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Weather Report - Tale Spinnin' CD (album) cover

TALE SPINNIN'

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.58 | 110 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Fifth album from one of the most successful JR/F band at the time (and since), Tale Spinning is a big improvement over the weak Mysterious Traveller, even if by now the funk-jazz direction (instead of jazz-rock in their first albums) is the main ingredient in their music. While the immutable Shorter/Zawinul duo and bassist Al Johnson, but an ever-changing percussion duo (this time Latino- African), this album veers some more towards ethnic fusion, fusion well depicted in the front and back cover artwork.

The now-usual lightly-prog jazz-funk fusion of Man In The Green Shirt is a good starter, but the following proggier Lusitanos (nothing Portuguese-sounding to me) fails to enthuse me. Much more exciting is the sexy Between The Thighs, which reminisces towards their great Sweetnighter album and even a straight jazz break somewhere around the halfway-mark.

The flipside starts with the Far-Eastern sounding Badia, the one track that really stands out from the rest of the album, and is a bit of a hit and miss affair: there are some average ideas brilliant executed, but also some excellent ideas averagely translated to music. On the whole Badia is very good but fails to convince. The aptly-titled Freezing Fire is again a typical example of hot and cold, hit and miss, and a clear relapse into the poor Mysterious Traveller album's repetitive jazz-funk. Rounding off the album is the Zawinul-penned Five Short Stories, which only features him and Shorter, and is a sleeper.

I may come across as harsh on WR, by saying that TS is just another average WR album (but that also means very good to most other standards than WR's) that most casual could easily do without if they have already a couple of them. While I don't condemn the album (quite the contrary), I suggest that this album is for dedicated and confirmed WR fans, but still a worthy but non-essential album for progheads.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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