Posts Tagged ‘Birdland’

Birdland lyrics (Manhattan Transfer)

In Birdland, Lyrics on June 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Zawinul and Jon Hendricks

By Manhattan Transfer

Five thousand light years from Birdland
But I’m still preachin’ the rhythm
Long gone up-tight years from Birdland
And I’m still teachin’ it with ’em

Years from the land of the bird,
And I’m still feeling the spirit
Five thousand light years from Birdland
But I know people can hear it

bird named it, bird made it, bird heard it, then played it
Well-stated! Birdland, it happened down in Birdland

In the middle of that hub
I remember one jazz club
Where we went to pat feet
Down on fifty-second street

Everybody heard that word
That they named it after Bird

Where the rhythm swooped and swirled
The jazz corner of the world

And the cats they gigged in there
Were beyond compare

Birdland – I’m singing Birdland


Birdland – Ol’ swingin’ Birdland

Hey, man, the music really turns you on!
Y’ turn me on,
Really y’ turn me aroun’
‘N turn me on

Down them stairs, lose them cares ? where?
Down in Birdland
Total swing, bop was king ? there
Down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look ? where?
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too ? there
Down in Birdland
Baise blew, Blakey too ? where?
Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall ? there
Down in Birdland
Yeah —-

There may never be nothin’ such as that
No More – No More
Down in Birdland, that’s where it was at
I know ? I know
Back in them days bop was ridin’ high
Hello! ‘n goodbye!

How well those cats remember
Their first Birdland gig
To play in Birdland is an honor we still dig
Yeah — that club was like –
In another world, sure enough –
Yeah, baby
All o’ the cats had the cookin’ on
People just sat an’ they was steady loookin on
Then Bird – he came ‘n spread the word –

Yes, indeed he did
Yes, indeed he did
Yes, indeed he did

Yes he did, Parker played at Birdland

Yes, he really did
Yes, indeed he really did
Yes, he really did

Told the truth way down in Birdland
Yes, indeed, he did, Charlie Parker played in Birdland

Yes indeed, he really did
Charlie Parker played in Birdland

bird named it, bird made it, bird heard it, then played it
Well-stated! Birdland, it happened down in Birdland

Everybody dug that beat
Everybody stomped their feet
Everybody digs be-bop
An’ they’ll never stop

Down them stairs, lose them cares ? where?
Down in Birdland
Total swing, bop was king ? there
Down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look ? where?
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too ? there
Down in Birdland
Baise blew, Blakey too ? where?
Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall ? there
Down in Birdland

Down them stairs, lose them cares ? where?
Down in Birdland
Total swing, bop was king ? there
Down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look ? where?
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too ? there
Down in Birdland
Baise blew, Blakey too ? where?
Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall ? there
Down in Birdland

Come in pairs down them stairs, lose y’ cares
Them that dares – gits it!

Pay the gate, don’t be late
It’s a date! Whattay’ know
If y’ dig, then you’ll dig it’s a groove
Quite a groove, ’cause y’ t’ move
Come in twos, pay your dues,

What can you lose?

Just your blues!

So lose them!

The band swingin’ one and all and what a ball

Music is good, music is better than good, pretty good
Very nice –
Really very good, things are bein’ like they should
very good – very good – very good

All y’ gotta do it lend an ear
An’ listen to it
Then y’ dig a little sooner than soon
You’ll be diggin’ everything – diggin all the music

What a ball!

How y’ gonna figure out
A way to bring it all about amid a
Lot of other music on the set and on the scene
Know what I mean?
How y’ gonna separate the music from the scene
‘Gonna have t’ keep the memory clean
Y’ gonna hear a lotta sound – a lotta soun’

Performed by

By Manhattan Transfer

 text here

Birdland (Joe Zawinul)

In Birdland on June 20, 2011 at 2:51 am

les partitions sont dans la boite ūüôā

Heavy Weather (Weather Report) 1977

In Album, Birdland on June 20, 2011 at 2:39 am

Probably the best fusion album ever made, (1977) and the coming together of five precociously talented musicians. Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter assembled the unit with little knowledge that the complex music would become so accessible. Two compostions stand out; the graceful ‘A Remark You Made’, an evocative love song without words, and the hit single ‘Birdland’ (so successful it was even used by Akai for a major advertising campaign). On these two Zawinul compostions their genius bass player Jaco Pastorius gives a taste of what he was capable of. He bent the notes to make them talk, and that high octave solo on ‘Birdland’ is still a treasured moment.

