The Zawinul Syndicate wrapped up its month-long summer tour of Europe with a performance at the Malta Jazz Festival. Malta-based British musician Jonathan Sorrell, who has performed with the likes of Wayne Shorter and Toots Thielemans, sent this report.
“Last Saturday, July 22nd, the Zawinul Syndicate played an outstanding set that left people speechless. Bear in mind that this festival attracts some heavyweight artists. Last year Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner were among the performers, and this year’s program included the Yellowjackets, David Sanchez, and Cubanismo. So audience expectations are fairly high.
“But through a combination of pure zest, intense humour and passion, audience interaction and simple professionalism, Zawinul’s performance was the most memorable set I or any other people I know can remember. In particular the haunting beauty and spirituality of Amit Chatterjee’s vocals, combined so sensitively with Zawinul’s accompaniment, reminded us all of how just occasionally in life we manage to temporarily elevate above the mundane.”
Incidentally, Syndicate bass player Victor Bailey broke two toes in Los Angeles just prior to the start of the European tour, and during the earlier concerts he had to take the stage on crutches and perform sitting down.
Next month Zawinul will lead a “special project” on brief tour of Eurpope, with musicians Richard Bona, Manolo Badrena, and Lelo Nika on accordian.
And according to IMN, the Syndicate has booked a concert in Los Angeles on October 3, perhaps as a stepping stone to a tour of Australia and parts down under.