Music: Joe Zawinul — A Musical Portrait

This one-hour documentary about the legendary keyboardist, his life and contribution to jazz, features live performances by his band, Zawinul Syndicate, at a concert in Vienna in 2004. Joe Zawinul died, aged 75, in 2007.

He recounts a time, not long after his arrival in America where he had become pianist in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet when, after a concert, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie came up to him asking, “Why do you play like that, man?”

They challenged Zawinul because of his lack of originality and said he was capable of much more. Thereafter, he refused to play any phrase he had ever played before, plunged into a brief crisis, took some LSD and suddenly discovered his musical voice and became a prolific composer. The rest, as they say, is history…

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