Joe Zawinul – My People, Jazz Album (1996)

My People‘ is the title of a studio album released by Austrian-born keyboardist Josef ‘Joe’ Erich Zawinul in 1996 through Escapade Music. The LP was recorded between 1992 and 1996 and has a total length of 52 minutes and 33 seconds. It was produced by one of Joe’s sons, more specifically Ivan, in collaboration with Joe. Aside from jazz, ‘My People‘ also encompasses world influences.

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The album is tremendously influenced by world music as it can be clearly heard on several tracks. In critical regards, it was very well received by Allmusic which gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars, noting that it is more world music-tinted than jazz. In stark contrast, The Penguin Guide to Jazz only gave it 2 stars out of 4, citing it to be a huge disappointment.

In total, the LP has 11 tracks as follows (most of the songs were composed by Joe Zawinul or Joe Zawinul in collaboration with other writers):

  • Introduction to a Mighty Theme;
  • Waraya;
  • Bimoya;
  • You Want Some Tea, Grandpa?;
  • Slivovitz Trail;
  • Ochy-Bala/Pazyryk;
  • Orient Express;
  • Erdäpfee Blues (Potato Blues);
  • Mi Gente;
  • In an Island Way;
  • Many Churches.

As it is the case of other Joe Zawinul solo albums or Weather Report LPs, the listener can clearly notice the fine sense of humour of Joe along with his refinement and intelligence when it comes to titling several of his compositions. Furthermore, several songs on this album were subsequently performed live by The Zawinul Syndicate (or just The Syndicate pour les connoisseurs), most notably Waraya and Bimoya (which clearly show world music influences).

Last but not least, for me it’s easy to deduce the fact that the title of the album refers to Joe’s people transcending ethnicities, given that his listeners come from many backgrounds but they always can find a common ground in his eclectic and fascinating music.

Therefore, that being said and without any further needless ado or unwanted spoilers on my behalf, I wholeheartedly recommend integrally listening to all of the songs of the album embedded below via Youtube. Enjoy and all the best!

Documentation source and external links:

  1. The album’s page on (in English)
  2. A blogspot page on the album on Into The Rhythm blog

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