[JPL] Joe Zawinul

Ron Gill ron_gill at verizon.net
Tue Sep 11 18:17:35 EDT 2007

From: Jae Sinnett <jaejazz at yahoo.com>
Date: 2007/09/11 Tue AM 11:50:50 CDT
To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Subject: [JPL] Joe Zawinul

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In the next few days we will be paying tribute to Joe’s work as one of the major innovators in jazz, as musician and composer.
I have to agree with Jae’s comments about how this news is not only sad but discouraging. We cannot afford losing this kind of talent. Joe’s loss is immense.
His talent from his early years with Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, his Weather Report and his current Syndicate band has contributed a large bulk of work that is important  and vital. Weather Report was an important innovative band of great musicians whose background and contribution made an important statement in jazz. 
We, as programmers, will be part of a large segment of the jazz community, including journalists and writers of history paying tribute to him in the coming days.
While the current crop of musicians are top notch and are providing the jazz community with a fine collection of jazz, what is missing is the type of innovators such as Joe, Miles, Coltrane and others that move jazz forward creatively.
I look forward, as I am sure most of you will as well, pay tribute to Zawinul and his music.

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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