Recorded at Devonshire Sound Studios, North Hollywood, 1977, California. Includes liner notes by Peter Keepnews, John Ephland.

Composers: Jaco Pastorius; Joe Zawinul.

Personnel: Joe Zawinul (vocals, guitar, melodica, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer, Oberheim synthesizer, drums, tabla); Jaco Pastorius (vocals, mandocello, mandolin, drums, steel drum); Manolo Badrena (vocals, congas, tambourine, timbales, percussion); Wayne Shorter (saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Tom Oberheim (synthesizer); Alex Acu√Īa (drums, congas, tom tom, hand claps, percussion).

Directors: Seth Rothstein; Kevin Gore; Steven Berkowitz.


  1. Birdland 
  2. Remark You Made
  3. Teen Town
  4. Harlequin
  5. Rumba Mama
  6. Palladium
  7. Juggler
  8. Havona

Joe Zawinul Biography

In Bio on June 20, 2011 at 2:25 am

Josef Erich Zawinul¬†(July 7, 1932 ‚Äď September 11, 2007)¬†was an¬†Austrian-American¬†jazz¬†keyboardist¬†and¬†composer.

(Official site)

First coming to prominence with saxophonist¬†Cannonball Adderley, Zawinul went on to play with trumpeter¬†Miles Davis, and to become one of the creators of¬†jazz fusion, an innovative¬†musical genre¬†that combined jazz with elements of¬†rock¬†and¬†world music. Later, Zawinul co-founded the groups¬†Weather Report¬†and the¬†world fusion music-oriented Zawinul Syndicate. Additionally, he made pioneering use of¬†electric piano¬†and¬†synthesizers. Zawinul was named “Best Electric Keyboardist” 28 times by the readers of¬†Down Beat¬†magazine.

Several artists have honored Zawinul with songs, notably¬†Brian Eno’s instrumental “Zawinul/Lava”,¬†John McLaughlin’s instrumental “Jozy”,¬†Warren Cuccurullo’s “Hey Zawinul”,¬†Bob Baldwin’s “Joe Zawinul”,¬†Chucho Valdes’s Zawinul’s Mambo, and¬†Bir√©li Lagr√®ne’s instrumental “Josef”. Zawinul’s playing style is often dominated by quirky melodic improvisations ‚ÄĒboth bebop, ethnic and pop sounding‚ÄĒ combined with sparse but rhythmic playing of big-band sounding chords or bass lines. In Weather Report, he often employed a¬†vocoder¬†as well as pre-recorded sounds played (i.e. filtered and transposed) through a synthesizer, creating a very distinctive synthesis of¬†jazz harmonics¬†and “noise” (“using all the sounds the world generates”).

Early life and career

Zawinul was born and grew up in¬†Landstra√üe, as a son of the worker Josef Zawinul, in¬†Vienna, Austria, where he went to school with the late former Austrian Federal President¬†Thomas Klestil. His grandmother was a Hungarian¬†Sinti¬†(“Gypsy”), and his grandfather was from southern¬†Moravia.

Classically trained at the Konservatorium Wien, Zawinul played in various broadcasting and studio bands before emigrating to the U.S. in 1959 on a music scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

He went on to play with trumpeter¬†Maynard Ferguson, where he first met¬†Wayne Shorter¬†after having had an influence in hiring him. Shorter left soon thereafter to play in Art Blakey’s group and Josef was apparently dismissed from the Ferguson band for wanting to have too much control over personnel decisions. Zawinul then toured and recorded with singer¬†Dinah Washington¬†for two years.

With Cannonball Adderley

In 1961, Zawinul joined the Quintet led by saxophonist¬†Cannonball Adderley.¬†During his nine-year stint with Adderley, he wrote the hit song “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.” He also composed “Walk Tall” and “Country Preacher,” the latter a tribute to¬†U.S. Civil Rights Movement¬†leader¬†Jesse Jackson, from the 1969¬†album of the same name.

