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Brown Street

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Audio CD, February 27, 2007
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$5.23 $4.95

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Brown Street10:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. In A Silent Way 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Fast City 9:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Badia / Boogie Woogie Waltz11:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Black Market 7:31$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. March Of The Lost Children 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. A Remark You Made 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Night Passage 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Procession 9:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Carnavalito10:41$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 27, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Heads Up
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,460 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Standard jewelcase.

Recorded in Vienna, the city of Joe Zawinul's birth, this 2005 concert adapts many of his most celebrated compositions for the expanded presence of the WDR Big Band. After the triumphant opening of the propulsive eleven-minute title track, the gentle "In a Silent Way" revisits the evocative memories of Zawinul's childhood that inspired him to write the piece over forty years ago. While this hour and a half of music draws from Zawinul's past, it is never dependent upon nostalgia. Rather, the bold new settings show how vibrant the writing remains. Zawinul's core quartet (with percussionist Alex Acuna, bassist Victor Bailey, and drummer Nathaniel Townsley) can be as ferocious and supple as any of Weather Report's line-ups. Everything from the atmospheric quietude of a piece like "A Remark You Made" to the world funk of "Black Market" is given its full due by this sprawling yet controlled 19-piece ensemble. --David Greenberger

Customer Reviews

Now you can hear those parts played by the real deal.
Brian Whistler
Alex Acuna does an amazing job on percussion and Zawinul pulls out many of the phenomenal keyboards grooves that he is known for.
Stephen M. Deats
I recommend this CD highly and I'm glad that I own it as homage to a great musician and person.
Art Soares

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on March 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
What does it take to produce great improvised music?

I've often pondered that question as I've reviewed nearly a thousand discs on this Amazon site. Stars aligned? Fortuitously landing on exactly the right groove? Weirdly synchronious aesthetic?

I confess, I don't know.

But I think I've got enough savvy, enough musical acumen, to recognize it when it happens.

And believe me, it happens here. Majorly.

Listen. Everyone involved's totally nailed it on this exceptional disc: elegiacism (that is, accessible melancholy), that most important of jazz moves, veritable exudes from these grooves; refined yet raw explosiveness erupts out of this session with eldritch regularity; and reckless joi de vivre literally bursts out of the speakers.

Certainly, Weather Report was one of the most important groups to ever grace our airwaves. To conjure its spirit sans any postmodern irony or nostalgia is a move of major consequence. To do it with such absolute insousance, with such casual aplomb, almost defies comprehension. Yet that's what we're dealing with here.

That raises the question: Was Joe Zawinul the prime mover behind Weather Report? How could that be, with bass god Jaco Pastorius and tenor sax icon Wayne Shorter involved? Nevertheless Zawinul, here, somehow, manages to conjure and manifest the consummate jazz/accessible vibe, one that, no matter what the genre, nearly always achieves what Weather Report was designed to reveal.

Look. Zawinul fully on his game (as he is here) casually outdoes all the wannabe fusion outfits seeking to parlay Weather Report-ish sensibilities into the new millenium.

This glorious disc, a two-fer, deserves the highest possible marks. You'd be a fool to miss out on it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian Whistler VINE VOICE on March 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this release even though I am not a huge fan of big band. But then, we're talking about the WDR big band, one of the finest in the world. And besides, look at that rhythm section: Alex Acuna, Nathaniel Townsley, Victor Bailey and the Man himself, Josef Erich Zawinul on keys. It's practically Weather Report, sans Mr Shorter.

To top off this stellar roster of players, the arrangements were penned by none less than the inimitable Vince Mendoza. Does it get any better than that? Not with this collection of great tunes. It's amazing how natural these great compositions translate to the big band format; they fit hand in glove. This format allows the listener to clearly hear the relationship Zawinul's ideas have to Duke Ellington's 'shout' melodies Just listen to the beautiful intro to In a Silent Way or the natural big band sound of Night Passage. In a way, Zawinul was gunning for that sound back in the day on those early synths. Now you can hear those parts played by the real deal. Listen to the audience response when the full band enters on the opening track, Brown Street, or for that matter, on the drums and percussion break on the steaming closer, Carnivalito. There is genuine excitement being generated here. It sounds like a party. We are talking serious groove here.

I am delighted and surprised by the ease and depth of feel exhibited by this large ensemble on what were originally small group compositions. The level of soloing is very high, as one would expect from this crack group of european musicians. There are plenty of Zawinul moments, but a number of players have their moments to shine as well. All acquit themselves quite well under Zawinul's watchful ears.

This is a must have for Weather Report fans, but there is something here for lovers of jazz in general. It is a revelation to hear just how steeped in the jazz tradition these pieces are when heard in this more acoustic setting. Big Fun for all.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Semioli on March 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This big band rendition of the best of Zawinul, Shorter & Company is an essential "Weather update." As other reviewers have opined, those 70s synth sounds have not aged well despite the fact that JZ was the consummate synth player (akin to Garth Hudson with the Band). The horns arrangements are unified and add a fresh perspective to the WR standards. Would love to hear more peformances, but these two discs' worth are nothing short of amazing. Jazz is alive and well in the 21st Century.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. King on May 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If there had never been a synthesizer, would Weather Report had to have been a big band? There's not a dull second over the course of two discs, and they could have put out two more. Never a huge fan of the big band as a youth, I now know it's the best way to get the maximum color out of a composition and it's arrangement (have you all seen the Pat Metheny Group stuff with the big band on You Tube?).

Mr. Mendoza, can you write charts for more of these tunes? Sponsors, funders, underwriters: can you please offer up some grants for the completion of such a project? Somewhere toward the end of "Night Passage", the volume is rising, the groove is SO intense, and I'm pleading "Don't stop, please don't stop!"

If Mr. Zawinul and Mr. Shorter should ever meet on stage again, this is how they should do it. Whether they do or not, Lord have mercy, someone get this record a tour in the U.S., and fast!

Buy it now-it's THAT good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Cooper on September 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Joe Zawinul and his core group meshes with the WDR big band to romp through his songs. I'm familiar with some of the Weather Report songs, but most of the songs were new to me. The overall mood, as you can probably tell from the samples, is peppy. The first song sets the mood, it's bouncy and swinging. This CD highlights that Joe Zawinul's keyboard may be able to play a lot of notes and make different sounds, but is no substitute for having a whole mess of horn players. A big band has more dynamics and power, and while fusion may be in jazz terms 180 degrees from big band music, in this case they have a lot in common. "In A Silent Way" focuses more on Zawinul in favor of using the band. "Fast City" is true to its name. In the fast songs, Victor Bailey plays dizzyingly fast bass lines. His tone cuts through the mix, so you can readily hear him whirling along. I think a song or two might have been better served by a slower, funkier bass line like the Jaco lines on "Black Market". There are 10 songs, and the total album length is 84 minutes, so it's barely a double CD, but the price is that of a single. This is one of the better jazz CD's of 2007 so far.
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