As of this writing, the Zawinul Syndicate should be in Austria rehearsing for its month-long tour of Europe, which begins this Saturday in Lienz, Austria. The tour will also take the Syndicate to Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Georgia and Cyprus. Details are on the Tour Dates page.
Following the European tour, Zawinul is scheduled to play some concerts in Italy in August. These concerts are billed as “Zawinul Special Projects,” and will feature Richard Bona, Manolo Badrena, and Lelo Nika on accordian.
Those of us in the states look forward to reports from our European friends attending the concerts.
Sanctuary Publishing sends word that In A Silent Way, the authorized biography of Joe Zawinul by Brian Glasser, will not be published until February 2001.
Ever since Paco Séry suddenly left the Zawinul Syndicate in the fall of 1998, I’ve been wondering what he’s been up to. Rumor has it he will be releasing an album under his own name sometime this year. Meanwhile, the Paco Séry Group will be playing some gigs around Europe this spring and summer. Dates that I know of are:
- Paris Jazz Festival, June 25
- Tabarka Jazz Festival, July 4
- Montereau Blues Confluences, July 8
- Festival de Jazz à Brignoles, August 12
According to the Altavista French-to-English translator, Séry is “a phenomenon. This beater of the Ivory Coast never took only one course of battery and yet Joe Zawinul regards it as the best in the world!” Imagine the damage he could do if he had been trained to administer beatings.
If anyone else has information about what Paco is doing these days, let me know.
Saxophonist and Spyro Gyra leader Jay Beckenstein‘s new release, Eye Contact, features the Zawinul composition “Black Market” from the Weather Report album of the same name. The track was produced by Beckenstein and keyboardist Jason Miles, who produced the recent release Celebrating the Music of Weather Report. Performers include Marcus Miller on bass and former Weather Report drummer Omar Hakim.
San Francisco Bay Area writer Reese Erlich recently interviewed Zawinul in conjunction with the Syndicate’s San Francisco concerts last month. You can hear some of the interview at Erlich’s Jazz Persectives web site.
A2Z Entertainment Group (formerly Az-Iz Films) reports that its much anticipated documentary, Two Years with the Zawinul Syndicate, is nearly complete, and the company hopes to have it for sale by the end of the month.
My friends Thomas Kober of Austria and Marco at the Zawinul Italian Fan Site brought to my attention the new Jaco Pastorius family web site built and maintained by Jaco’s twin sons, Julius and Felix. The site is a must-see for Jaco fans, and we wish them the best of luck. According to their FAQ, the new Jaco Pastorius web site at www.jacopastorius.com will officially come online in conjunction with the long awaited release of the Bob Bobbing Portrait of Jaco anthology of Jaco’s pre-Weather Report years. This will be significant Pastorius release, some details of which were described a few years ago in a Bass Player magazine article by Bill Milkowski.