Joe Zawinul – Brown Street
(Heads Up – 2007)
by Ray Redmond
I remember Birdland from my younger days… I mean the Weather Report Track not the club. However, this live CD was in fact recorded at Zawinul’s own Birdland Club in Vienna. The legendary jazz fusion pioneer is joined on Brown Street by a few of his longtime friends and collaborators including drummer Nathaniel Townsley, bassist Victor Bailey and drummer/percussionist Alex Acuna.
This 2 disc set captures the essence of the Austrian-born keyboardist and composer and the 15-piece WDR Big Band in an electrifying live performance featuring orchestral renditions of some of the finest Zawinul compositions from the highly influential Weather Report oeuvre. For the first time since the Weather Report days, Zawinul and company fire off orchestrated renditions of such classics as “Black Market,” “Night Passage,” “A Remark You Made” and others.
The music of Weather Report has a vitality and energy that is unique, and you sure feel it here. If you remember Black Market like I do, you’ve gotta have this release!