Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DVD of the Month - "Joe Zawinul 75th"

DVD of the Month
Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate: "75th" (Zyx) 2011

Produced by Tony Zawinul for BirdJam Productions
Executive Producers: The Zawinul Estate & Joachim Becker
Total Time: 100 minutes
Streo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9, PAL

Filmed for a TV broadcast for RTSI on July 7, 2007, the day Joseph Zawinul was celebrating his 75th birthday (he would die two months later, on September 11). This superb open-air concert @ the Lugano Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, features the last incarnation of the Zawinul Syndicate band. Two expatriated Brazilian musicians play their assess off: Santa Catarina-born guitarist Alegre Correa (famous for his work with Raul de Souza and the Vienna Art Orchestra) and the Rio de Janeiro-born percussionist Jorge Bezerra, a charismatic performer heard on pandeiro, congas, timbales etc. All tunes are composed by Zawinul, except "Clariô," an original by Correa, who also sings a la João Bosco.

The other musicians are no less important: bassist Linley Marthe (a mixture of Darryl Jones with Alphonso Johnson), wild drummer Paco Sery (who also does an impressive kalimba solo), and percussionists-vocalists Aziz Sahmaqui (from Morocco, shining specially on the celestial intro of the opening track) & Sabine Kabongo (from Congo).

As a bonus track, the haunting meeting of Zawinul and Wayne Shorter on a keyboards/soprano sax duo on the classic "In A Silent Way," filmed a few weeks later on August 2nd, 2007, @ the Vezprem Festival, in Hungary. Both the audio & video quality of this bonus track are not so good, but the performance is mesmerizing. An essential item for all Zawinul and Weather Report fans.

01 Orient Express
02 Madagascar
03 Clario
04 Scarlet Woman
05 Fast City/Two Lines
06 Zansa II
07 Cafe Andalusia
08 Badia/ Boogie Woogie Waltz
09 In A Silent Way (bonus track)

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