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Joe Zawinul hospitalized

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R.I.P.

Two of my conga students brought the news this evening - they were half an hour late 'cause they had listened to an obituary on the radio.

I was fortunate to see Weather Report twice - the music of that band was highly influential on my generation - Zawinul, Hancock, and Mahavishnu showed the way how to fuse jazz and rock or funk, and how to personalize electronics. Thanks a lot for the achievements.

Edited by mikeweil

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Uh... Weathery Port? :unsure:

Been listening to Joe all day. Mysterious Traveller and Sweetnighter must be among my all time favourite albums. Found some time for tracks from Live in Tokyo, Black Market and Zawinul, too. I still want to get round to a couple of the Syndicate albums. Bits of Brown Street sound very good indeed.

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"All those albums, and not a single wrong note ... how did he do it?" - Kenny Werner

:tup

Yeesh - there are several board members, probably myself included, who could have done a better piece on Joe than what aired on All Things Considered this evening. Oh well...

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RIP, as I've been saying all day, Joe along with Lyle Mays (definitely influenced by Joe) took jazz synth playing to a whole different level, making it sound very organic and real. "Brown Street" is a great album

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I was fortunate enough to catch Zawinul Syndicate twice when they performed in New Orleans during JazzFest. The first time was a little tough to take, but very intriguing. It certainly piqued my curiosity towards learning more about his music. The second time was wonderful as I had gained a better appreciation of the unique fusion sound of Zawinul Syndicate. I had a chance to speak with him briefly after the set and he seemed genuinely pleased at the warm response from the crowd.

A great memory that I will treasure.

L'Wayne :mellow:

Edited by LWayne

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Some folks just...refuse to be denied. They think big, they live big, they fail big, and they succeed big. And, by god, nothing will keep them from doing so. If the means are in place, they find a way to step up and take advantage. And if the means aren't in place, the only grumbling - grumbling, mindyou, never whining - they'll do is while they're going about the business of getting it done themself. These people are not "larger than life", they are as large as life could/should be for the rest of us.

Joe Zawinul was such a person, such a man, and such a musician. Not everything he did succeeded equally, but none of it was timid, none of it lacked conviction, and none of it was lacking in vision - his vision. And when it did succeed, as it often enough did, it was damn near archtypical, so bold and clear was it in every aspect.

I know there's a school of "jazz fan" who has no use for electronics, even less use for "fusion", and as a result sees Weather Report (and beyond) as so much "so what?", and to them I have nothing to say. You either get it or you don't, like so many other things. All I can say is this - the music of Weather Report-and-beyond Joe Zawinul is never cheap, never easy, and is always full of life, passion, and specificity. It's never shallow in intent nor superficial in perspective. Zawinul being Zawinul, yeah, sometimes he dressed it up in pretty..."ostentatious" clothes. But underneath those clothes was a body, a mind, and a spirit that was always ready to go, and ready for anything at any time. Always.

I keep linking Zawinul to Ellington, not in "stature" (Ellington is the eptiome of his own "beyond category" category), but in scope and breadth of vision, as well as in knowing how to maneuver. Ellington was the ultimate in slick, & Zawinul was the ultimate in..."whirlwindosity", but they both always had their eyes, ears, and minds open, always could hear (and think) around corners, and always got there before anybody else knew that it was time to go there. Always.

Sometimes a "giant" is defined by their cumulative life achievement, & sometimes by their spirit. With Zawinul, the case could be made for the former, but it would be far from a unanimous decision. But I say, take the best work (of which there is much), add in the spirit, and what do you have if not a giant?

You don't "replace" spirits like Joe Zawinul. The best you can do is hope like hell that the quirks of genetics and environment continue to produce them here and there, and that humanity never gets so fucked up that they find a way to kill them off. Becuase if and when that dark time comes, all truly will have been lost.

RIP Joe. You were loved.

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Some folks just...refuse to be denied. They think big, they live big, they fail big, and they succeed big. And, by god, nothing will keep them from doing so. If the means are in place, they find a way to step up and take advantage. And if the means aren't in place, the only grumbling - grumbling, mindyou, never whining - they'll do is while they're going about the business of getting it done themself. These people are not "larger than life", they are as large as life could/should be for the rest of us.

