Guest-blogged by C&Ler Jeff
Needless to say, this maybe one of the saddest mournings of my life. Joe Zawinul was my number one inspiration. I don't blog so, to my friends, I think openly...
There have been many great musicians who have experimented with the roots of jazz. Their donations are evident for those with the tenacity to explore the history of jazz.
But for the non-musician, I believe that Joe, almost single handedly, brought Africa and, as or, more importantly "organicness" back into jazz. At a time when the music was getting more and more clinical and antiseptic (remember "Popcorn" or "Switch On (fill in the blank)". When precision and virtuosic dexterity were closing the door to the general public, making jazz "music for musicians", Joe formed, what would become, THE jazz super-group that made the textures, rhythms and sonorities (AND virtuosic dexterity) of jazz accessible to the average 'joe'. He wasn't afraid or intimidated (always willing to box for his position) by those jazz purists that considered jazz to be "a music apart". He was an 'imagination' designer willing to use whatever tools where available to create a musical scene and draw the listener into it.
I love playing jazz. I love toying with rhythm. I love 'playing out' even when I'm not in doubt, because of what Joe Zawinul brought to jazz. This is a day to rejoice in the gifts that Joe (and his fellow Weather Reporters and Syndicators) gave the world at large.
We have people using this day as a symbol to divide and destroy cultures. But then we have Joe, who saw, heard and created beauty from the amalgam of world cultures. This is what we should celebrate every day. It is what this day will signify to me from now on. Peace to all, and to Joe.
(Nicole:) And in the interest in coming together and bipartisanship on this day especially, we give you Noel Sheppard (of Newsbusters)'s appreciation of the artistry and gifts of Joe Zawinul.