[JPL] Joe Zawinul

Jim Wilke jwilke123 at comcast.net
Tue Sep 11 13:59:53 EDT 2007

My personal memories of Joe go back to Cannonball and the first time I 
heard Mercy, Mercy, Mercy was in October 1966 at The Penthouse in 
Seattle before the record came out.  It was during a live weekly 
broadcast I was doing from the club on KING-FM and I thought  "That has 
hit record written all over it.  I bet even the AM stations will play 
it."    ... and they did!   That funky Austrian wrote some of 
Cannonball's greatest hits, and he played both acoustic and electric 
piano with that band.  One of my favorites during his Cannonball period 
was an extended piece in 7/4, "Seventy Four Miles Away".

Another memory, The Seattle Jazz Spectacular at the Arena 1970 included 
Cannonball, Miles' Bitches Brew band, Herbie's Sextet, Bill Evans Trio, 
Don Ellis Orchestra and a young singer, Roberta Flack.   We had a 
"piano workshop" that included Joe Zawinul, Bill Evans, & Herbie 
Hancock.   Joe Zawinul (still with Cannon) pulled me aside for a minute 
and says, "Gimmie your card, man.  Wayne and me are startin' a new band 
and I want to send you a copy."   That band turned out to be Weather 


On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 10:42  AM, Phillip Greenlief wrote:

> Nice post, Jae...word!
> Not too many people seem to remember Zawinul played acoustic piano with
> lots of folks before he worked with Miles. I love him on the sessions 
> he
> did with Ben Webster, for example.
> PG
> -----Original Message-----
> From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
> [mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Jae Sinnett
> Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:51 AM
> To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List
> Subject: [JPL] Joe Zawinul
> What we're seeing unfortunately was inevitable...the losing of a
> generation. It's happening right before our eyes and that generation is
> just about gone now. The scope of Zawinul's work can't be
> underestimated. He helped to reshape the jazz music landscape like Max.
> The thing that is more revealing to me with Zawinul is that when he
> decided to go electric...what he played reflected someone that had 
> dealt
> with deep musical applications through swing and high level
> improvisation. I'm saying this because he was part of the few that went
> in that direction that set a standard for how fusion and electronic
> jazz...at least at its inception...should have been played. His history
> helped him bring something meaningful and lasting to the table once he
> decided to change his artistic direction.
>   With that background...he...along with Wayne Shorter...created one of
> the most visionary ensembles ever. They raised the bar like Miles,
> Chick, McLaughlin, Herbie...to name a few. When you think about it all
> of the innovative fusion ensembles were led by artists that came out of
> a straight up jazz background. That's important and we see it now. They
> did it the right way...putting the art first. Then we saw the coming of
> those that didn't have that background and what they sounded like.
>   Jae Sinnett

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