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Weather Report - Heavy Weather CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 274 ratings

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4 stars Heavy Weather was a surprise hit in a long string of minor hits and misses on Weather Report's part. It also marked the first proper album with the bass player Jaco Pastorius who finally got to show what he was actually capable of by not only showing off his instrumental but also songwriting skills. The album is decided into eight compositions with a wide range of sounds and styles featured throughout it's 38 minutes.

Birdland is a quirky little tune with soft sounding jazz passages that might be considered too simplistic coming from a band like Weather Report but I personally enjoy it immensely. It definitely works well as an album intro that kicks the material off on a cheerful note that makes the listener want to pick up this recording just to hear the album opener. Up ahead is another wonderful Joe Zawinul-penned composition called A Remark You Made that plays out like a more traditional low-key jazz performance. It features one of the most beautiful performance by Wayne Shorter and Zawinul's melodic delivery is just out if this world. Pastorius' short demonstration of skill on Teen Town is quite impressive even though the composition itself suffers a bit from it while Shorter's Harlequin is another great low key performance that just doesn't reach the intensity level of A Remark You Made.

Band democracy rules might have justified the addition of a short live rumba piece by Badrena/Acuña but other than that it's mostly a throwaway track. The second Wayne Shorter composition, called Palladíum, is much more rhythmically driven but traditional performance while Zawinul's final contribution to the album is another competent work on his part. The closing track is a Pastorius-contribution that works a whole lot better as a band performance and not only as a vehicle for Pastorius to show off his great bass guitar wizardry.

Heavy Weather shows many sides of Weather Reports music which in my opinion becomes a victim of over-ambition on the part of the band members, making the album seem very disjointed in the process. Still, it's hard to really criticize a band on the peak of their career meaning that this is an excellent Jazz-Rock/Fusion recording well worth exploring.

***** star songs: Birdland (5:57) A Remark You Made (6:51)

**** star songs: Teen Town (2:51) Harlequin (3:59) The Juggler (5:03) Havona (6:01)

*** star songs: Palladium (4:46)

** star songs: Rumba Mama (2:12)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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