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Weather Report - Sweetnighter CD (album) cover

SWEETNIGHTER

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 97 ratings

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Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer
4 stars What a sweet night for grooving.

If you think you know Weather Report through their slicker, poppier (maybe poopier) era in the late 70's, you really don't know what they were capable of. SWEETNIGHTER is the third album from the fusion quintet with about half of the swagger that came later, yet so much more in compositional dynamics.

The real meat of the album is those two longer cuts that open each side of the album (vinyl terms); think of the Miles Davis style of jazz writing/playing with far more funk rhythms. Be careful or you'll mistake the wah-fed electric keyboard lines of ''Boogie Woogie Waltz'' for a guitar. ''Boogie Woogie Waltz'' represents many aspects I love about this type of fusion; setting a groove/beat and let the other instrumentalists weave over it with careful melodic improvs, never overdoing one second of it. And while it's repetitive, the drumbeat is mesmerising. ''125th Street Congress'' is in the same mould, but dancier and makes me think of downtown New York for some reason.

There are four shorter tracks that tend to get overshadowed by the big kahunas of the album. That's a shame because ''Adios'' and ''Will'' are so beautifully experimentative. Those are two words you rarely hear together. The final track is the most notable in terms of the drumming and sounds like typical rock-jazz of the era.

Unless funk-jazz is your thing, SWEETNIGHTER will shatter your expectations of music, particularly prog music. The album really calls for you to think slightly outside the box if you like more strictly composed pieces, but those with tastes for funk, jazz, dancing or even Krautrock (not in sound, but in feel or pulse) would have no trouble sinking deep into this.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |

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