitches brew....

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:12 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
One of my main entrances into Jazz and Fusion was Heavy Weather, a total classic...

Image



wow you are younger than I thought, find a copy of cannon ball Adderley when joe was with him, also one of the great early jazz rock/fusion, was Less McCann; Invitation to openness,, also check out Sons of Champlan

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:46 am 
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SWEETNIGHTER is still one of my favorite Weather Report tunes.

Saw WR live once, and it was not a good evening for them. We stayed, but it wasn't pretty.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:50 am 
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BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
find a copy of cannon ball Adderley when joe was with him,


Now you're talking. Cannonball was another giant among men. Literally and figuratively!

Check this Zawinul performance from the Cannonball band era. Beautiful playing - he played this song the last time I saw him live. Sabine Kabongo, formerly of Zap Mama, sung the melody.
That was an incredible 42 years after the performance below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIKcZIsU ... re=related

It's a Duke Ellington tune of course, which reminds me of a certain Zappa story.

& of course talking of Cannonball, Zappa & Ellington brings us to another DUKE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN9Vaml0 ... re=related
Here playing with Cobham, SChofield and another Weather Report alumni, Mr Alphonso Johnson!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:03 am 
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Fantastic post!!! Thanks for posting those video's Cobham is still a monster.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:28 pm 
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I have heard some recordings from Cannon with Zawinul as a sideman. Cannonball is a figure of great reverence for Hermeto Pascoal. I think Hermeto was supposed to record with Cannon and heard about his passing, while recording the Slaves Mass album with Airto and Flora. They all went into the studio and Hermeto recorded a improvised flute solo during a spiritual calling ceremony in which some of the involved alleged to have made contact. That became the Cannon track in the aforementioned album. Another musician transcribed the flute solo into a spiral pentagram and that became the centre sleeve of the gate-fold LP:

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This Hermeto album includes several WR alumni, one of whom also happens to be from Zappa's famous hall of giant former drummers:

Quote:
* Hermeto Pascoal: piano, keyboards, clavinet, melodica, soprano sax, flutes, acoustic guitar, twelve strings guitar and vocals (in "Cannon").
* Flora Purim: vocals (in "Slaves mass" and "Cannon").
* Airto Moreira: drums (all tracks except "Mixing pot", "Pica pau" and "Star trap"), percussion and vocals (in "Cannon").
* Chester Thompson: drums (in "Mixing pot", "Pica pau" and "Star trep").
* Ron Carter: acoustic bass (all tracks except "Mixing pot", "Pica pau" and "Star trap").
* Alphonso Johnson: electric bass (in "Mixing pot", "Pica pau" and "Star trap").
* Raul de Souza: trombone and vocals (in "Cannon")
* David Amaro: electric guitar, acoustic guitar and twelve strings guitar.
* Hugo Fattoruso: vocals (in "Cannon").
* Laudir de Oliveira: vocals (in "Cannon").

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 Post subject: Re: joe zawinul
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:38 pm 
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arrcee wrote:
SWEETNIGHTER is still one of my favorite Weather Report tunes.
Saw WR live once, and it was not a good evening for them. We stayed, but it wasn't pretty.

'sweetnighter' and 'mysterious traveller' are my two favorite weather report-albums.
saw them live in 1975. with alphonso johnson on bass (I always preferred him over pastorius).
it was awesome.

I still don't know who the drummer and the percussionist were at the time, though (on the tour, I mean)...

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 Post subject: Re: joe zawinul
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
arrcee wrote:
SWEETNIGHTER is still one of my favorite Weather Report tunes.
Saw WR live once, and it was not a good evening for them. We stayed, but it wasn't pretty.

'sweetnighter' and 'mysterious traveller' are my two favorite weather report-albums.
saw them live in 1975. with alphonso johnson on bass (I always preferred him over pastorius).
it was awesome.

I still don't know who the drummer and the percussionist were at the time, though (on the tour, I mean)...

possibly either Eric Gravatt or Ishmail Wilburn?
Totally Alphonso is the man. i think his influential bass sensibility is something jaco carried on.
i like tale spinnin alot too.

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 Post subject: Re: joe zawinul
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:09 am 
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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
arrcee wrote:
SWEETNIGHTER is still one of my favorite Weather Report tunes.
Saw WR live once, and it was not a good evening for them. We stayed, but it wasn't pretty.

'sweetnighter' and 'mysterious traveller' are my two favorite weather report-albums.
saw them live in 1975. with alphonso johnson on bass (I always preferred him over pastorius).
it was awesome.

I still don't know who the drummer and the percussionist were at the time, though (on the tour, I mean)...


In 1975 they toured with...Chester Thompson, just out of Zappa's band, on drums. Percussionist at the beginning of the year was Alyrio Lima, later replaced by Alex Acuna.

In 1974 they played with Ishmael Wilburn and/or Darryl Brown on drums and Don Um Romao on percussion.

I believe those were the only touring lineups with Alphonso Johnson.


