The Jazzcat

Joe Zawinul and Jon Lucien Transition into Creative Eternity

by on Sep.14, 2007, under News

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In 1959, Joe Zawinul emigrated to the United States on a scholarship to

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

Fergusion'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 Makes”


In 1961 Joe Joined 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



In the late 60's Zawinul's pioneering work on the new Fender Rhodes

electric piano caught the ear of Miles Davis…Joe 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 “Bitches



After releasing his debut solo album in 1970, Zawinul teamed with

WayneShorter, who had just left Miles' band, to form Weather Report, which

became the preeminent jazz-rock fusion band of the 1970s. 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”



Zawinul's wife, Maxine, died earlier this year. Plans for Zawinul's funeral

were unclear but Vienna, Austria Mayor Michael Haeupl told reporters Tuesday

morning he would be given an honorary grave in the capital.

 Jazz singer Jon Lucien — known for his deep baritone and soulful love songs — has died.

Lucien's wife says the 65-year-old singer died Saturday in Poinciana from respiratory complications following surgery.

Lucien was born in the British Virgin Islands' main island of Tortola and raised in St. Thomas.

His 1970 RCA album “I Am Now” launched his career. Among his songs

were “Rashida,” “Lady Love,” “Dindi,” “You Don't Need Me,” “Hello Like

Before,” and “Sweet Control.”

His songs remained staples of soft jazz radio and “quiet storm” R&B shows around the country, long after their release.

“I would say my sound is a romantic sound … it's water … it's

ocean … it's tranquility,” Lucien is quoted as saying on his official

Web site.

Lucien's 17-year-old daughter, Dalila, was among the 230 people

killed in the crash of TWA Flight 800 off New York in July 1996. He

sought solace in the studio and recorded the album “Endless is Love,”

which was released in 1997.

“My daughter doesn't want me sitting around being unhappy,” Lucien

said. “I look at her and we communicate. We make music. The music is a

special force.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jazz  – America's Gift to the world!


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