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Weather Report - Mr. Gone CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.74 | 119 ratings

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3 stars "Mr. Gone" is the 8th full-length studio album by Jazz rock/Fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia/CBS Records in September 1978. Weather Report reached their commercial peak with the groupīs last album "Heavy Weather (1977)". The album featured a succesful single in "Birdland", which sold around 400.000 copies. Not exactly the order of the day for this type of music. So from a financial standpoint it must have been tempting to continue with the sound of "Heavy Weather (1977)". Thatīs certainly not the case with "Mr. Gone" though.

The music on "Mr. Gone" are generally quite different from the material on "Heavy Weather (1977)" and even though the music are more easily accessible than the early recordings by the band this is no easy listening album. Not that "Heavy Weather (1977)" was an easy listening experience either. "Mr. Gone" is very much a Joe Zawinul (piano and various keyboards/synths) album while partner in crime Wayne Shorter (saxophone) seems to be reduced to backing musician on this album. As the author of the sleeve notes comments Wayne Shorter is more or less "Mr. Gone" on this album. The album is simply dominated by Joe Zawinulīs synths and he has really gone out of his way to try new things. An example is the string and brass synth sounds which today might sound a bit dated but were probably considered very innovative back then. The rythm section with bassist Jaco Pastorius and new drummer Peter Erskine are very skilled too though and are allowed to shine several times throughout the album. Just listen to the Jaco Pastorius composition "Punk Jazz". There are some great bass playing on that track. Or the short "Pinocchio" which is the most furious fusion track on the album. Great drumming by Peter Erskine on that track. There are some ethnic flavoured vocals on the opening track "The Pursuit of the Woman With the" and some soul styled vocals on the last track "And Then" but the rest of the album is instrumental. Some might find the title track with itīs synth bassline (and generally synth heavy sound) and swing rythm a bit of a turn off but to my ears itīs one of the more interesting tracks on "Mr. Gone".

The jazz side of Weather Reportīs music is toned down a bit on "Mr. Gone" and itīs actually a rather unique album in their discography. I can see more traditional jazz lovers not enjoying "Mr. Gone" much but for listeners who come from other reference points this could be a very intriguing album and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved. I wonīt give a full 4 star (80%) rating simply because some sections on the album sit a bit too much on the edge of easy listening soft jazz but overall "Mr. Gone" is overall a pretty good album.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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