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Worthy epitaph for musical genius,
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This review is from: 75th (Audio CD)
He played jazz and rythm'n'blues, made classical works, was a seminal voice on Miles Davis' groundbreaking jazzrock records in the 60s. And co-led one of the finest, most daring bands ever: Weather Report.
But the last years of his life was mainly devoted to fruitful explorations into world music and a brimming amalgam of African, South American and European music. Playing, like here, mainly with musicians from 'third world' countries.
An important move in a time where the West seems to isolate itself more and more in agressive self-righteousness. And providing him with the inspiration to continue to develop his musical palette to the very end.
This CD, mostly recorded live in Lugano on his 75th birthday, is clear testimony to the brilliance of his vision. The excellent rythm section of the harddriving yet subtle drumming of Paco Sery and bassvirtuoso Linley Marthe, the last, but in no way least, in the long, illustrious line of formidable Zawinul-bassplayers. Add to that a three-piece percussion-section, whose dense and ferrocious playing reminds of another visionary world music embassador, Carlos Santana. The percussionists, among them the beautiful Sabine Kabongo, also add vocal chants. And on top of that the vocoder vocals and wonderfully weird keyboards of the maestro himself, as far out and adventurous as ever.
However awesome the tracks with Zawinul Syndicate are things move to a higher realm when Zawinul reunites with Wayne Shorter for a completely transcendental "In A Silent Way" (recorded in Budapest). To hear these two musical giants reunited again is just as emotional as the recent Cream and Led Zeppelin reunions, perhaps even more so due to Zawinul leaving his body so shortly after.
This is art born out of the eternal, nor aimed at the marketplace but for the more appreciative humanity in a hopefully not too distant future. Let those who have ears hear.