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Jazz Great Joe Zawinul Dies at 75


VIENNA, Austria (AP) Joe Zawinul, the jazz keyboardist who soared to

fame as one of the creators of jazz-rock fusion with the band Weather

Report, has died, a hospital official said. He was 75.


died early Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Vienna's Wilhelmina Clinic said,

without giving details. He had been hospitalized since last month and

suffered from a rare form of skin cancer, said Risa Zincke, his

manager, according to the Austria Press Agency.

Zawinul won

acclaim for his keyboard work on chart-topping Miles Davis albums such

as "In A Silent Way" and "******* Brew," and was a leading force behind

the so-called "Electric Jazz" movement.

In 1970, Zawinul and

saxophonist Wayne Shorter founded Weather Report and produced a series

of albums including "Heavy Weather," "Black Market," "I Sing the Body

Electric," and the Grammy-winning live recording "8:30."

He is

credited with bringing the electric piano and synthesizer into the jazz

mainstream, but was frustrated by the lack of respect for electric

keyboards and new technology among jazz purists.

"There is no

difference between a Stradivarius or a beautiful synthesizer sound,"

Zawinul told Jazziz magazine earlier this year. "People make a big

mistake in putting down electronic music. Yes, it's been misused and

abused, but that's true of every music.

"There is nothing wrong with electronic music as long as you're putting some soul behind the technology."


Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer praised Zawinul's "unpretentious way of

dealing with listeners" and said he wasn't "blinded by


Born in 1932, Zawinul grew up in a

working-class family during World War II in the Austrian capital. He

played accordion on the streets to make money and received classical

piano training as a child prodigy at the Vienna Conservatory. In the

postwar years, he grew interested in American jazz, playing in a dance

band that included the future Austrian President Thomas Klestil and

making a name for himself on the local jazz scene in bands led by

saxophonist Hans Koller and others.

"One thing about Viennese

musicians, they can really groove, more than even the German bands

can," Zawinul said in a 2007 Downbeat magazine interview. "It's

something in our nature, perhaps. We're cosmopolitan and interracial

Czech, Slavic, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish a little bit."


1959, Zawinul emigrated to the United States on a scholarship to study

at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, but left to join Maynard

Ferguson's big band. He next landed a gig with Dinah Washington; his

funky piano can be heard on her 1959 hit "What a Diff'rence a Day Made."


rose to international fame after joining alto saxophonist Cannonball

Adderley's band in 1961. During his nine-year stint with the band, he

composed such tunes as "Walk Tall," "Country Preacher," and most

notably the gospel-influenced, soul-jazz anthem "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,"

his first important recording on electric piano, which climbed the pop

charts and won a Grammy for Adderley.

In the late '60s, Zawinul

recorded with Davis' studio band, His tune "In a Silent Way" served as

the title track for the trumpeter's first foray into the electric

arena. Zawinul's composition "Pharoah's Dance" was featured on Davis'

groundbreaking 1970 jazz-rock fusion album "******* Brew," which won

Davis a 1970 Grammy for best jazz performance, large group or soloist

with large group.

Weather Report enjoyed its biggest commercial

success with the 1977 album "Heavy Weather" which featured Zawinul's

catchy tune "Birdland," which became one of the most recognizable jazz

hits of the '70s after it was also recorded by Maynard Ferguson and the

vocal group Manhattan Transfer.

After Weather Report broke up in

1986, Zawinul went on to form The Zawinul Syndicate, which brought

together a global village of musicians who recorded such albums as the

Grammy-nominated "My People" (1996) and "World Tour" (1998).

Associated Press Writer Charles J. Gans in New York contributed to this report.

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This is very sad indeed! I learned it HERE on this form only moments ago.

Its hard to believe that so many years have pasted since I had first heard of Joe and Weather Report back when I was just starting out with my first synthesizer in the mid 70ies )O:

I am SO lucky to own one of the very same model synthesizers that he along with many others had helped to make famous, Joe had TWO of them, they both had names and one was wired to play in REVERSE !.. I will give my APR-2600 a hug in remembrance of Joe. The photo of this synthesizer serial # 175 built in 1971 and part of my vintage analog collection, is enclosed for your viewing...




