This is the last studio recording of legendary Joe Zawinul of Weather Report fame. It is a masterpiece and a must for any music fan.
Joe’s wish was that the Absolute Zawinul project be about the musician he had become, not the musician he was thirty-something years before. He was adamant that he did not want to hear more Birdland arrangements and Weather Report tunes. The collaboration was to explore some of the seven hundred-odd works Zawinul had composed but not yet realized. Joe did want to hear some of his favorite old tunes but in an entirely new way. Absolute arranger Gene Pritsker worked painstakingly to notate the complex and incomparably subtle improvisations Joe had laid down over the years.
Joe wished for the project to be arranged so that it could be played with or without him. Gene Pritsker did this so well that at one rehearsal Joe yelled out “You stole all of my solos, what am I gonna play now?”
Some of the most extraordinary music Joe Zawinul ever played were his introductions and after-thoughts laid down for this recording. In retrospect, they were Joe’s gift to us.
Absolute Ensemble - 22 Musicians
Kristjan Jarvi - conductor
Linley Marthe - bass -electric
Sabine Kabongo - vocals
Paco Sery - drums, percussion, kalimba
Aziz Sahmaoui - percussion, vocals, gumbri
Allegre Correa - guitar, vocals
ReviewsWhen it hit its stride, the group roared like a dedicated jazz-rock big band, with four string players, five winds and two brasses filling in the myriad colors originally provided by Zawinul's banks of keyboards. - Steve Smith, The New York Times, April 2009