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Weather Report - I Sing The Body Electric  CD (album) cover

I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 105 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I Sing The Body Electric" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US Jazz rock/fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia Records in May 1972. After leaving Miles Davis group, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboard player Joe Zawinul formed Weather Report to further explore the jazz rock/fusion style they had played with Miles Davis on some of his groundbreaking late 60s/early 70s releases. Most notably on "In a Silent Way (1969)" and of course "Bitches Brew (1970)" (Wayne Shorter contributes to a couple more).

Since their 1971 self-titled debut full-length studio album percussionist Airto Moreira has been replaced by Don Um Romao and drummer Alphonze Mouzon has been replaced by Eric Gravatt. Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and bassist Miroslav Vitous remain from the lineup who recorded the debut.

The music on the album is jazz rock/fusion played with great intensity and impressive skills. Lots of soprano and tenor saxophone playing from Wayne Shorter, complex and groovy rhythms, high class bass playing and loads of different experiments with keyboard sounds and notes by Joe Zawinul. The latterīs performance here is absolutely brilliant. That distorted Rhodes sound is pure magic in the hands of Zawinul.

While "I Sing The Body Electric" is generally regarded a studio album itīs actually only the four tracks on Side 1 of the original LP that are studio recordings while the three tracks on Side 2 are live recordings. They were recorded live in Tokyo, Japan on January 13, 1972 and have been edited for this album. The unedited versions are available on "Live in Tokyo (1972)". "Unknown Soldier", "Second Sunday in August" and "The Moors" (featuring 12 string acoustic guitar playing by Ralph Towner) are great quality studio recordings, while the more ambient "Crystal" is less interesting. Itīs free form jazz alright, but there is a sense of structure and direction here that you donīt always find in music of this type. The live tracks are generally great quality material too. Especially the 10:10 minutes long "Medley: T.H./Dr. Honoris Causa" where both Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul show off their skills. The fiercely fast played "Directions" is incredible too, but "Surucucus" is more of an aquired taste because of the itīs near chaotic sound.

"I Sing The Body Electric" features an organic and powerful sound production. The live recordings are naturally a bit more raw and unpolished than the studio tracks on the album, but they are still very well produced. So well written material, high class musicianship, and a well sounding production are words that are valid to describe this album. While the debut album certainly showed promise, the more "structured" compositions on this album are the right step forward for Weather Report and "I Sing The Body Electric" is overall a high quality release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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