JJ 09/72: Joe Zawinul – Zawinul

Fifty years ago Steve Voce hailed the masterful manipulations of melody and sound by the Adderleys sideman now become 'a major jazz figure'. First published in Jazz Journal September 1972

2080

Put briefly, this is a wonderful album, displaying just how far Zawinul has risen from being a fairly obscure side-man with the Adderleys to a man who makes more masterful use of melody and sound combinations than almost any other jazzman one can think of.

His work with Miles and indeed his con­temporary first album with Weather Re­port came nowhere near to reflecting the full import of his writing as this al­bum does. It is full of purposeful and yet enchanting music, typified by the brill­iantly evocative Journey and the gentle soprano workout on In A Silent Way.

All the melodies he’s written are haunt­ing and hard to forget, and he displays that, like Evans and Hancock, he has the ability to exert strong control over his soloists by what he writes for them.

Listening to this set it’s easy to see how much Hancock and the contempor­aries owe to a man who has now em­erged as a major jazz figure with a very coherent grasp of the medium that he is exploring so invigoratingly.

Discography
(a) Doctor Honoris Causa; (a) In A Silent Way (19½ min) – (b) His Last Journey; (c) Double Image; (a) Arrival In New York (17½ min)
(a) Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock (elec/pno); Woody Shaw (tpt); George Davis (flt); Earl Turbinton (sop): Miroslav Vitous, Walter Booker (bs); Joe Chambers, Billy Hart, David Lee (perc).
(b) Jimmy Owens (tpt) replaces Shaw. Add Jack DeJohnette (melodica).
(c) Hubert Laws (flt) replaces Davis, Wayne Shorter (sop) replaces Turbinton; DeJohnette (perc) added.
(Atlantic K40349 £2.09)