Josef Zawinul served his time in Cannonball Adderley’s band before being drafted into Miles Davis’ group for the groundbreaking albums In A Silent Way (1969) and Bitches Brew (1970). Zawinul then left to record Zawinul (1971), a classical/jazz album that explored many of the same avant-garde and ambient sounds featured in the contemporary work of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That album, which featured Miroslav Vitous and (on one track) Wayne Shorter, provided the launching point for Zawinul’s next project, Weather Report.
Zawinul’s restless pursuit of new sounds resulted in Weather Report’s constant state of metamorphosis. The eponymous Weather Report (1971) sounds radically different from Sweetnighter (1973), which sounds radically different from Black Market (1975), et cetera. Throughout, Zawinul continued to embrace new sounds through the use of synthesizers. His performance on “A Remark You Made” from Heavy Weather (1976) is nothing less than sublime.
After Weather Report disbanded, Zawinul released di-a-lects (1986) and soon formed The Zawinul Syndicate. Many of Zawinul’s albums are written from the perspective of the immigrant, and in a sense Zawinul has always seen the world around him as strange and alien. Although not a soloist in the sense of a Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock, Zawinul’s melange of sounds and notes is remarkably complex and can be very moving. His early work has influenced composers such as Brian Eno and Harold Budd, while his mid 70s recordings with Weather Report are still the gold standard for synthesizers in a jazz setting.
TO YOU WITH LOVE (1959)
I Should Care / Easy Living / Please Send Me Someone To Love / It Might As Well Be Spring / Love For Sale // Squeeze Me / Greensleeves / My One And Only Love / Masquerade Is Over / Sweet And Lovely. Credited to Joe Zawinul Trio and released on mono elpee in 1959 in the US (Strand, SL 5007). Re-released on CD in 1989 in the US (Strand, SLS CD 100) and on March 25, 2008 in Spain (Fresh Sounds).
Too Late Now / Soulmates / Come Sunday / The Governnor / Frog Legs / Trav’lin’ Light / Like Someone In Love / Evol Deklaw Ni. Co-credited to Ben Webster and released on elpee in 1963 in the US (Riverside, RLP-476). Re-issued on CD on March 15, 1991 in the US (Original Jazz Classics).
MONEY IN THE POCKET (1966)
Money In The Pocket / If / My One And Only Love / Midnight Mood // Some More of Dat / Sharon’s Waltz / Riverbed / Del Sasser. Released on mono elpee in 1966 in the US (Atlantic, SD 3004). Released on stereo elpee in 1967 in the US (Atlantic, SD 3004). Re-issued on compact disc on February 8, 2010 in the US (Rhino, 79822). Re-released on SHMCD in 2016 in Japan (Atlantic, WPCR-2900).
Money In The Pocket (1966)
b/w Riverbed. Released on 7-inch in 1966 in the US (Atlantic, 45-5060).
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD STREAM (1968)
Baptismal / The Soul of A Village – Part I / The Soul of A Village – Part 2 / The Fifth Canto / From Vienna, With Love / Lord, Lord, Lord / A Concerto, Retitled. Released on elpee in 1968 in the US (Vortex, 2002). Re-packaged with Money In The Pocket and released on CD in 1994 in Germany (Rhino, 71675-2). Re-issued on CD in 1999 (32 Records) and on March 14, 2006 in the US (Collectables, 090431636527).
Lord, Lord, Lord (1968)
b/w The Soul of A Village. Released on 7-inch in 1968 in the US (Vortex, 45-301).
Doctor Honoris Causa / In A Silent Way // His Last Journey / Double Image / Arrival In New York. Released on elpee in 1971 in the US (Atlantic, SD 1579), the UK (Atlantic, 2400151) and Japan (Atlantic/Warner-Pioneer, P-8129A). Re-released on CD on April 1, 1995 in the US, the UK and Germany (Atlantic, 81375-2), on June 5, 2007 in the US (Mosaic Contemporary, MSC 5006) and on May 23, 2012 in Japan (Warner, WPCR-27100).
CONCERTO RETITLED (1976)
From Vienna With Love / My One And Only Love / Riverbed / Concerto Retitled / Del Sasser / Sharon’s Waltz / His Last Journey / In A Silent Way. Originally recorded in 1970 and released on elpee in 1976 in the US (Atlantic, SD 1694).
TRAV’LIN LIGHT (1980)
Trav’lin Light / Like Someone In Love / Too Late Now (two takes) / Come Sunday (two takes) / Frog Legs (two takes) / Soulmates / The Governor / Evol Deklaw Ni / Where Are You? / In A Mellow Tone / I Surrender Dear / Crazy Rhythm. Compilation co-credited to Ben Webster and released on 2LP in 1980 in the US (Milestone, M-47056).
The Harvest / Waiting For The Rain / Zeebop / The Great Empire // Carnavalito / 6 A.M./Walking On The Nile / Peace. Released on elpee in 1986 in the US (Columbia, FC-40081), Israel (CBS, 26813) and Japan (CBS, 28AP-3119). Re-released on CD on July 15, 2002 in the US and Austria (Columbia Legacy, 508493-2), in Europe (Music On CD, MOCCD-13002) and in 2007 in Japan (Sony, SICP 1257).
THE IMMIGRANTS (1988)
March of The Lost Children / Criollo / Shadow & Light / King Hip / No Mercy For Me / The Devil Never Sleeps / You Understand / From Venice To Vienna. Credited to The Zawinul Syndicate and released on elpee and cassette in 1988 in the US (Columbia, FC/FCT-40969), the UK (CBS, 460780-1) and Japan (CBS/Sony, 28AP-5074).
