An exemplary electric pianist, Zawinul also was one of the relatively few players of the synthesizer when it first became popular in the 1970s to break out from the monotonous noodling of most players.Zawinul, a native of
His next stop was with Miles Davis, for whom he played electric piano on "In a Silent Way," the title track of which Zawinul wrote. He also played keyboards and composed for
Weather Report, a jazz fusion band that he led with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, exemplified the best of that controversial genre and was at its greatest when legendary electric bass player Jaco Pastorius toured with the ensemble in the late 1970s. Zawinul composed “Birdland,” the international hit, while with the band.
He had toured with his Zawinul Syndicate band for the past 20 years.