This article is about the Joe Zawinul instrumental. For the Patti Smith song, see
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"Birdland" is a jazz-fusion instrumental composition written by keyboardist Joe Zawinul of Weather Report. The piece made its debut on Weather Report’s 1977 studio album, . With Birdland at the helm of the album, the song received awards, as well as ranking high on Heavy Weather . It became a Billboard charts jazz standard, and entered the set lists of other artists including Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson’s big band, The Manhattan Transfer (whose version added lyrics by Jon Hendricks), Quincy Jones, Niacin and The String Cheese Incident.
History [ edit ]
"Birdland" marked the peak of
Weather Report's commercial career with the release of . With the addition of Heavy Weather Jaco Pastorius, the band was able to push its music to the “height of its popularity”, and with that came "Birdland." Weather Report's most commercially successful composition, "Birdland" served as a tribute to the New York jazz club on 52nd street that housed many famous jazz musicians. The song was also named in honor of the man after whom the club was named, Charlie Parker, the ‘Bird’ himself. It was this club, that he frequented almost daily, that inspired Zawinul to write the song. Looking back, Zawinul claimed, “The old Birdland was the most important place in my life.” [1 ]
Popularity [ edit ]
Following the release of
, the Weather Report gained a number of awards and honors in recognition of their musical achievements related to Birdland. These include Heavy Weather [2 ]
Grammy Nomination, Best Instrumental Composition, "Birdland"
Grammy Nomination, Best Jazz Soloist, Jaco Pastorius, Heavy Weather
Manhattan Transfer version of "Birdland" (1980) #1 on the
Billboard Jazz Albums chart (1977) #30 on the
Billboard 200 chart (1977) #33 on the
Billboard Top R&B Albums chart (1977) Jazz Album of the Year and Jazz Group of the Year at the 42nd Down Beat Readers Poll
Record of the Year at the Jazz Forum People's Poll
s Silver Disc Award Swing Journal'
s Jazz Record and Jazz Band of the Year Playboy'
s Instrumental Group of the Year Record World'
s Record of the Year Cash Box'
Appears on [ edit ]
Discotheque Ideale: 25 Original Jazz Albums
Jazz Fusion, Vol. 2 [Nectar]
Jazzrock-Anthology, Vol. 2: Crossover
Live in Offenbach 1978
Young and Fine Live!
8:30 [Japan 2CD]
Classic Jazz-Funk, Vol. 4 [Mastercuts]
Jazz on a Summer's Day [Castle]
That's Jazz [EMI Classics]
Je N'Aime Pas le Jazz: Mais Ça J'Aime Bien!
This Is Jazz, Vol. 10
Jazziz: December 1997
Jazz: The Definitive Performances
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century
Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music
Harmony Jazz: Le Chant Des Rêves
Smooth Jazz [Sony]
The Best of Weather Report
Punk Jazz: The Jaco Pastorius Anthology
Capital Gold Jazz Legends
Cool Summer Jazz
Guitar & Bass
Very Best of Smooth Jazz, Vol. 1
Music: Its Role and Importance in Our Lives
The Essential Jaco Pastorius
101 Running Songs, Vol. 1
Feel the Difference of the Blu-Spec CD: Jazz Selection
Playlist: The Very Best of Weather Report
Jazz Roots: The Music of the Americas
Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology
The Perfect Jazz Collection, Vol. 2: 25 Original Albums
( Back on the Block Quincy Jones)
( Class of '78 Buddy Rich) - Album later re-issued as "The Greatest Drummer That Ever Lived With 'The Best Band I Ever Had'"
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Berendt and Huesmann, Joachim-Ernst and Gunther (2009). The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to 21st Century. Chicago, IL: Lawence Hill.
^ Ginell, Richard. "Heavy Weather". Album Review. AllMusic.