No Mercy For Me (Mercy. Mercy, Mercy) (1988)
b/w King Hip. Released on 12-inch in 1988 in the US (Columbia, 44-07821) and Canada (CBS, 12CXP-07821).
BLACK WATER (1989)
Carnavalito / Black Water / Familial / Medicine Man / In The Same Boat / Monk’s Mood / Little Rootie Tootie / They Had A Dream / And So It Goes. Released on elpee and CD in 1989 in the US (Columbia, FC-44316).
LOST TRIBES (1992)
Patriots / South Africa / Lost Tribes / Rua Paula Freitas / Victims of The Groove / Night Clock / Afternoon / San Sebastian / In A While, In A While / Changes. Credited to The Zawinul Syndicate and released on CD and cassette on July 14, 1992 in the US (Columbia, CK-46057).
MY PEOPLE (1996)
Introduction To A Mighty Theme / Waraya / Bimoya / You Want Some Tea, Grandpa? / Slivovitz Trail / Ochy-Bala – Pazyryk / Orient Express / Erdäpfee Blues (Potato Blues) / Mi Gente / In An Island Way / Many Churches. Released on CD in 1996 Germany (Escapade, ESC 03651-2). Re-issued on CD on June 27, 2006 in the US (Tone Center, TC-4048-2).
STORIES OF THE DANUBE (1996)
The Beginning / Mountain Waters / Empire / Intro / Gypsy / Voice of The Danube / Unknown Soldier / Intro / Sultan / Finale. Released on CD on August 13, 1996 in Canada (Philips, 028945414234).
WORLD TOUR (1998)
Live tracks: Patriots / Sunday Morning – Sunday Evening / Indiscretions / Asi Trabajamos / Bimoya / Zansa II / Bona Fortuna / N’awlins / Lost Tribes / Three Postcards / Slivovitz Trail / When There Was Royalty / Success / Two Lines / Carribean Anecdotes / Carnavalito. Credited to Joe Zawinul + The Zawinul Syndicate and released on 2CD in 1998 in Germany (Escapade, ESC/EFA 03656-2). Re-issued on 2CD on October 24, 2006 in the US (Tone Center, 026245404922).
FACES & PLACES (2002)
The Search / All About Simon / Introduction To Tower of Silence / Tower of Silence / The Spirit of Julian “C’” Adderley / Familiar To Me / Café Andalusia / Good Day / Barefoot Beauty / Rooftops of Vienna / Borges Buenos Aires (Part 1) / Borges Buenos Aires (Part 2) / Siseya / East 12th Street Band. Released on CD in 2002 in Germany (Escapade, ESC 03679-2) and Japan (Victor, VICJ-60967). Re-issued on CD on October 9, 2007 in the US (Tone Center) and on March 4, 2008 in Germany (ESC Records, 026245405820).
VIENNA NIGHTS: LIVE AT JOE ZAWINUL’S BIRDLAND (2005)
Live tracks: Y’elena / Two Lines / Do You Want Some Tea, Grandpa? / Chabiba / Blue Sound – Note 3 / Rooftops of Vienne / Louange / East 12th Street Band // Café Andalusia / Borges Buenos Aires / Tower of Silence / Intro To A Mighty Theme / Come Sunday / Three Postcards / Badia – Boogie Woogie Waltz. Credited to Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate and released on 2CD on August 23, 2005 in the US (BHM). Also released on nine-track CD on October 21, 2005 in Japan (BHM, VICJ-61309) featuring disc one plus “Boogie Woogie Waltz.”
BROWN STREET (2007)
Live tracks: Brown Street / In A Silent Way / Fast City / Badia – Boogie Woogie Waltz / Black Market // March of The Lost Children / A Remark You Made / Night Passage / Procession / Carnavalito. Live material co-credited to WDR Big Band, Alex Acuña, Victor Bailey and Nathaniel Townsley, recorded in 2005 and released on 2CD on February 27, 2007 in the US (Heads Up, 3121).
Introduction To A True Story / Tragedy / Life In The Concentration Camp / Orchestra / Interlude / Torture / Night / Executioners / Prayer / Saturday Night In The Camp / Wey Doo / Sunday In The Camp / Christmas 1944 / Break Out / No More, No More / Mauthausen: In Memoriam. Recorded in 2000 and released on CD on November 13, 2007 in Germany (ESC).
Live tracks: Introduction To Orient Express / Orient Express / Madagascar / Scarlet Woman / Zansa II / Café Andalusia // Fast City – Two Lines / Clario / Badia – Boogie Woogie Waltz / Happy Birthday / In A Silent Way / Hymn. Credited to Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate and released on 2CD on February 24, 2009 in the US (Heads Up, 3162). Released as 75th Deluxe Edition on 2CD+DVD in 2012 (BHM).
ABSOLUTE ENSEMBLE (2010)
Bimoya / Sultan / Great Empire / Peace / Good Day / The Peasant / Ballad For Two Musicians / Ice Pick Willy. Released on CD on March 23, 2010 in the US (Sunny Side, 281257).
THE ESC YEARS (2011)
Borges Buenos Aires Part 1 / Café Andalusia / Introduction To A Mighty Theme / Waraya / Rooftops of Vienna / When There Was Royalty / Bimoya / Tower of Silence / Orient Express / The Search / All About Simon / In An Island Way / Ötzi. Released on CD on November 14, 2011 in Germany (ESC).
MUSIC FOR TWO PIANOS (2012)
Live material recorded in 1988 and released on CD on April 4, 2012 in Europe (Jazzline).