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75th Live

3.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, 31 Dec 2008
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: BHM Productions
  • ASIN: B001EZ74IQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,167 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

This remarkable two-CD set, recorded live in July 2007 in Lugano, Switzerland on the occasion of Joe Zawinul's 75th birthday, shows that he was a road warrior until the end. Listening to the sheer kinetic energy and irrepressible grooves created by his dynamic pan-global juggernaut on this live outing, there is absolutely no sign that Joe himself was deep in the throes of a terminal illness. You can hear that sense of commitment and incredible soul, the uncanny melodic and harmonic invention, the inner drive and boundless spirit of the man on every one of these live tracks, recorded just two months before he finally submitted to the cancer that took his life on September 11, 2007.

The aptly-titled '75th' stands as a fitting tribute to one of the all-time greats in the history of jazz, and certainly the most influential European jazz musician since Django Reinhardt. It captures the Syndicate in rare form, ripping it up with unparalleled power and precision on a host of Zawinul originals dating back to his early Weather Report days, and with the maestro himself firmly at the helm, orchestrating from behind his bank of keyboards as only he could.

As an added treat, this collection contains a rare and beautiful moment from an August 2 concert in Veszprem, Hungary - the second to last show Joe ever played - in which he is joined on stage for an emotional reunion with his musical partner and Weather Report co-founder Wayne Shorter for a moving soprano sax-synth duet on Zawinul's anthemic "In A Silent Way," a piece the two recorded together on Miles Davis's landmark 1969 recording of the same name. Their telepathic exchanges and empathetic playing together over the course of 14 minutes here is pure magic.

Personnel:
Joe Zawinul - (keyboards, vocoder), Wayne Shorter - (soprano saxophone - CD2, track 5), Sabine Kabongo - (vocals, percussion), Alegre Correa - (guitar, vocals, berimbau), Linley Marthe - (bass), Paco Sery - (drums, kalimba, vocals), Jorge Bezerra - (percussion, vocals), Aziz Sahmaoui - (percussion, vocals)

BBC Review

Austria's most illustrious jazz export recorded most of this double live CD on his 75th birthday in Lugano, Switzerland, just over two months before his death from cancer on 11th September, 2007. Seated behind his trademark bank of synths, with his trusty vocoder close to hand, he's joined by the veritable United Nations of world groove that then made up The Zawinul Syndicate, the world/jazz fusion outfit that evolved around him after he left the seminal group Weather Report in 1985. Their rather muscular set revisits his career in both bands, with a few surprises thrown in.

After a wailing intro, things get into gear on an impressively propulsive Orient Express, which sets the generally upbeat mood. The oddly titled Madagascar doesn't attempt to evoke the music of that country, although it does have some engaging changes. For a more convincingly African ambience, Ivory Coast-born percussionist Paco Sery eschews his (occasionally heavy-handed) drumming in favour of a kalimba (thumb piano) on Zansa 11, conversing with and being echoed by Zawinul. Even if Zawinul's chosen synth timbres aren't always appealing, he's a noticeably democratic bandleader, preferring to spar with colleagues rather than grandstanding over them, and often just vamping, ruminating or dropping in atmospheric keyboard stabs while others take the limelight, as does funksome bassist Linley Marthe on Scarlet Woman.

To be frank, I'm not mad about his taste in voices, either - especially Moroccan Aziz Sahmaoui and Zap Mama's Sabine Kabongo - although Alegre Correa is an agreeable enough presence on his own samba Clario. There's a predictably mawkish Happy Birthday, which happily turns into a frenzied percussive breakdown. And there's a beautifully serene 14-minute duo version of In A Silent Way between Zawinul and his long-term associate Wayne Shorter on soprano sax - recorded the following month in Hungary.

It's a shame there aren't a few more reflective moments like it, which means that 75th isn't the best place to approach Zawinul's music from. This is a brave 'rage against the dying of the light', and novices are advised to first check last year's excellent Weather Report compilation Forecast: Tomorrow. --Jon Lusk

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Top customer reviews

15 December 2008
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
9 July 2011
Format: Audio CD
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14 November 2008
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
Gonga
5.0 out of 5 starsOn par with "World Tour"
25 October 2009 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Bodhi Heeren
5.0 out of 5 starsWorthy epitaph for musical genius
15 December 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
12 people found this helpful.
Art Vandalay
5.0 out of 5 starsA must-have for any fan of good jazz
13 February 2009 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
14 people found this helpful.
Henry B.
4.0 out of 5 starsFantastic tribute to a fantastic musician
23 November 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
6 people found this helpful.


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