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fasstrack

Is it me or is Joe Zawinul.........

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just a tad full of himself?

This is old news but the taste is still in my mouth for some reason:

In an article maybe a month or two ago in the NYT on his group playing at J@LC he first---seemingly humbly---allowed as how he was proud and honored, etc. Then in the next breath he went off on Wynton (please Lord, I don't want this to become one of 'those' threads) saying how for all his knowledge he's stuck, etc. He may have some points, but in the frickin' NYT and after the guy hires your group? I'd be rippin' if I were Wynton. Arrogance aside it seems Mr. Zawinul has failed PR---not to mention diplomacy.

But it reminded me of something I saw maybe 7 years ago where they interviewed him about influences and he said---about Barry Harris no less---that someone had come up to him and asked if it were he or Barry (who predated him with Cannon) on a record and his words were almost verbatim:

"That's when I went home and threw out all my records. Because why should I imitate an imitator (presumably of Bud Powell?)"

I mean, Jesus. Either he was misquoted or this MF is gonna need a real big hat pretty soon.

Add to that the size of his ego in his cameos in the recent Wayne Shorter bio......

I mean Is it just me?

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Maybe, but he's got the music to back it up, imo.

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That's pretty much what I was going to say. Besides, at his age, why should he mince words?

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As someone who has little (a few of those Cannonball records) to no (everything subsequent) use for Zawinul, yeah, I'd say he's got a helluva an ego.

I'd rather hear Barry Harris "imitate" any day.

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I'd point out that there are many famous jazz musicians whose music we love, but who most of us would not consider "nice" people. Also that maybe a certain amount of arrogance "comes with the territory" of creating something new.

Of course, sometimes it's better to let the music do the talking.

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"That's when I went home and threw out all my records. Because why should I imitate an imitator (presumably of Bud Powell?)"

Is he wrong?

It doesn't mean Barry is a bad player (he's a monster) but there are stylists and there are innovators. Zawinul didn't want to be a stylist, he wanted to innovate and so he did. Simple as that.

It doesn't mean Barry's music is any less valid in the general sense, it just means that Zawinul didn't want to go down that route. Thankfully, he lived up to his own expectations of himself!

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Zawinul studied w/Barry Harris to get his bebop playing together. Once he did that (as much as he could/wanted to), he went his own way. I don't think he means any disrespect for Harris, (in fact, I'm nearly 100% certain that he doesn't), just that Harris' way was not going to be his way, and that the sooner he got on with doing his thing, the less time he'd be wasting.

Zawinul's never been particularly "diplomatic", but those who know him say that his heart is as big as his ego. Imo, he guy's a giant (albeit an erratic one, but that's the price you gotta pay sometimes), one of the most original voices of the last quarter of the 20th century. Like him or not, he's created a sound world that's uniquely and identifiably his and nobody else's, and he's done it with compositions that are challenging for player & listener alike, and with playing that avoids "easiness" at damn near every turn. They guy's a bad mutherfukker in my book, and to even think that he should appear "humble" towards Lincoln Center Inc. is akin to thinking that the wind should be humble towards the windshield.

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I'm really curious to see if Cecil Taylor has anything interesting to say at J@LC next month. It will be my first time going.

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There sure were some egoes in WR! I remember vividly reading a quote from Miroslav Vitous who said he was one of the three real innovators on the bass . . .there was Jimmie Blanton, there was Paul Chambers. . . and there was Miroslav.

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There sure were some egoes in WR! I remember vividly reading a quote from Miroslav Vitous who said he was one of the three real innovators on the bass . . .there was Jimmie Blanton, there was Paul Chambers. . . and there was Miroslav.

and then Jaco. Read his interviews.

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I have always remembered a statement made by Zawinul in a down beat feature in the late 1970s. He stated that he had conceived of a new way of playing solo acoustic piano which was unique and was on the level of Art Tatum, only with a totally original concept. I was excited to hear his first recordings in this new, innovative style. Some jazz loving friends and I discussed what it might be like--we were all big Zawinul fans. We are still waiting. That's when I realized that Zawinul does not lack confidence.

However, he came over from Austria and became an essential part of some heavy music, including his own. A shrinking violet could not have done all of that.

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As long as someone with a big ego can back their stuff up then more power to them. Zawinul did that.

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There sure were some egoes in WR! I remember vividly reading a quote from Miroslav Vitous who said he was one of the three real innovators on the bass . . .there was Jimmie Blanton, there was Paul Chambers. . . and there was Miroslav.

and then Jaco. Read his interviews.

I remember an interview where the thrid name he mentioned was Scott La Faro, and he saw himself just as an extension of this line.

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I find Zawinul's statement regarding Barry Harris to be both arrogant and insulting. If he didn't mean it to be insulting, he should have thought about the way he said it prior to putting his mouth in gear.

I agree with Dan Gould. The only playing I have heard from Zawinul that spoke to me was his playing on some of Cannonball's albums, and the one session with Ben Webster. At that time I was expecting to hear a lot more music I liked from Joe. Unfortunately (in my view), he decided to go in a different direction that did not appeal to me.

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The thing is....whatever direction he went in, the musicality of it is of a high quality. AND that's an understatement.

I've been revisiting some of the fusion things from 70s and 80s and finding that often I dig them a whole lot more now then. So I guess I'm mainly talking Weather Report, Mahavishnu and Chick's RTF. Then I dug them "Up to a point". Now I'm digging it right thru.

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In an article maybe a month or two ago in the NYT on his group playing at J@LC he first---seemingly humbly---allowed as how he was proud and honored, etc. Then in the next breath he went off on Wynton (please Lord, I don't want this to become one of 'those' threads) saying how for all his knowledge he's stuck, etc. He may have some points, but in the frickin' NYT and after the guy hires your group? I'd be rippin' if I were Wynton. Arrogance aside it seems Mr. Zawinul has failed PR---not to mention diplomacy.

