Keyboarder, bandleader and composer Joe Zawinul will be forever up there in the Pantheon of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
His work with Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis and Weather Report and as a leader have given me countless hours of listening pleasure. His tunes ‘Birdland’ and ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ rank amongst my favourite jazz tunes. Making the change from acoustic piano to electric piano and then to synthesisers highlights his inventive and creative spirit. The textures he created on Weather Report records are still mystifying to me. His friendship and competition with Jaco Pastorius are legendary and all this and many other things have turned me into a life long Joe Zawinul fan…
That he was also Austrian and has studied at the Vienna Conservatory and Berklee College of Music seem to be three arbitrary facts that we have in common…but I gladly take them to create a tenuous link:-)
Whilst we were listening back to ‘Walkin’, Struttin’ Strollin’, a new tune for the Funkestra album ‘The Time Thief’, Mike (Sturgis) came up with the lyrics ‘We gonna make it sound like Zawinul’ to one of the unison lines I wrote after the chorus. The line has definitely a Zawinul flavour about it and prompted this little gem and spark of inspiration by Mike. The whole control room burst out into laughter and never shy of jumping at a idea, we actually recorded Rupert, Eran, Dave, Mike, Taggie and myself singing the lyrics on top of this line.
We enjoyed this very much, so much in fact that we want to share it!
So, for all those of you who would like to end up on the next Funkestra record, just record yourself singing ‘We gonna make it sound like Zawinul’ (in tempo at 98 bpm) and send me the sound file.
The idea is that we get this huge chanting ‘Joe Zawinul appreciation choir’ with many, many different voices singing the line. High voices, low voices, silly voices, tiny voices…all are welcome.
Download the Sibelius mock up sound file here: We gonna make it sound like Zawinul
So, if you love Zawinul as much as we do – get singing and email us your sound files to stefan AT stefanredtenbacher.com.
Thank you in advance for praising the name of the legendary Joe Zawinul! Here a picture of jazz titans (from L to R: Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter).