Two Zawinul CDs will be released shortly. A new album, currently scheduled for April release only in Europe, is inspired by the plight of prisoners at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp during World War II. Produced in conjunction with Frank Hoffman, whose spoken words are heard on the World Tour album, the disc stems from a 1998 Austrian-government sponsored event commemorating the inhumanity of the camp, in which Hoffman read letters of inmates, and Zawinul unveiled a composition which “[transformed] the impressions of witnesses to the events at Mauthausen.” (Read the press release here.)
Also scheduled for release at the end of March is a new Zawinul compilation disc, part of WEA’s Les Incontournables series. A description of the disc can found at the Tower Records web site. I believe this is also a European release.
And finally, a poster on the rec.music.bluenote newsgroup said he recently noticed the Legacy Recordings website listed the following item for April 18 release: Weather Report”Live and Unreleased. Legacy has subsequently removed the listing. Hmmm.
Friends in New York confirm that Nathaniel Townsley has indeed taken over the Zawinul Syndicate drum chair”most recently occupied by Karim Ziad”and has been rehearsing with the band in preparation for its upcoming concert dates. Townsley is well-known around the New York music scene, and has performed with Special FX, Intro, Savian Glover, Chico De Barge, and Kelly Price, to name a few. According to a friend, Townsley “is a phenomenal drummer! He has great dexterity, total independence, and chops for days. I have seen him play with some of New York’s best musicians and they have all just sat there in disbelief at one point or another.”
Saxophonist Rich Lamanna has sent word of his new album, Introspective, which he describes as “a Jaco Pastorius and Weather Report inspired bop-fusion jazz project with a distinct afro-latin flavor.” The album features former Weather Report drummer/percussionist Alex Acuna, and Jaco Pastorius band members Kenwood Dennard and Othello Molineaux. A CD release party/concert will be held Friday, April 21 at the Van Dyke Restaurant in New York. For more information, check out Rich’s web site