Wednesday, September 12, 2007

R.I.P. : Joe Zawinul

My earliest recollection of Joe Zawinul's music was from
the early '70s when his composition 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy'**
was used as the background music to host Willis Conover's
Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts in India.***
( A sample of Willis Conover's deep voice introducing the
Miles Davis Group is here

Those sparse but soul-ridden opening notes are etched in my
memory and themselves serve as backdrop to the pages of my
life, when I was an aspiring guitarist in search of the meaning of
life as a musician.

I saw Joe Zawinul with Weather Report 'featuring' bassist
Jaco Pastorius back in '77
at the Capitol Theater in Passaic,
New Jersey. Of course I was blown away by Jaco's
which accompanied his already-legendary style. But to aurally
witness Mr. Zawinul
who was surrounded by a myriad of keyboards
and electronics which he effortlessly
toyed with while producing
other-worldly sounds...Ahhhh....I was in heaven on this
, my most
favorite concert night ever !
So now, a sad farewell to a magician of
the keys who unfailingly provided some of the most far-out
World Fusion sounds ever.

Goodbye to Joe Zawinul who passed away from Cancer at
age of 75 in Vienna, on an auspicious Sept. 11th.
Birthday celebration YouTube video from 7-7-07 in Switzerland

Excellent look at his life and times from
National Public Radio

Joe Zawinul - Wikipedia, ...

**Related quote from Keybardist Herbie Hancock:
"For a white Viennese boy to write a tune that's that black is
pretty remarkable," Hancock says. "He just captured the essence
of the African-American heritage, just the statement of melody
and feeling of that song. Clearly, in some past life, Joe must've
been black."

Strangely enough, like Joe Zawinul, Mr. Conover passed away in
1996 at the age of 75, also from a battle with cancer.

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