A special release in the Atlantic Masters series of re-issues as this is Joe Zawinul’s debut solo album from the mid 1960s – Money In The Pocket you could say.
Zawinul was born in Vienna in 1932 and got his jazz break after emigrating to the U.S. in 1959. During the next ten years, he played mostly with Cannonball Adderley and briefly (but proving highly influential) with Miles Davis (contributing ‘In A Silent Way’ to the seminal Davis album of 1969 of the same name).
In A Silent Way was recorded at a time that Davis was about to move into the jazz-fusion era and Zawinul’s Money In The Pocket in 1965 finds him on piano without Fender-Rhondes, synthesizers or any other electric keyboards. This was the first of three Altantic albums and was recorded with Adderley’s drummer Louis Hayes and bassist Sam Jones (who were both on the In San Francisco album with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet) together with a top front line of Joe Henderson (ts), Pepper Adams (bs) and Blue Mitchell on trumpet.
As Zawinul plays the piano throughout, there’s a feel of old-school big band jazz recorded live and all the team having a blast; particularly on the track ‘If’ (that at just short of four minutes is far too short for my liking).
‘Midnight Mood’ shows how these guys can instantaneously switch to a more laidback groove (Adam’s baritone is pure delight) and ‘Some More Of Dat’ where Zawinul get a bit more of a solo slot.
The album ends on a slightly showy trio of ‘Del Sasser’ and ‘Sharon’s Waltz’ is a typical jazz-trio waltz (we can give him that as he’s from Vienna) and in the same vein, something for the piano lounge, the solo rendition of ‘My One And Only Love’ that is what it is.
The best tracks and the blues walk of ‘Riverbed’ and the title track ‘Money In The Pocket’ on which there’s a slightly different line-up (session man Bob Cranshaw on bass, Roy McCurdy on drums, the tenor sax of Clifford Jordan along with Blue Mitchell) and this is the most Horace Silver 60s like of all the tracks (Mitchell being a long time member of the Horace Silver Quintet).
Zawinul never stopped working an was still big in Vienna prior to his passing in 2007 (see HERE) and if you only know beanie hated Joe of fusion pioneers and multi-million album selling Weather Report or the world-jazz of the Zawinul Syndicate, this a bit of an eye opener.
Reviewed: Joe Zawinul – Money In The Pocket (Warner Jazz) Cat. No. Release date: 15th February 2010
1. Money In The Pocket (4:43)
2. If (3:48)
3. My One And Only Love (3:51)
4. Midnight Mood (6:07)
5. Some More Of Dat (6:02)
6. Sharon’s Waltz (5:07)
7. Riverbed (5:08)
8. Del Sasser (4:10)
Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 – June 30, 2001) at wikipedia
6th February 2010 – Simon S, Martin Gordon & Gerry Hectic : Jazz Chronicles @ Sixty Million Postcards, Bournemouth 3 to 8pm www.sixtymillionpostcards.com
following on from Electric Conversation, Emanative and K15 (definitely one to watch) together with the ever present Martin Gordon (Brownswood).