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Absolute Zawinul

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Mar 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Intuition
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,427 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Bimoya 7:06£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sultan 9:21£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Great Empire 4:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Peace 8:08£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Good Day 5:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Peasant 8:25£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ballad For Two Musicians 9:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ice Pick Willy 7:03£0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Legendary keyboard player Joe Zawinul was best known as leader of two of the best fusion bands of last four decades, Weather Report and The Zawinul Syndicate. 'Absolute Zawinul', the last studio recording he made before he passed away in 2007, is a superb collaboration with conductor Kristjan Jarvi's Absolute Ensemble and features startling new arrangements of Weather Report and Syndicate compositions.

Any concerns on the listeners part that this might be a typical "jazz-meets-classical" outing will soon be dispelled by the uplifting groove of the opening "Bimoya" originally on The Syndicate's 'Faces & Places'. In selecting the music for the CD Zawinul deliberately aimed to keep the music fresh and not include obvious Weather Report numbers, resulting in two memorable and quite different compositions from the bands final years being performed - "The Peasant" and "Ice-Pick Willy". Also, three tracks originally recorded on solo keyboards by Zawinul on his groundbreaking 'Dialects' album are given more expansive treatment here - "Sultan", "Great Empire" and "Peace".

Joining the co-leader on keyboards are the horns, strings and percussion of the 22 strong Absolute Ensemble plus vocalist Sabine Kabongo, bassist Linley Marthe and drummer Paco Sery from later editions of The Zawinul Syndicate.

This recording is an excellent example of how Joe Zawinul and a large group could blend together seemingly disparate music and is dedicated to his memory.


(4 stars) A shining success...a glowing conclusion to a great career...elaborates Zawinul's music without sacrificing its energy and colour. -- The Scotsman, (Kenny Mathieson), March 21, 2010

(4 stars) A wholly absorbing project...Zawinul always thought orchestrally, and his keyboard lines work well transcribed for orchestra. -- Jazzwise, (Stuart Nicholson), February 2010

(4 stars) It's a fitting enrichment of Zawinul's magic, by players who clearly appreciate it. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), February 26, 2010

(4 stars) It's been worth the wait...a treat for jazz and classical fans alike...what a send-off this makes. -- BBC Music Magazine, (Neil McKim), March 2010

(4 stars) Sparkling celebration of the maverick composer Joe Zawinul...the results seem so true to his footloose spirit. -- The Sunday Times, (Clive Davis), February 28, 2010

(4 stars) Textures and colours are added, but none of the tumbling energy has been sacrificed...a stirring epitaph. -- The Times, (John Bungey), March 20, 2010

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. J. G. Shipcott on 9 Mar 2010
Format: Audio CD
Rather late in the day (he died on 9/11 of 2007), this collaboration with conductor Kristjan Järvi and arranger Gene Pritsker is a very pleasant surprise. Perhaps Zawinul responded well to being reined in a little by his colleagues, perhaps he realized the end was coming - whatever, this album is a joy from beginning to end, with gorgeous orchestral compositions ('Peace' is already on my desert island list; 'Ballad for Two Musicians' is heavenly) and a few visits to old friends including 'Ice Pick Willy' from 'Sportin' Life'. The dreaded vocoder is still to be heard but less than in recent years. Very useful and interesting notes by Järvi.

At 76, Joe Zawinul was still seeking new sounds, new rhythms, new musicians - a fantastic inspiration.

Returning to this review a couple of years later, I am embarrassed to confess I had not realised that there is only ONE new piece on this album ('Ballad for Two Musicians'); the others are to be found in earlier Zawinul albums (2 tracks from Dialects, 1 each from My People, Stories of the Danube and Faces & Places, plus 2 Weather Report tracks). I've only become familiar with the solo albums in the past year or so. My opinion of the Absolute album does not change, but I have read many times of Joe's prolific output as a composer and wonder if this was really so (I have 7 versions of 'In A Silent Way' in my iTunes!).

Anyway, the album is well worth having even if there is little original music on it. GS
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gismondo Pules on 28 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
Way to go. Listen to the Weather Report version of 'The Peasant', then compare & contrast with the version on this 'orchestral' album. What strikes one is that both versions are true to vision of Zawinul. Neither is diminished by the other - in fact I've burned a disc with both versions to play in car. It's on auto repeat. Both fascinate and delight.
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