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Gary that Arp looks minty. I only have the Arturia softsynth version which is one of my faves. I had a chance to buy one for REALLY cheap around 1990 or so but it was one of the really early models with a dead power supply encased in epoxy(or whatever problem those were prone to have...something along those lines). I'll crap if you have a 2500.

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Hello Synthfreek!

Thanks for the compliment on the 2600... No, I don't have a 2500.. [;)]

Well, this one belonged recently to a professor from a local college of note. He was the head of the electronic music/compositional classes there. He bought it brand new in 1971 because the college had just bought one and he really liked it as a tool for teaching (one of its MAIN functions and design). I met this man a couple years ago through another good friend who works at another college in the music dept. also. So, after getting hooked up and getting an invite to his home to take a look at the ARP, he decided to let me take it for the summer and try it out.

Mind you, it was sitting closed up in the case under his piano collecting dust! Well, I took it home for the summer, NEVER had the chance or time to try the thing!!! But, I wanted to get it back to him in the fall. He insisted that I hold on to it a little longer and try to make time to check it out.. Later he sent me an email offering me first crack at buying it. The price was VERY low and I went for it in a second [:D]

It just needed to be cleaned up a bit, but it as you say didn't need much and the Tolex had only a very few small nicks here and there that I simply used adhesive to ment back together the little flaps. There ARE a couple issues with it, like, a continuous SUSTAIN even with the keyboard disconnected! I went through every jack on the front panel with contact lube, but its still there, the ADSR is over ridden somehow and has no effect. Also, the keyboard needs the bushing upgrade which is available for around $50. Other then that, its in GREAT tune and doesn't need any calibration there.... lucky, thats a LONG process of tweaking according to the ARP tuning schedule that came with it. The owners manual is in new condition.

We can chat more about vintage stuff anytime. You can email me, or chat here I guess. I will tell you this little tale.. I just came back from Ashville N.C. and brought my Voyager to Moog personally! I had the memory AND the touch response upgrades. I got photos of the engineer doing the work and also a short video too [;)] Its my 3rd year in a row going down there to hang out. There will also be a surprise at some point on the Moog website concerning a symposium I headed at our state college! Just waiting for the marketing people to work it out with the webmasters at their shop.

OH! I noticed your long list of equipment. You may have seen my other post about the 1968 K'Horn photos??? How do the MK III's sound? Did you rebuild or modify? Well, I am about to have FIVE Dynaco MK III amps !!! I have been told they are a great amp and will work well with the K'Horns. I would rebuild two of them to factory spec I think, but, thats for a future project. I have NEWS about my K'Horns also, but I will save that for my new posting elsewhere in this forum. Again. let me know about the MK III... I want to try my Adcom 545 next however.

Great meeting you,


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Hello Colterphoto... Thanks for comment on that 2600 ! WOW, you had an Odyssey of fame huh ? Too bad you didn't keep that. Where did you get it and when?

I know, I have sold some things that I should have not. BUT, I DO have some things that I WON'T sell. Happily, I can say that I own a few keyboards that I bought brand new back in the day and they sit here in near new condition. Some used on the road (had to train that road crew to handle with care or else!) while others stayed at home.. Bought new back in 1978, a Korg MS-20 and matching SQ-10 ! I am amazed how much these are going for these days on eBay... I had a 2nd MS-20, bought about a year later, but sold that in the early 80ies.

Another major purchase in 1979 is a Yamaha CS-60. This was very expensive back then, I paid $2400! The CS-80 was out of my price range, but these were the first polyphonics I had ever played. I auditioned the CS-80 back in 1977 while visiting friends in CA, and it was what sold me on the CS-60 a couple years later. It sits in storage at our shop on an upper floor. I have not seen it since around 1991, I hope it still plays [;)]...

There is more vintage here in the keyboard suite. But, I'll keep this short.

I will conclude with ,,,, DID try a brand new ARP AXE around the time when they first came out. It was very interesting, but with only a that single oscillator, I decided not to buy it, they didn't have an Odyssey in the showroom.

Really always wanted a MiniMoog, but again too expensive. Thats when I turned to Korg and bought a MaxiKorg K3, about as close to the Mini as I could get for around $850 back in 1976, my first synth!

Can you tell me more about your relation with Klipsch? We have never talked, but I believe you have the most postings I have ever seen !!!!

Take care,


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