|Persona Digital Music |
Joe Zawinul was a multifaceted, innovative man who is considered a pioneer in electronic music and studio production since the early 60’s. He was a major composer and player of jazz innovations involved with Weather Report, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Santana, Salif Keïta, and his own band, the Zawinul Syndicate. Weather Report, featured Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and Jaco Pastorius. Zawinul, a jazz keyboardist and composer pioneered the use of synthesizers and was widely admired. He won the "Best Keyboardist" award 30 times from American jazz magazine. Zawinul co-founded the jazz-rock band, Weather Report with Wayne Shorter.
Paul Tingen described him at age 70: “he's got more energy than men half his age…last year he released a wholly contemporary-sounding album with the Zawinul Syndicate, Faces & Places, and embarked on a lengthy world tour. His band has been called "the hottest band in jazz today" with boiling, uptempo grooves that would wear out people half his age. And is he thinking of retiring? No way. "I can play another 20 years, man," he declared with a grin… Joe Zawinul has gone so deeply into African-American music, and has had such a big impact on it, that he has been called the "greatest white black musician alive" in the US. "
Zawinul reveled in his ability to play every part:" I played all the parts, man. I think if one person can play everything, then have you a more unique and more organic way of playing music. In all honesty, it's my favorite way to play. Not on stage, because on stage it's tricky. Unless people can see what you're doing, they don't believe it. I performed the stuff from Di-a-lects live and people saw me sitting behind all those boxes and said that I didn't play everything and just mixed the sound, shit like that. But I really played all these things, because I'm really coordinated with all this [multi-keyboard] stuff. Of course, I used a rhythm machine for live performance, but I played the bass lines mixed with comping with the left hand, and played melody and other comping parts with the right hand."
In 1965, Zawinul wrote the Cannonball band's greatest hit, 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy'. Zawinul used the Wurlitzer electric piano, first introduced in 1959 by Ray Charles.
Listen to Mercy, Mercy, Mercy