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Weather Report - Procession CD (album) cover

PROCESSION

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.66 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars With Drummer Peter Erskine and Bassist Jaco Pastorius tied up on other projects and tour dates looming fast Weather Report mainstays Joe Zawinul (Keyboards) and Wayne Shorter (Saxophones) were desperately in need of a new rhythm section. Drummer Omar Hakim came highly recommended and he brought along Bassist Victor Bailey and Percussionist Jose' Rossy. By the time they came to record Procession they'd had the opportunity to tighten up as a band on the road and the new blood seemed to revitalise the band, their previous couple of albums generally regarded as a disappointment.

The title track kicks off the album quietly and subtlely with Zawinal's Synth lines quickly joined by Bass and Drums. Hakim's Drumming is very tasteful and being a guitarist as well gives his playing a very musical feel rather than being simply rhythmic. The track picks up in intensity midway before quietly fading away towards the end. This is a Zawinul composition and he tends to take the front seat here, Shorter's sax playing a secondary roll. Procession is followed by Plaza Real where Shorter does make his presence more felt on this slow Jazz piece; indeed it's his composition.

The explosive Two Lines follows; the band is really on fire on this up tempo track. Each and every band member gets to shine here, particularly Shorter's superb Sax playing and the rhythmic interplay between Bailey and Hakim is excellent. This is eighties Jazz Fusion as good as it got. Seven and a half minutes is not nearly long enough for this brilliance!

Where the Moon Goes is a little unusual. It features the processed voices of vocal group Manhattan Transfer. No doubt the band inspired to use them after their interpretation of the Weather report classic Birdland. The track starts quietly underpinned by a Zawinul synth line with a slow build climaxing with some more excellent Sax from Shorter. The Vocal's are used as another instrument rather than singing a more traditional sort of vocal melody and it works very well. The tempo really picks up towards the end, Hakim really driving the piece home. A bit of light relief in The Well follows, an atmospheric piece featuring only Keyboards and Sax. The album then closes with a Hakim composition, Molasses Run. It's another lively bit of Fusion. Once again some excellent Drums and Bass work and Hakim also plays Guitar too.

If you're looking to discover Weather Report this may not be the best place to start, see their seventies work for that but there's no denying that this is an excellent piece of Jazz/Fusion from one of the seminal bands in the genre and comes highly recommended to fans of this type of music.

Nightfly | 4/5 |

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