Zawinul does have a huge ego, but I think you have this completely backwards. It's Zawinul doing Wynton a favor by playing at J@LC, not the other way around. One's a major artist, the other an artistic footnote.

Guy

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I find Zawinul's statement regarding Barry Harris to be both arrogant and insulting. If he didn't mean it to be insulting, he should have thought about the way he said it prior to putting his mouth in gear.

How do you know it was just in regards to Barry Harris? Unless fasstrack's quote is incorrect, Zawinul says that he threw away "all my records". He doesn't say he just threw away his Barry Harris records, he says he threw away ALL his records. In other words, he's starting anew. Getting rid of all that has come before and starting over. I see this as not only incredibly brave but also crucial if jazz is to survive as a growing, evolving music, rather than a museum attraction. Sometimes I have dreams of doing the exact same thing myself.

Before we recorded our last album, I purposely refrained from listening to ANY music for 2 weeks. It was very hard at first and then I rather enjoyed it. My head was constantly filled with new music, my own music, unblemished by tunes I had just heard today or two days ago or whatever. I came up with some pretty fun tunes that way. I need to do it again.

I agree with Dan Gould. The only playing I have heard from Zawinul that spoke to me was his playing on some of Cannonball's albums, and the one session with Ben Webster. At that time I was expecting to hear a lot more music I liked from Joe. Unfortunately (in my view), he decided to go in a different direction that did not appeal to me.

Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of people who stayed in the same line that Zawinul deviated from 30 years ago still recording records that sound like stuff from 1950. Unfortunately for those who enjoy where Zawinul went, there are precious few people who followed him and even less that have branched off from there (if any).

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Unless fasstrack's quote is incorrect, Zawinul says that he threw away "all my records". He doesn't say he just threw away his Barry Harris records, he says he threw away ALL his records. In other words, he's starting anew. Getting rid of all that has come before and starting over. I see this as not only incredibly brave but also crucial if jazz is to survive as a growing, evolving music, rather than a museum attraction.

Well yeah. Even if you throw everything out, what's already in there is still going to be in there at some level. It's just more likely to come out as spirit rather than imitation.

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Yeah, nobody followed Weather Report or even Joe's 'European' shit.... Miles tried some of his tunes on some of his albums, I don't know if any are still available, I think they were immediately deleted because of poor sales...'In A Silent Route' and 'Witches Brew'...

Did anyome catch 'Live At The White House A Tribute To Barry Harris 'tonight on all the major TV channels?

I see on HSN they are selling the 15 cd box The Best Of Cannonball Adderley for 125 dollars...I bought 8 so far.....

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That Zawinul's ego might be a little oversized is not news. When downbeat gave "Mr. Gone" a one star review, he went apeshit like a primadonna that had someone step on her gown.

Some people need to draw a line between themselves and the others because they otherwise loose themselves - others can listen to as much music as they want and just take it as an inspiration. It has something to do with your self-consciousness and your self-image, both approaches have their advantages and traps.

It's cool, as long as you don't offend others for taking a different direction. If he's really so sure of himself, he wouldn't need to put down Barry Harris or anyone else - I wouldn't call Barry Harris an imitator, I can tell him from Bud Powell, but perhaps Joe couldn't or was afraid of the process to immerse himself into that school and perhaps not get out. Bud was a strong spirit, but so is Barry, in his own way - maybe Joe is of the kind that would loose himself if he gave himself away to that style to such an extent. And there was an individual touch already there when he went with Cannonball. Some have to take that route - just don't accuse anyone for taking a diffent path, 'cause that's plain arrogant.

I sense that Joe might be the type questioning everything he does - if you can't control that side of yourself, you need to say your way is better than the other's - I'd say he should go see some Hakomi therapist or whatever, or stop justifying himself.

p.s. edited: confused Heavy Weather and Mr. Gone :rolleyes:

Edited by mikeweil

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That Zawinul's ego might be a little oversized is not news. When downbeat gave "Heavy Weather" a one star review, he went apeshit like a primadonna that had someone step on her gown.

I think that was Mr. Gone.

Guy

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That Zawinul's ego might be a little oversized is not news. When downbeat gave "Heavy Weather" a one star review, he went apeshit like a primadonna that had someone step on her gown.

I think that was Mr. Gone.

Guy

Yes. I have the issue in my basement, with the cover story, "Storms Over 'Mr. Gone.'"

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I agree with Dan Gould. The only playing I have heard from Zawinul that spoke to me was his playing on some of Cannonball's albums, and the one session with Ben Webster. At that time I was expecting to hear a lot more music I liked from Joe. Unfortunately (in my view), he decided to go in a different direction that did not appeal to me.

Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of people who stayed in the same line that Zawinul deviated from 30 years ago still recording records that sound like stuff from 1950. Unfortunately for those who enjoy where Zawinul went, there are precious few people who followed him and even less that have branched off from there (if any).

Perhaps that says something about where Zawinul (and others) went.

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I agree with Dan Gould. The only playing I have heard from Zawinul that spoke to me was his playing on some of Cannonball's albums, and the one session with Ben Webster. At that time I was expecting to hear a lot more music I liked from Joe. Unfortunately (in my view), he decided to go in a different direction that did not appeal to me.

Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of people who stayed in the same line that Zawinul deviated from 30 years ago still recording records that sound like stuff from 1950. Unfortunately for those who enjoy where Zawinul went, there are precious few people who followed him and even less that have branched off from there (if any).

Perhaps that says something about where Zawinul (and others) went.

Yes. Zawinul went down a more difficult, challenging path.

Guy

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