Just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary year of Weather Report’s first album, we bring you Weather Report: The Annotated Discography. The intent is to describe each Weather Report album, and track if possible, in the words of the musicians themselves. The next phase will be to include information about unofficial recordings.
Rumor has it that the WDR German Radio Big Band will be joined by Weather Report alumni Peter Erskine, Victor Bailey and Alex Acuna. And on keyboards? Scott Kinsey—an excellent choice in my humble opinion!
The International Association for Jazz Education will hold its 29th annual conference January 9-12, 2002, in Long Beach, California. Among the highlights will be the presentation of the first EJFO International Award to Joe Zawinul. According to the IAJE web site, “The European Jazz Festivals Organization and the IAJE have partnered to create a new award to recognize international artists who have contributed significantly to the evolution of jazz. The inaugural award, which includes a $20,000 honorarium, will be presented to Austrian keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Joe Zawinul. A special tribute concert honoring Joe will be presented on Saturday, January 12, by the WDR German Radio Big Band under the direction of multiple Grammy winner Vince Mendoza. The concert will also feature guest artists who have played with Joe during his extensive career.”
According to information gleaned from Zawinul’s European booking agents’ web sites, plans are afoot for two Zawinul Syndicate tours of Europe, the first occuring between February and May, and the second, dubbed the “70th Birthday Tour” to take place over the summer and fall. The advertised line-up is the same as last year’s band except at drums, where the incomparable Paco Sery is said to be replacing Nathaniel Townsley. All of this should follow-up a new Zawinul album to be released in the spring by ESC records.
Erstwhile Syndicate bass player Victor Bailey will lead his own band, consisting of Bailey, Jim Beard on keyboards, Bennie Maupin on sax, and Poogie Bell on drums. And current bass player Etienne M’Bappe will also lead his own band for the first time, in between Zawinul Syndicate gigs.
Victor is the subject of an article at the Bass Player magazine web site, in which he says he has terminated all sideman work to concentrate on being a full-time bandleader. He says Zawinul encouraged him to do so, telling him that he had records out and it was time to be an artist.