Joe Zawinul was such a person, such a man, and such a musician. Not everything he did succeeded equally, but none of it was timid, none of it lacked conviction, and none of it was lacking in vision - his vision. And when it did succeed, as it often enough did, it was damn near archtypical, so bold and clear was it in every aspect.

I know there's a school of "jazz fan" who has no use for electronics, even less use for "fusion", and as a result sees Weather Report (and beyond) as so much "so what?", and to them I have nothing to say. You either get it or you don't, like so many other things. All I can say is this - the music of Weather Report-and-beyond Joe Zawinul is never cheap, never easy, and is always full of life, passion, and specificity. It's never shallow in intent nor superficial in perspective. Zawinul being Zawinul, yeah, sometimes he dressed it up in pretty..."ostentatious" clothes. But underneath those clothes was a body, a mind, and a spirit that was always ready to go, and ready for anything at any time. Always.

I keep linking Zawinul to Ellington, not in "stature" (Ellington is the eptiome of his own "beyond category" category), but in scope and breadth of vision, as well as in knowing how to maneuver. Ellington was the ultimate in slick, & Zawinul was the ultimate in..."whirlwindosity", but they both always had their eyes, ears, and minds open, always could hear (and think) around corners, and always got there before anybody else knew that it was time to go there. Always.

Sometimes a "giant" is defined by their cumulative life achievement, & sometimes by their spirit. With Zawinul, the case could be made for the former, but it would be far from a unanimous decision. But I say, take the best work (of which there is much), add in the spirit, and what do you have if not a giant?

You don't "replace" spirits like Joe Zawinul. The best you can do is hope like hell that the quirks of genetics and environment continue to produce them here and there, and that humanity never gets so fucked up that they find a way to kill them off. Becuase if and when that dark time comes, all truly will have been lost.

RIP Joe. You were loved.

thank you so much for this, JSngry. you really got him!! and you got him right!! the only thing i would change is your last line to "You are loved."

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C'mon Sangrey. Write your damn book already. :)

I first saw Zawinul in the mid/late 70s, the WR band w/Jaco, Erskine and Robert Thomas on percussion (I guess that was the "8:30" band). A great concert, but really, really LOUD!

I also saw him at the Red Sea (Eliat, Israel) festival once in the mid 90s. I there there with a group that included Frank Tiberi (not Woody's band though). Frank and Joe were friends (Frank did a chart on Zawinul's tune Carnavalito that was on a semi-obscure recording done at Ronnie Scott's) and it was great to just hang and watch those guys hanging out.

I was introduced to WR in the 70s, so Black Market and Heavy Weather were my first acquisitions. I even arranged Gibraltar for big band. Man, I grew up w/Weather Report. Later on I became aware of other WR sides like Live in Tokyo and also Zawinul's time with Cannonball and Miles.

The man had a LOT of music in him, and a lot of determined spirit to make it happen. Thanks, Joe!

(I still crack up at that "Scotch and Water" was initially known as "Joe's Avenue" on the Wynton/PC VeeJay side because someone misinterpreted the pronunciation of "Zawinul" as being the tune title) :rsmile:

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I've already posted elsewhere that I had the opportunity to interview him in 1969 when he was a member of Cannonball's band, so I won't go into that again. He was very nice to a young kid from a college radio station who didn't know much. I saw him again two years later with the original Weather Report lineup. RIP

It must be hard for his children, regardless of their ages, to lose both parents within such a brief span of time.

Here's his LA Times obituary:

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-...news-obituaries

Joe Zawinul, 75; influential jazz keyboardist led Weather Report

Ken Hively

KEY PLAYER: Joe Zawinul, formerly of Weather Report, died early Tuesday in Vienna. He was 75.

By Don Heckman, Special to The Times

September 12, 2007

Keyboardist Joe Zawinul, whose innovative playing and composing influenced musical genres reaching from soul jazz and avant-garde to fusion and world music, died early Tuesday in Vienna. He was 75.

According to the Associated Press, his death was confirmed by a spokesperson for Vienna's Wilhelmina Clinic, where he had been hospitalized since August.

Zawinul's manager, Risa Zincke, told the Austria Press that he suffered from a rare form of skin cancer.

