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Faces & Places

Joe ZawinulAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2002 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Esc Records
  • ASIN: B00006J3UR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Search
2. All About Simon
3. Introduction To Tower Of Silence
4. Tower Of Silence
5. The Spirit Of Julian 'C' Adderley
6. Familiar To Me
7. Cafe Andalusia
8. Good Day
9. Barefoot Beauty
10. Rooftops Of Vienna
11. Borges Buenos Aires Part 1
12. Borges Buenos Aires Part 2
13. Siseya
14. East 12th Street Band

Editorial Reviews

Joe Zawinul, at the age of 70, has brought forth an album that continues to celebrate his endless delight in exploring music from around the world. Born in Vienna, he studied at the conservatory there, moving to the United States in 1958 when he received a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He worked in the '60s with a variety of the era's jazz luminaries (Maynard Ferguson, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley) before encountering Miles Davis. The trumpet player's In a Silent Way was named for Zawinul's title track. This led to the formation of Weather Report, the band he co-led with Wayne Shorter for 15 years.

Faces & Places mixes vocalists and instrumentalists with daring grace. "Rooftops of Vienna" is a wistful ode that's tinged with the sweetly sad backward glances of a man growing older and finding his boyhood home darting through his dreams. It uses singers as part of the musical stew, rather than as a narrative component. With its blend of exotic acoustic instruments and contemporary electronics, this set is very much in keeping with the direction of Weather Report from the time of Black Market and beyond. --David Greenberger

Product Description

2002 album from the ex-Weather Report composer and Grammy nominee. ESC.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique take on world jazz November 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I admit that I haven't followed Jow Zawinul's career since the break-up of Weather Report, although I've casually listened to some of his solo albums. I really can't say what prompted me to buy Faces and Places, but an interesting review in a popular jazz magazine probably contributed to my decision.
Let me state my preferences out front: I usually don't like synth-heavy jazz. I usually don't like vocal-oriented jazz. Since this disc is both, what gives? Why do I like it very much? Probably because Zawinul has somehow figured out how to seemlessly intgrate the ungainly (cheesy?) sounds of his synth and the unlikely vocal gymnastics so characteristic to his ethos into heart of the world jazz he so brilliantly purveys.
Take, for example, "The Spirit of Julian 'C' Adderly." It's hard upon first hearing for the listener to discern exactly where the spirit of Cannonball resides in this admittedly attractive afro-jazz piece. Sounds more like Township jazz on uppers to me . . . But then it clicks in. Just as the great altoist evoked the heart of Africa in his heyday, so Zawinul evokes it in this raucaus, joyous number.
Or take "Tower of Silence," perhaps the number that most effectively showcases Zawinul's creative use of synthesizer. One is immediately struck by the deep world-jazz grove of the bass, tablas, and Paco Sery's mesmerizing drums. Somehow his synth stylings fit perfectly into this stew, as do the ecstatic vocalizations. Here, surely, is Zawinul at his finest, everthing cooking, smoothly grooving, but not at all insipid, as in jazz lite. How does he do it?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trademark brilliance January 5, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is a great album and when you realize that Zawinul is now 70 years old, it's flabbergasting that he has been able to create music this passionate, warm, and joyous at this age. If we all have half as much energy as Joe does now when we arrive at 70 we will be in great shape indeed.
OK, maybe the music here does not break any new ground--maybe the innovations (which are huge) that Zawinul made previously continue here with no radical changes--but that absolutely does not detract from the genius in abundance here. Listen to the multiple African influences that course through the music and wordless vocals on this record and you'll grin. Listen to the upbeat rhythmic complexities that splash, gyrate, and throb everywhere and you'll tap your feet or clap your hands.
Zawinul's music is, as many have said, world jazz, but he goes far beyond that category; he's a fusionist of the highest order. By fusion here is meant the seamless blending of global, personal, and technical streams--all elements that combine to form the beautiful liquid ever-flowing entity that music is. Practically nobody does this better than Joe Zawinul.
While not as varied as My People, this is nevertheless a terrific piece of work that I, for one, am proud to have in my CD library.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Music March 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Since my first encounter with Mr. Zawinul's music (W.R.'s Heavy Weather & Black Market) he has been an inspiring musician to me. I've learned from his blending of jazz, classical, and world music so much. If you enjoy his work, this is a must. I won't go into long details about particular cuts, as I agree with most of what has already been written. I just add my vote to the plus side of the column. It's inspiring to see a man of his years (70) doing such vital music. Great CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Familiar "Faces & Places" Unfortunately December 28, 2007
Format:Audio CD
The main problem with Joe Zawinul's "Faces & Places" is that, in an attempt to collect all of his diverse 'global music' ideas under one big tent, the whole thing ends up a bland sonic hodgepodge that says nothing we haven't already heard before, and better, on his previous collections.

