Just had an email from the very nice Iain Murray at New Note, distributors of all kinds of jazz labels in the UK, telling me that a new double CD of the Joe Zawinul Syndicate, recorded live in Switzerland on the late, great jazz man’s 75th birthday, is going to be released next month.
Here’s a bit from the press release:
“This volatile two-CD set, recorded in concert in Lugano, Switzerland on the occasion of Joe Zawinul’s 75th birthday (July 7, 2007), shows that he was a road warrior ‘til the end. Listening to the sheer kinetic energy and irrepressible grooves created by his dynamic pan-global juggernaut on this live outing, there is absolutely no sign that Joe himself was deep in the throes of a terminal illness. He had acknowledged this hard fact as early as May of 2007 but was determined to carry on with steadfast conviction through the European tour marking the 20th anniversary of his Zawinul Syndicate. And he continued to play his heart out every night, right up until his final days. You can hear that sense of commitment and incredible soul, the uncanny melodic and harmonic invention, the inner drive and boundless spirit of the man on every one of these live tracks, recorded just two months before Joe would finally submit to the cancer that took his life on September 11, 2007.
“The aptly-titled 75th stands as a fitting tribute to one of the all-time greats in the history of jazz, and certainly the most influential European jazz musician since Django Reinhardt. It captures the Syndicate in rare form, ripping it up with unparalleled power and precision on a host of Zawinul originals dating back to his early Weather Report days, and with the maestro himself firmly at the helm, orchestrating from behind his bank of keyboards as only Joe could.”
Those of us who heard this band at the Jazz Cafe in March of that year (I was there on my 55th birthday as it happens) will know just what a thrilling experience is in store.
The release date 75th is 27 October. But for me the clouds have lifted already, just at the thought of it.
Must go and stick Brown Street in the CD player to celebrate, and savour the anticipation of some new Joe to come.