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Weather Report - Sweetnighter CD (album) cover

SWEETNIGHTER

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 110 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Sweetnighter" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US Jazz rock/fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia/CBS Records in April 1973. The music on the album in some ways continue the free form jazz rock/fusion style of "I Sing The Body Electric (1972)"), but in other ways it´s a very different album compared to it´s predecessor. While "Sweetnighter" certainly is both a challenging and adventurous album, the tracks are now generally slightly more conventionally structured than the more free improvisational flow of the first two albums. Weather Report would streamline this more structured approach to songwriting much more over the course of the next few albums, but this is the album where they started seriously composing tracks instead of "just" playing.

It´s as always Joe Zawinul´s electric piano/keyboard playing and Wayne Shorter´s saxophone playing that are the dominant instrumental performances on the album, but there´s also lots of focus on the outstanding rythm section of bassist Miroslav Vitous (Andrew White plays on a couple of tracks too), drummers Eric Gravatt and Herschel Dwellingham and percussionist Don Um Romao. They are simply on fire on this album. Incredibly groovy and completely irresistible addictive rythms. It´s probably wrong to mention Miroslav Vitous as part of the rythm section though as his playing is at times stylisticaly quite free form. In fact all instruments duel for attention and occasionally it can be quite a challenging and almost chaotic listen, but of course it works with musicians as outstanding as these guys.

The 44:22 minutes long album features 6 tracks. "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and "125th Street Congress" are both over 10 minutes long and represent the busy fusion side of the band´s music very well while the ambient "Adios" and the melodic "Will" display other sides of the band´s sound. On "Sweetnighter" the compositional diversity works really well and the album has a pleasant and entertaining flow.

The sound production is professional, powerful, organic and warm, and it really helps bring out the best in the music. The sounds of Joe Zawinul´s various keyboards/pianos are just fantastic. The decription in the booklet, of the version I have, which states that Joe Zawinul almost sounds like he´s making love to his instruments is spot on. "Sweetnighter" is in every way possible a great album by Weather Report. The more structured songwriting approach makes the band´s music slightly more accessible compared to the two precedessors, but there are still longer sections with free form playing and "Sweetnighter" is overall a very challenging jazz rock/fusion release. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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