World Music Features    Joe Zawinul    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


World Music Features    Joe Zawinul    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
Moroccan Sahara

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





World Music Features

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Joe Zawinul
By Larry Blumenfeld

Published January 30, 2006

Within the pages of an Austrian publication of Joe Zawinul’s autobiography, there’s a photo of the pianist seated at his instrument, playing, circa 1963. Leaning over him, looking somewhat teary-eyed, is Duke Ellington.

Some of Ellington’s band members had invited me down to a recording session,” Zawinul says, his voice crackling as he recounts that moment. “And one of them told Duke that he had to hear me play ‘Come Sunday.’ So that picture is of me playing it for him. When I finished, he told me, ‘You play that better than I do.’”

Now, Ellington may have been acting his gracious self. And Zawinul himself is prone to overstatement. Still, the point was well made: The Austrian-born musician has always intuitively understood what African-American music was about, and he’s consistently expressed it in a compelling way. So it’s not surprising that Zawinul nailed “Come Sunday”—a signature ballad composed by an icon of jazz—when he played it some 40 years ago.

The story is believable, for many reasons, including a lovely rendition of the tune he offered at a recent concert in Istanbul, Turkey. There, Zawinul’s Syndicate, as he calls his band, included Sabine Kabongo, a former member of the vocal group Zap Mama, whose family background is both Belgian and African. She sang “Come Sunday” in duet with Zawinul, who this time was sitting behind a battery of electronic keyboards and synthesizers, as has been customary for him since the 1970s. As performed that night, the song would have sounded contemporary to a casual audience member. Yet it retained the gospelish power and authenticity of the more traditional renditions.

Yet this was one isolated moment of a two-hour concert that spanned generations and continents as it brought the Turkish audience to its feet in appreciation. Zawinul’s current Syndicate is about as international a band as you’re likely to find. In addition to he and Kabongo, in Istanbul, there was drummer Paco Sery (from the Ivory Coast), bassist Etienne M’Bappe (from Cameroon), guitarist Amit Chaterjee (Northern India), and percussionist Manolo Badrena (Puerto Rico).

Badrena had worked with Zawinul decades ago in the groundbreaking fusion group Weather Report, which found Zawinul paired famously with saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassist Jaco Pastorius. And the audience in Istanbul seemed well acquainted with Zawinul’s long and illustrious musical career: his early tenure with jazz standard-bearers such as saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley in the early 1960s his brief but significant work with trumpeter Miles Davis in the late ’60s the phenomenal popular and critical success of Weather Report in the 1970s and ’80s his work as a soloist, bandleader and composer in the years since. In fact, after the concert, at least one Turkish fan went backstage with a pile of albums for the pianist to autograph.

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Kosmic Music
Fes Festival
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net