Zawinul's achievements stretch across five decades and numerous stylistic borders.

A native of Vienna where he played accordion as a boy, Zawinul arrived at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1959.

But he quickly left school and gigged with Maynard Ferguson and Dinah Washington before joining the quintet of alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley in 1961.

His groove-driven piece, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," with its surprisingly authentic -- for a European musician -- connection with American blues and gospel music, was one of the significant compositions of the then-popular soul-jazz style and was a hit for Adderley.

Switching into a different mode, he was a vital participant in Miles Davis' transition into electric jazz, writing the title song for "In A Silent Way" and performing on "Bitches Brew," albums that opened the door to combinations of jazz, rock and electronica that would follow.

From 1970 to 1985, Zawinul co-led the groundbreaking ensemble, Weather Report, with saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter. Viewed by many as the band that defined jazz fusion, it was universally praised as a creative breakthrough, the character of its sound driven by Zawinul's synthesizers.

"The synthesizer was not a toy in Joe's hands," Shorter said Tuesday. "He even practiced how to touch the keys on a synthesizer. He'd say, 'You touch them differently than you touch an acoustic piano. People approach it like it's going to do something. You have to play it like it's not going to do anything; you have to do everything.' "

Weather Report's effects were felt across genres, triggering the arrival of a succession of jazz fusion ensembles, as well as jazz-oriented pop groups.

Despite its popularity, however, and largely because of the presence of its two leaders, the band retained the respect of the most critical jazz observers.

Reviewing the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1982, Leonard Feather wrote in The Times, "Weather Report is less a collective of five men than a single instrument with 10 magisterial hands; a soaring sonic spaceship controlled by two far-from-automatic pilots, Zawinul and Wayne Shorter."

According to Shorter, however, the group was initially formed with far different goals in mind. "When we got together," Shorter said, "we spent very little time describing what we wanted to do. In the beginning, we mostly talked about music as literature. Almost compared like to James Joyce -- sentences without periods or commas, without capital letters, or maybe with all capital letters.

"The musical changes that took place emerged along the way. Instead of saying, 'Let's do this,' and then planning to take it someplace else the next night, we just worked on a musical dialogue. We knew that sending out what we were trying to do, and having it be received, wasn't going to take place overnight."

Nevertheless, Zawinul's "Birdland," released on Weather Report's 1977 album, "Heavy Weather," was a significant jazz hit, garnering Grammy awards for the original version, as well as cover versions by Quincy Jones and one with lyrics by Manhattan Transfer.

The band broke up in 1986, and over the last 20 years of his life, Zawinul's musical activities largely centered on his sextet, the Zawinul Syndicate.

Mixing rhythms from every part of the world with his own complex of synthesizer sounds, he would sit behind his keyboards like an alchemist, tossing musical phrases back and forth to musicians from across the globe.

"I'm a traveler and a listener," Zawinul told Bill Kohlhaase in the L.A. Weekly in 2000. "I'm into the folklore of music, but I've never taken a single bar from another culture. The music [of the Zawinul Syndicate] is just the feeling I have for it. It's what I have in my stomach."

Zawinul also composed and performed in other contexts. A recording of his "Stories of the Danube," a seven-movement work for orchestra, incorporating several of his well-known themes, was released on Philips in 1996.

And in 1998, he appeared as a soloist on the site of the World War II German concentration camp in Mauthausen, Austria, drawing a crowd of 10,000.

Zawinul's illness apparently had already progressed in July when his wife, Maxine, who was the first African American Playboy bunny, died. Shorter recalled seeing him around that time and asking about his health.

"The only thing that he said to me," he recalled, "was something really quick: 'I've got this cancer, man.' He just kind of tossed it off. Not that he was in denial. It was more like he was talking about a nuisance. That was Joe."

In August, Shorter, finishing a European tour, visited Zawinul at a concert in Hungary. Although they had spoken several times about a Weather Report reunion, it had never actually taken place.

"As we drove in from the airport," said Shorter, "his son said that this could be the last time Joe and I would play together. When we got to the concert, I went on stage near the end of his program. Joe and I did the introduction to 'In A Silent Way,' which is the part that his wife, Maxine, liked. When we played together, it was very concise and to the point -- very eye to eye, that kind of thing. When we finished they got a wheelchair, and that was the first time, and the last time, I saw him in a wheelchair."

