Edition Hawara, 2018
Zenit is a jazz ensemble from Krems in Lower Austria, founded in 1976 by Hannes Treiber and Willi Langer. Their music was celebrated locally, but to reduce them to their local fame would be misleading: After all, their first two LPs, Stimmungswechsel (Change of Moods) and Früchte (Fruits), quickly gained them a much wider audience of discerning listeners. Arguably, however, Zenit’s third and final LP Straight Ahead is the most special of their records. It initially came out in 1986 on the producers label Spray Records, and is today one of the hardest-to-find Austrian jazz records. Its centrepiece is the infectious slow-motion disco piece “Waiting,” with vocals by American jazz singer Linda Sharrock. Effortlessly bringing together pop, soul and new age vibes, this is a record that is as unique as it is difficult to date. Does it sound like from the 80s? We’re not sure. To our minds at least, it could also be from the future.