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Album Review

If Joe Zawinul was out to prove that he didn't need Weather Report anymore, he succeeded spectacularly in this virtual one-man show. Zawinul recorded many of the vocals (assisted now and then by Bobby McFerrin and a vocal trio) and all of the synthesizer and rhythm machine tracks himself in his Pasadena home studio, yet the results are anything but mechanical. Zawinul in fact achieves a rare thing: He manages to get his stacks of electronics to swing like mad in these pan-global grooves that pick up where WR was about to leave off. "Waiting for the Rain" generates a ribbon of tension and anticipation, while "Zeebop" is a noisy rush of pure adrenaline. And "Carnivalito" is a total gas, a percolating, outrageously joyous evocation of a carnival that would put the world's best percussion players out of business if Zawinul's swinging talent could be bottled and sold. This is an important, overlooked album because it proves that electronic instruments can reach your emotions and shake your body when played by someone who has bothered to learn how to master them. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Zawinul - In an Amazing Way

When I first heard this recording I couldn't believe it was essentially one man creating a living, breathing band. In the mid-80's when this came out, Zawinul and a handful of others had the incredible ability to find sounds that were timeless. He gazed into his crystal ball and nothing here, twenty-something years later, sounds dated. "ZeeBop" absolutely cooks. "The Great Empire," "The Harvest," heck, the entire record is an incredible travelogue only Z can deliver. Then, I saw this show done live without sequences, at Carnegie Hall in April of '86. Mind Blowing. In my opinion, Zawinul is still the greatest synthesist ever - because he makes electronic instruments sound so human. One listen and you can tell this man was completed inspired. This is a great album by a legendary artist who's still going strong at 75. May he live another 75 years! Buy it!


Born: July 7, 1932 in Vienna, Austria

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Joe Zawinul belonged in a category unto himself — a European from the heartland of the classical music tradition (Vienna) who learned to swing as freely as any American jazzer, and whose appetite for growth and change remained insatiable. Zawinul's curiosity and openness to all kinds of sounds made him one of the driving forces behind the electronic jazz-rock revolution of the late '60s and '70s — and later, he would be almost alone in exploring fusions between jazz-rock and ethnic music...
Full Bio
Dialects, Joe Zawinul
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