By Rolf Langhans
i just want you tell about the concert i attended yesterday.
the zawinul-syndicate was in Berlin in the Club Quasimodo. its really a club (maybe 200 to 250 people) and the stage is not very high so i was in front of it on the left side so if i would stretch out my arm i would hit his eye with my finger....... i even could hear the clicks when he was pressing the knobs of his prophecy.
and the band and the music .it was incredible, so much energy (it was pretty loud too). and zawinul is nearly 70 now. his playing is so fresh.i cant believe it. he still is the boss. manolo badrena still looks like on the fotos 27 years ago with weather report. paco sery, he was great , although he fucked up the fast swing tune "two lines" (on "world tour").it was two fast for him. but everyone in the band took it with a smile .the guitar-player. i forgot his name( the one with the long hair). anyway, except his singing, and everyone in the band is a singer, his playing was a little boring. blues-pentatonic licks and scale-runs. forgive me.
and the new bass-man etienne mbappe . he is a killer. he has a more percussive sound than i.e. victor bailey and he also has a fable for slapping. and curious was, that he was playing with gloves.
i mean its only my 5th syndicate concert (for weather report i am too young) , but always i saw every musician looking at zawinul like little children all the time , but etienne mbappe was the first i saw seemed not to be so intimidated by zawinul and often played with his back to zawinul.....
and then , beeing in germany zawinul spoke in his mother tongue. i like this vienna-dialect. and he really has a sense for humor.
so all in all it was a really great concert (they played obviously new songs and some old,but no weather report tunes) . and i tell you, although berlin is a huge city,with lot of music and everything, concerts of this caliber and quality are pretty rare! sadly.
oh i forgot: for one tune they featured an african marimbaphon-player. dont know his name but he played his ass off