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Joe Zawinul: World Tour

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This live 2-CD set is the fruit of a 1997 Zawinul Syndicate world tour. Powered by Abidjanian drummer Paco Sery and either long-time Zawinul associate Victor Bailey or Richard Bona on bass, the group attains critical mass from the start, cooling down only when a change of pace is warranted.

“Patriots,” which opens the first disc, is a super high-energy workout with a kinetic groove that Zawinul punctuates with horn section-like voicings and guitarist Gary Poulson fiercely screams over. On the meditative yet haunting “Sunday Morning/Sunday Evening,” percussionist Manolo Badrena vocalizes while Zawinul conjures a reverent church-like ambiance. The track seamlessly segues into “Indiscretions” with its eerie, smoldering funk groove and subtle contrasts that support a number of intentionally atmospheric solos. The burners get cranked back up on “Bona Fortuna,” a short but incendiary virtuosic duet between bass and drums.

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