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Joe Zawinul was a little known jazz pianist who entered America in early 1959 with a scholarship to Berklee in Boston and before the end of the year he had recorded his debut album, “To You with Love.” Cannonball Adderley immediately recognized his talent and took him in, they recorded 22 albums altogether. Zawinul recorded full time with Cannonball and part time from 1966 on. This 1971 album “Zawinul” was his 3rd as a leader and where he began to take a new direction. Great album, very spiritually soothing to the mind.

About the album:

Conceptually, sonically, this is really the first Weather Report album in all but name, confirming that Joe Zawinul was the primary creative engine behind the group from the beginning. It is also the link between WR and Miles Davis’ keyboard-laden experiments on In a Silent Way; indeed, the tune “In a Silent Way” is redone in the more complex form in which Zawinul envisioned it, and Miles even contributes a brief, generous tribute to Zawinul on the liner. Two keyboardists — Zawinul and the formidable Herbie Hancock — form the underpinning of this stately, probing album, garnishing their work with the galactic sound effects…….Read More

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Biography of Joe Zawinul:

His musical talent was apparent at an early age, and after his grandfather gave him an accordion, young Josef was often called upon to perform at family gatherings. At the age of seven, Joe was selected for enrollment in the prestigious Vienna Conservatory, where he studied classical piano, clarinet and violin. In the later stages of World War II, Vienna came under heavy Allied bombardment, and Josef and 28 of his conservatory classmates were evacuated to a large estate in the Czech Sudetenland, where he continued his studies while being forced to endure a regimented life that included war training under the direction of injured German SS officers. It was there that Josef heard jazz for the first time when a fellow student performed an impromptu version “Honeysuckle Rose” on the piano one evening.

After the war, Josef returned to Vienna and continued classical piano training while earning money by playing accordion in small combos. During the post-war years, Vienna was occupied by the Allied powers, and Joe began performing at clubs on American military bases, where his lifelong fascination with sound was spurred by access to a Hammond organ. In the fifties, Zawinul led his own groups and played in a series of increasingly high-profile Austrian bands, including the Austrian All Stars—the first bona fide Austrian jazz combo—and the Fatty George band. Yet, as his standing in the Austrian music scene rose, America beckoned to him. His contact with American culture via the military bases, American Armed Forces Radio, and the movies had whetted his appetite. But even more, he knew that he could only go so far as a jazz musician in Austria.

In 1958, noticing an advertisement in one of the few copies of Down Beat magazine to reach Vienna, Joe applied for a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music. Berklee accepted him, and on January 2, 1959, he boarded a boat for the five-day journey across the Atlantic. He carried with him his Berklee scholarship and $800 in his pocket……Read More

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