Compatible Quotes: Joe Zawinul

One day I heard a pianist play `Honeysuckle Rose,’ … and I was hooked. I said, `What is that?’ He said, `jazz,’ which was a word I had never heard, and I asked him to spell it for me. My life was changed after that. – Joe Zawinul

I am an improviser, … I improvise music. Whatever you want to call it all, it is all improvised music. I may capture it and go back and write it down for others, but it was originally improvised. – Joe Zawinul

For a white Viennese boy to write a tune that’s that black is pretty remarkable. He just captured the essence of the African-American heritage, just the statement of melody and feeling of that song. Clearly, in some past life, Joe must’ve been black. – Herbie Hancock on “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.”

Zawinul has been gone nearly two years. For a Rifftides reminiscence posted upon his passing, go here. It includes the story of why Cannonball Adderley’s first-choice take of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” was nixed by the record company.

Related
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit

Comments

  1. Dick McGarvin says

    Even though I read your reminiscence of Joe Zawinul nearly two years ago, I still clicked on the link to it – mainly because I’d forgotten the Cannonball Adderley story about the ‘take’ on MERCY MERCY MERCY. Once on that page, I decided to click on the highlighted word ‘signifying’, which I hadn’t done the first time around. That took me to the Wikipedia page* where ‘signifying’ is explained and discussed by none other than Henry Louis Gates Jr., the gentleman who recently had a beer in the White House garden with the President, a Cambridge police officer and Joe, the Vice-Bama.
    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signifyin