What 'Faces & Places' delivers largely consists of dense, dance-style beats overlayed with Joe's poppy, bubbly, lyrical synths, and some attempt at 'exotic' instrumentation to give it a 'world music' vibe.

Unfortunately with this cd, all the "Faces & Places" are tired, plainly familiar and no longer fresh; we've heard from all these folks before. Zawinal intersperces scat singing and vocal samples throughout the disk, with the exception of the mid-album 'Familiar To Me', a horrid, cheezy song with full vocals and lyrics, and which sounds like a smooth jazz reject. Terrible writing, terrible idea. This is probably someone's sad attempt to get radio play for this cd, but hearing it hurts more than scratching a pimple in your ear canal, serving only to irritatingly break-up the monotony of this otherwise bland collection.

Don't get me wrong: I have avidly listened to and respected Mr. Zawinul's career since his days with Miles Davis and, later, Wayne Shorter and Weather Report, producing music that, as Duke Ellington praised it, is "Beyond Category".

But "Faces & Places" will not be part of that descriptive canon.
I think it is no co-incidence that this cd is (as far as I am aware) is currently out of print.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational! October 25, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This marvelous record is a huge, welcome improvement over the self-indulgent "My People" and the erratic "World Tour." Zawinul returns to his strengths, sound and rhythm. No one is more creative at building layers of contrasting yet complimentary tones from his battery of synths. No one makes electronic sound more natural and organic. Zawinul also minimizes his dependence on that damn Vocorder and lets the sublime Sabine Kabongo handle most of the vocals. This man is 72 years old! May he never stop. Not every record succeeds, but this one is a giant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Thanks!
Thanks for the music on the cd! But very strange cdbox!? Not like the picture in Amazon, sorry. But I do some homework self, so it`s okay!
Published 17 months ago by ballenerund
2.0 out of 5 stars ZawiLUL?
Zawinul = Zawilul (in Dutch Lul=Cock).
I don't know, its his face.
The music with Miles and Weather Report: OK
As solo-"star": trash. Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by B-Lectric
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive Tenderness
Full of a life of it's own these sounds seem to emanate from thin air into a cavas of SOUND so intricate defies explanati....
Published on December 14, 2008 by Gerardo Martinez Casas
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best CD I bought the last 2 years
I am not a fusion snob, in fact I hate Jaco Pastorius and I don't understand Chick Correa. I saw and heard Zawinul in Amsterdam last week, and it was a very happy evening, the bass... Read more
Published on April 14, 2005 by H. J. De Boer
5.0 out of 5 stars latest brilliance from Joe
if you liked World Tour you will like this as well. there is simply nothing like Joe's brand of music out there. i encourage you to explore this and all his work. Read more
Published on February 25, 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Pick an album, any album
Zawinul for the past 20 years is like the Isley Brothers in the 70's. If you dig it, it's "alright, more of the same!". Read more
Published on February 2, 2003 by bluejim
2.0 out of 5 stars Immensely disappointing
Maybe at age 70 creative fatigue is finally catching up with Joe Zawinul. Or maybe, having come to expect so much from each new Zawinul release, finally I found one that doesn't... Read more
Published on November 18, 2002 by David J. Ohanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Zawinul Fans Rejoice!!
It's so great to see and hear Joe Zawinul,at "70" years young still going strong and creating beautiful and wonderful Music. Read more
Published on September 19, 2002
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