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Weather Report - Heavy Weather CD (album) cover

HEAVY WEATHER

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.65 | 180 ratings

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Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Heavy Weather features absolute highlights with the opening and closing tracks, though the stuff in the middle does not match the liveliness or catchiness of the bookends. If you are interested in getting more familiar with Weather Report, this is not a bad place to start, as they are not quite as subdued (read: boring) as on other less inspiring albums. However, beware that their sound seems a bit sanitized, and if you want raw, power jazz, you should look elsewhere.

Highlights: Birdland, Havona. If you're not familiar with Birdland, you probably should be--possibly reason enough to check out this album. Nothing groundbreaking, but irresistably catchy. I remember playing this tune in my high school band--good memories! With Havona, Weather Report finally take the gloves off and decide to make some serious fusion. This one has some great keyboard runs, energetic drum outbursts, and of course great bass from Pastorius (either fast rhythm playing or soloing--he's great in both modes!).

The rest: I guess there aren't any lowlights, but the other songs really fail to distinguish themselves to my ears. We have the mellow (and forgettable) tunes (A Remark You Made, Harlequin), the short and playful tunes (Teen Town, Rumba Mama) and the songs that attempt fusion but end up doing little of anything (Palladium, The Juggler).

My take is that to create good jazz, you at least need a combination of catchy melodies, virtuosic playing, or intense interplay. Birdland and Havona by and large deliver at least one or two of those combinations each. The rest of the songs don't, although there's nothing annoying to be found on this album. Nice album to have, but certainly not necessary, even for jazz proggers.

Flucktrot | 2/5 |

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