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 Post subject: Re: joe zawinul
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:50 pm 
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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
'sweetnighter' and 'mysterious traveller' are my two favorite weather report-albums.
saw them live in 1975. with alphonso johnson on bass (I always preferred him over pastorius).
it was awesome.
I still don't know who the drummer and the percussionist were at the time, though (on the tour, I mean)...
pbuzby wrote:
In 1975 they toured with...Chester Thompson, just out of Zappa's band, on drums. Percussionist at the beginning of the year was Alyrio Lima, later replaced by Alex Acuna.
I believe those were the only touring lineups with Alphonso Johnson.

thank you! 8)
I've always had a feeling it might have been chester thompson on drums.
and, going by your answer, I have to say the percussionist must have been alex acuna (it was definitely not alyrio lima).

muziko wrote:
possibly either Eric Gravatt or Ishmail Wilburn?
Totally Alphonso is the man. i think his influential bass sensibility is something jaco carried on.
i like tale spinnin alot too.
yeah, like pbuzby said, gravatt and wilburn played with weather report earlier on.
'tale spinnin' is also a really good album. 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Waterfall is one of the most beautiful improvisations ever recorded. Conceiving those simple melodies took brilliance. There are some deep emotions being expressed in this music. What Zawinul brought out of Wayne Shorter was some of his his most beautiful and original playing. Shorter only plays that way when he is with Zawinul. Just listen to American Tango from Mysterious Traveler.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:04 am 
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ursinator wrote:
zawinul could be very exciting but sometimes also a little bit boring IMHO. especially this playing of 100s of synthie-sounds (uh, another keyboard in the lower right corner, how might this one sound?). in general, he was a great figure, of course. bitches brew....

I guess i can imagine being bored by Joe but not really. He played those extra keyboard sounds in the lower lefthand corner because he had the musicality to back it up like chick corea, herbie and other miles alumni. I have to say of all of them jarrett is the most beguiling as i don't always connect with what he's playing. Like he's the cecil taylor really out side. joe is a straight head player as well and that's what really kills me about him he just rips the most sensational parkeresque runs and things.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:41 am 
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One of the documentaries about Joe I've seen shows him playing a small keyboard in his studio. The unusual thing about this keyboard is the tonality is reversed. ie High notes on the left and Low notes on the right. He said he had this specially made to make him think about what he was doing more and not rely on muscle memory when doing those fast runs :shock:

Dedication!!

I seem to remember him playing this at a live gig but couldn't be sure. I do recall sometimes he'll walk out in front of stage to introduce the band and occasionally do a little solo reaching from over the otherside of the keyboard. Equivalent of the gtr player playing behind his head i guess! Just a little trick to keep the audience alert!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:48 am 
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stingraypoindexter wrote:
One of the documentaries about Joe I've seen shows him playing a small keyboard in his studio. The unusual thing about this keyboard is the tonality is reversed. ie High notes on the left and Low notes on the right. He said he had this specially made to make him think about what he was doing more and not rely on muscle memory when doing those fast runs :shock:

Dedication!!

I seem to remember him playing this at a live gig but couldn't be sure.


He used this on the song "Black Market." There is a DVD from 1978 with Jaco and Peter Erskine (included in their box set a few years ago) with some closeups where you can see him playing this way.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:54 am 
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stingraypoindexter wrote:
One of the documentaries about Joe I've seen shows him playing a small keyboard in his studio. The unusual thing about this keyboard is the tonality is reversed. ie High notes on the left and Low notes on the right. He said he had this specially made to make him think about what he was doing more and not rely on muscle memory when doing those fast runs :shock:

Dedication!!

I seem to remember him playing this at a live gig but couldn't be sure. I do recall sometimes he'll walk out in front of stage to introduce the band and occasionally do a little solo reaching from over the otherside of the keyboard. Equivalent of the gtr player playing behind his head i guess! Just a little trick to keep the audience alert!


I guess playing a backwards keyboard from the 'wrong side' would facilitate its playing-like normal again...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:43 am 
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Quilt wrote:
stingraypoindexter wrote:
One of the documentaries about Joe I've seen shows him playing a small keyboard in his studio. The unusual thing about this keyboard is the tonality is reversed. ie High notes on the left and Low notes on the right. He said he had this specially made to make him think about what he was doing more and not rely on muscle memory when doing those fast runs :shock:

Dedication!!

I seem to remember him playing this at a live gig but couldn't be sure. I do recall sometimes he'll walk out in front of stage to introduce the band and occasionally do a little solo reaching from over the otherside of the keyboard. Equivalent of the gtr player playing behind his head i guess! Just a little trick to keep the audience alert!


I guess playing a backwards keyboard from the 'wrong side' would facilitate its playing-like normal again...


But that's not dedication!

I'm not sure I know enough about this type of music to be knowledgeable about proficiency, but I really like Heavy Weather (although I listen more for Jaco.)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:45 am 
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I was at an ELP concert back in the early 70's and Kieth came out on stage first and played his B3 from behind for almost a half hour.

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