WEATHER REPORT CO-FOUNDER PASSES

Friday, 19 October 2007 03:35 Bill Buckley Print

WEATHER REPORT CO-FOUNDER PASSES

Jazz keyboard sorcerer and synth pioneer, Joe Zawinul, succumbed to cancer aged 75 in Vienna - his birthplace - on September 11th 2007. Though actively recording and touring until just before his death, Zawinul is best remembered as a leading proponent of electric jazz-fusion in the late '60s. His collaborations with trumpeter, Miles Davis, resulted in the landmark recordings 'In A Silent Way' (1969) and 'Bitches Brew' (1970). In 1971, Zawinul co-founded the group Weather Report with fellow Miles Davis alumnus, saxophonist, Wayne Shorter. After an experimental phase, the group reached their commercial apogee in the late '70s with the album 'Heavy Weather' (1977), featuring the infectious and much-covered track, 'Birdland.' Zawinul's name is also a familiar one to many soul fans - 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,' a song he originally penned for saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, was a Top 40 R&B hit for singer Marlena Shaw in 1967.

(CW)