He has done it again! with another delightfully progressive musical product. It has a new flavour, as a result of the infusion of the new blood in the form of new band members, hence a new sound. Yet maintaining Originality, and a distinct Zawinul Signature. A prominent African beat and influence is quite audible, Which Zawinul have quite successfully married to his own style. And creating a beautifully natural sound. It is one of those quality products that the more you listen to it, the more you sounds and techniques you discover, and the more you love it, Thank you and well done Joe! Sami Messayeh London
If you know and enjoyed latter day Weather Report this listenable mixture of African flavoured jazz-funk will be no surprise and will certainly prove to be a wise purchase. Throbbing bass lines, exotic keyboard textures and percussions support some very attractive rhythms and melodies. In place of Wayne Shorter’s sax contributions we have a variety of ‘treated’ and non-treated vocals that definitely give the music an approachable and less coldly technical feel, not always a quality associated with fusion style music.
Overall, a good and in places this is a great album- atmospheric, driven and beautifully executed, it deserves a listen from those who enjoy music that seeks to jazz to new areas. Its only failing is that the album lacks a little flow, as if too many ideas are jostling to be heard all at once. For instance the lovely ballad ‘Siseya’ terminates just at the point when it is just gathering momentum to be followed by the overpowering Afro-funk of ‘East 12th Street Band which though an impressive musical statement deflates the mood. Having said all that, it is difficult not to have one’s spirits raised by all the virtuosity and compositional skills that went into making ‘Faces and Places’. ‘All about Simon’ is a case in point: a powerful rhythmic pulse, colourful keyboards and a lovely vocal from Etienne Mbappe’ makes this a track worthy of returning to return to, time after time. Recommended.
Reviewer: Carlo Pierri from Ravenna - Italy This appointment with Joe Zawinul remember me the 70th anniversary concert in Imola. The sound is inconfondible but a bit repetitive also. Vocals massive introduction (Sabine Kabongo) and vocoder, false the Zawinul way to the jazz. But there are few songs that esaltate the fusion of sounds; Zakir Hussain on tablas and Victor Bailey on bass contributes are significative to remember other best performances of the older jazz man.