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Weather Report - Weather Report CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 141 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Maybe more than any other album I've ever heard, Weather Report's debut has to be one of the hardest to write a review for. Listening to it is the easy part, liking it took a bit more effort, but making commentary about is such a struggle with this particular album because WEATHER REPORT is the type of album that shatters the fine line between melodic jazz and abstract/avant-garde jazz. Almost in the same way that Davis's BITCHES BREW did a similar thing earlier, only we get bite-sized pieces instead of sprawling 20-minute jams (no track goes beyond nine minutes here).

Unless you have a natural dislike towards jazz, give the album several listens; something might break through eventually. That happened with me on ''Milky Way''. Don't give into the idea that the track is just an intro because it is an experience. The piano chords on how they're broken up, yet so floating and airy is just masterful; better yet, the music matches the title as it does feel that I'm in outer space looking at our galaxy from a distance. That same feeling hit me much later in the album on ''Waterfalls''; the piece really does sound like its title.

The overarching sound achieved here is a synthesis of classic jazz, the jazz-fusion style that was starting to blossom and avant-garde sensibilities, yet this is no inharmonious album. The best tone achieved here is through bassist Miroslav Vitous; at times it could be warm, yet it could have a fuzzy attack (hear ''Umbrellas''). The albums' halves seem to contrast each other with Side A having a darker ''melancholy'' and Side B being more upbeat despite a track named ''Tears'' (which is both solemn and upbeat).

Maybe one of the most innovative albums of all time, but lacks the melody or danciness of later releases, but that shouldn't hold anything against WEATHER REPORT. If anything, the too-long ''Orange Lady'' is the only giant blemish in an otherwise stellar art-jazz album. And it's probably the closest Weather Report has gotten towards progressive music.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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