Zawinul lived in Malibu and Vienna, where he started his own club, Birdland. He is survived by three sons, Anthony, Erich and Ivan, and several grandchildren.

Although no funeral plans have been announced, Vienna Mayor Michael Haeupl said Zawinul would be buried in a place of honor in Vienna.

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Another fine Sangrey post! :tup

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No mention of this on German TV news yesterday - I am disappointed!

I don't get Austrian TV - I'm sure they had an obituary.

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No mention of this on German TV news yesterday - I am disappointed!

I don't get Austrian TV - I'm sure they had an obituary.

It was one of the top news stories on every news show on austrian television yesterday and so it is in the newspapers today.Everyone from the head of state president Heinz Fischer downwards had a statement to make.He was very popular here even for people who have nothing on mind with jazzmusic.

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I know we've all gotta go, but damn...

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Played mot of my Weather Report albums again (Sweetnighter, Mysterious Traveller, Tale Spinnin', Black Market - the one with "Birdland" on it wasn't at hand - that one I need to upgrade anyway... also need to get the Live in Tokyo set...), and also watched the Baden-Baden show of the Cannonball Sextet (w/Nat, Yusef, Jones/Hayes, that is) - Joe was great at that early point in his career, already!

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Weather Report was huge when I was getting into jazz, and I saw them live about five times. Joe was always "on" during each concert, even when some other members of the group didn't seem that involved, or were goofing around too much. He held the group together onstage.

Even if he had only been a member of Cannonball's group, or even if he had only contributed to the Miles dates, he would be a jazz giant. And then "Brown Street" is so good. I am glad that in his recordings, he went out on a high note.

One small incident which sums up his vigorous spirit to me. Weather Report and John McLaughlin/Shakti played a double bill at the Capitol Theater in Madison, Wisconsin one night in May, 1976. Joe spent the afternoon of the concert swimming in nearby Lake Mendota, coming to shore near the student union. He was 44 years old at the time.

When I was 44, and travelling for business, it never occurred to me to engage in vigorous physical outdoor exercise during a brief idle period!

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Huge, horrible loss. I was wild about Weather Report and I loved Zawinul's work. The only glimmer of light associated with his passing was that KCSM played his music all day long and into the night yesterday. I had the radio on at work all day and it was a wonderful feast of music. But I'd rather hear his music occasionally on the radio and have him still making and playing music. This is just too sad. RIP.

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Time to get his first trio album upon arriving in the US:

c4077.jpg

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C'mon Sangrey. Write your damn book already. :)

Oh, you mean - Blatherings From the Underbrow (or - Pavarotti Died & Nothing Personal, But I Really Didn't Give Too Much Of A Rat's Ass, But Then Joe Zawinul Died & It Touched Me A Little Bit)?

Still looking for an editor. I don't have the balls to approach Larry... :g

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C'mon Sangrey. Write your damn book already. :)

Oh, you mean - Blatherings From the Underbrow (or - Pavarotti Died & Nothing Personal, But I Really Didn't Give Too Much Of A Rat's Ass, But Then Joe Zawinul Died & It Touched Me A Little Bit)?

Still looking for an editor. I don't have the balls to approach Larry... :g

If I can find the time, I'd be delighted. Seriously. But the ball's in your court.

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Always good to know where the balls are.

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One small incident which sums up his vigorous spirit to me. Weather Report and John McLaughlin/Shakti played a double bill at the Capitol Theater in Madison, Wisconsin one night in May, 1976. Joe spent the afternoon of the concert swimming in nearby Lake Mendota, coming to shore near the student union. He was 44 years old at the time.

For some reason, I find that to be a very moving story.

Seriously.

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One small incident which sums up his vigorous spirit to me. Weather Report and John McLaughlin/Shakti played a double bill at the Capitol Theater in Madison, Wisconsin one night in May, 1976. Joe spent the afternoon of the concert swimming in nearby Lake Mendota, coming to shore near the student union. He was 44 years old at the time.

For some reason, I find that to be a very moving story.

Seriously.

Joe swam (and boxed) regularly until he became ill.

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