With Miles Davis

In the late 1960s, Zawinul recorded with¬†Miles Davis’s studio band and helped create the sound of¬†jazz fusion. He played on the album¬†In a Silent Way, the title track of which he composed, and the landmark album¬†Bitches Brew, for which he contributed the twenty-minute track, “Pharaoh’s Dance”, which occupied the whole of side one.

Zawinul is known to have played live with Davis only once, on July 10, 1991, in Paris, along with¬†Wayne Shorter, shortly before Davis’ death.

Zawinul, along with other Davis sidemen¬†Chick Corea¬†and¬†Herbie Hancock, was one of the first to use¬†electric pianos¬†and early synthesizers like the¬†ARP 2600¬†in 1973’s¬†Sweetnighter. He was among the first to use an electric piano, the Wurlitzer. He used the¬†Fender-Rhodes¬†thereafter, adding a wah-wah pedal and later the Mutron effect unit for a complex phased timbre. His creativity and attention to detail resulted in a very contemporary and modern sound. He also has played the¬†kalimba¬†on¬†Weather Report’s¬†Mysterious Traveller¬†and¬†Mr. Gone.

With Weather Report

In 1970, Zawinul co-founded¬†Weather Report¬†with saxophonist and Davis alumnus¬†Wayne Shorter. Their first two years emphasized a relatively open, group improvisation format not dissimilar to what Miles Davis was doing in a more rock oriented format. However, Josef started making changes with their third album,¬†Sweetnighter, citing he was “tired of waiting for something to happen”. Funk elements such as electric bass, wah-wah pedal, etc. started to be introduced in the band’s sound. Music critics generally agree that their 4th album,¬†Mysterious Traveller, was their true breakthrough album, capturing the classic Weather Report “sound” for the first time. The musical forms were now through-composed similar to classical music, and the combination of jazz harmonies with 70’s groove elements launched the band into its most successful period.

Their biggest commercial success came from his composition “Birdland“, a 6-minute opus featured on Weather Report’s 1977 album¬†Heavy Weather, which peaked at number 30 on the¬†Billboard¬†pop albums chart. “Birdland” is one of the most recognizable jazz pieces of the 1970s, covered by many prominent artists from¬†The Manhattan Transfer¬†and¬†Quincy Jones¬†to¬†Maynard Ferguson, the¬†Buddy Rich¬†Big Band, and¬†Jefferson Starship. Even Weather Report’s version received significant mainstream radio airplay ‚ÄĒ unusual for them ‚ÄĒ and served to convert many new fans to music which they may never have heard otherwise. The song won him three¬†Grammys.

Weather Report was active until the mid 80s, with Zawinul and Shorter remaining the sole constant members through multiple personnel shifts. The group was notable for bringing to prominence pioneering fretless bass guitarist¬†Jaco Pastorius, but also other musicians, such as¬†Alphonso Johnson¬†and¬†Peter Erskine. Shorter and Zawinul had already gone separate ways, after the recording of their “final”¬†Sportin’ Life, when it was discovered that they had to do one more album in order to fulfill the CBS contract.¬†This Is This!¬†therefore became their final album. Shorter participated despite being busy leading his own group, and Peter Erskine was also brought in again for this record, ending up playing on most compositions.

Later career

Zawinul also wrote a symphony, called Stories of the Danube, which was commissioned by the Brucknerhaus, Linz. It was first performed as part of the Linzer Klangwolke (a large-scale open-air broadcast event), for the opening of the 1993 Bruckner Festival in Linz. In its seven movements, the symphony traces the course of the Danube from Donaueschingen through various countries ending at the Black Sea. It was recorded in 1995 by the Czech State Philharmonic Orchestra, Brno, conducted by Caspar Richter.

Zawinul was hospitalized in his native Vienna on August 7, 2007, after concluding a five-week European tour. He died from a rare form of skin cancer (Merkel cell carcinoma) on September 11, 2007.  He is buried in the Zentralfriedh of Cemetery in Vienna.