Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate 75

Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate 75
75 was recorded on legendary keyboardist and composer Joe Zawinul's 75th birthday, two months before he succumbed to cancer. A true sonic adventurer, Zawinul's career included stints as a sideman with Miles Davis (Zawinul wrote the landmark "In A Silent Way"), co-founding Weather Report with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, as well as his Zawinul Syndicate. Although terminally ill at the time, Zawinul's genre-defying and expansive musical vision shines through. "Introduction To Orient Express" simmers with the atmospheric Middle Eastern vocals of Aziz Sahmaoui before heading into ten-plus minutes of locomotive-like syncopation and the funk value is also raised on the Weather Report classic "Madagascar," as bassist Linley Marthe channels a spry Jaco Pastorius groove and Zawinul's electric piano solo conjures a sonic epiphany. The epoch here is a reunion with Shorter on "In A Silent Way," a genuinely moving benediction to the duo's telepathic improvisation and sonic brotherhood that rivals the original. Rather than a farewell, 75 is superlative proof of Joe Zawinul's continued relevance and influence. (Heads Up)