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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Heavy Heart: Zawinul dies

Fusion jazz composer, innovator, and keyboardist/pianist Joe Zawinul passed away last week of a rare form of cancer. Austrian born, he was funkier and more soulful than quite a few American-born jazzmen. His final album - Brown Street - was recorded in 2005 and released last year.

Jazz legend Joe Zawinul dies at 75

Miles Davis, Dinah Washington, and Cannonball Adderly were just some of whom he played with and wrote for.

Weather Report, though, was his baby: a fusion/electric/acoustic jazz project with saxophone player/composer Wayne Shorter. From their album Heavy Weather, the tune Birdland was a major crossover hit ... you can still hear it on mainstream music stations.

With Miles Davis he collaborated on In a Silent Way: one of the most beautiful trace-like creations in the jazz canon. And then there's the coruscating Bitches Brew!

His music got me through my college nights ... and introduced me to a life-long love of jazz.

Thank you, Joe.

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