Joe Zawinul’s Erdzeit (2008 Austrian Documentary)

Josef ‘Joe’ Zawinul (born on 7 July 1932 in Vienna, Austria, departed on 11 September in Vienna, Austria) was one of the most finest, creative, technical, and charismatic keyboardists and musicians of the 20th century. A pioneer of jazz fusion, Zawinul managed to create a tremendously beautiful musical legacy in the United States where he emigrated in order to pursue his jazz dream, being strongly influenced by bebop.

Before co-founding and co-leading the legendary American jazz fusion band Weather Report (with which he propelled the genre to new heights worldwide) along with saxophonist extraordinaire Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul had collaborated with many jazz musicians, but, among all of them one was extremely special, more specifically his 1960s employer and jazz legend Cannonball Adderley. Apart from Adderley, it is very important to mention Miles Davis as well, with whom he worked during the late 1960s. Joe Zawinul was almost always highly praised for his exquisite musical work by the prestigious DownBeat magazine, having been voted ‘Best Electric Keyboardist’ 28 times by the readers of the publication.

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With his first major band, Weather Report, Zawinul managed to release an impressive number of 16 albums (both live and studio ones) over the course of 16 amazing years during which he wrote history in music! Below is a great Austrian documentary in German and English highlighting the amazing life and musical career of Joe Zawinul, genius keyboard player and musician. The title of the documentary contains the term ‘Erdzeit’ meaning ‘Earth(ly) time’, highlighting Zawinul’s beautiful sojourn on Earth and his rebirth in eternity.

This documentary was aired on Austrian television (more specifically on the German-language 3sat TV channel) in the last months of life of Joe in 2007. It has English subtitles and was translated by Hans Bomer and Hannes Boehm.

Therefore, that being said and without any further needless ado or unwanted spoilers on my behalf, I wholeheartedly recommend integrally watching the following amazing documentary. Enjoy and all the best!

Documentation sources:

  • Wikipedia page for Joe Zawinul
  • The Youtube description of the documentary

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