It’s been a year since I woke up to the news that Joe Zawinul passed away. I want to thank everyone who contributed to the Memorial page. A while back I received an email from Sabine Kabongo, who said, “Thank you for the tribute page you made. It was a helping process to read all those messages of cares and shares.” You all made a difference.
I recently wrote a story about my face-to-face visits with Joe. I wanted to put it into words before the memories faded too much. You can read it here.
Boy, do I miss those concerts!
75, a double CD of the Zawinul Syndicate’s July 7, 2007 performance at the Lugano Jazz Festival, will be released on October 17. This was the Syndicate’s last multitrack recording. An added bonus is the inclusion of Joe and Wayne Shorter’s duet performed on August 2, 2007 at Veszprem, Hungary, which was the next to last performance of Joe’s life.
Another release, Absolute Z with the Absolute Ensemble, is in the works, but has been postponed to 2009.
And finally, look for a relaunch of the official Joe Zawinul web site later this year.
It was a little late in coming, but the Down Beat Critics Poll elected Joe to the magazine’s hall of fame by a nearly two-to-one margin over runner-up Hank Jones. He joins Weather Report co-founder Wayne Shorter, as well as collaborators Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius and Cannonball Adderley, all of whom have also been so honored.
The results of the poll were announced in the August issue of the magazine, which included a two-page article about Joe. The article indicated that keyboardist Scott Kinsey “inherited the task of archiving Zawinul’s sprawling collection of unreleased recordings.” That’s not exactly right. Joe’s estate, which is being administered by his eldest son, Anthony, is in the process of archiving the thousands of recordings that Joe created over the years, converting them to digital form. It’s certainly possible that we’ll hear some of these recordings at some point–and that Scott will be involved musically–but I suspect it will take quite a while just to get the material organized and properly archived.