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WEATHER REPORT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Weather Report picture
Weather Report biography
Active between 1970 and 1986

Along with MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, and RETURN TO FOREVER, WEATHER REPORT can trace its origins to Miles Davis' late 60s line up and breakthrough recordings "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew". Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter had played together briefly in 1959 with MAYNARD FERGUSON'S BAND, kept in touch and collaborated again with the aforementioned Davis projects when they finally decided to form their own band. Leaning further perhaps towards the jazz end of the meter among their jazz-rock peers, WEATHER REPORT has made an essential contribution in the legacy of fusion. Zawinul and Shorter comprised the bulk of creative force for the early part of their career, cycling through various lineups until the 1976 recording "Black Market" introduced fusion's most influential and renowned bass player, Jaco Pastorius.

"Mysterious Traveler" marks the peak of the pre-Jaco era and is hailed by many as their finest moment. While other fusion acts relied heavily on the presence of the ever popular electric guitar, WEATHER REPORT forged ahead without one and still managed to produce an album that transcended anything done with jazz based music before. "Black Market" would mark another transition in their direction that would ultimately be realized in 1977's "Heavy Weather". Standing as their most commercially successful and critically acclaimed album, "Heavy Weather" boasted a hit single in Birdland, and leant a production credit to Pastorius, who was now a driving force in the group.

WEATHER REPORT complete the triangle that launched fusion in the early seventies, and are highly recommend for anyone interested in Jazz Fusion.

: : : Jeremy Spade, USA : : :

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WEATHER REPORT discography


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WEATHER REPORT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 145 ratings
Weather Report
1971
3.77 | 181 ratings
I Sing The Body Electric
1972
3.77 | 170 ratings
Sweetnighter
1973
3.82 | 201 ratings
Mysterious Traveller
1974
3.59 | 122 ratings
Tale Spinnin'
1975
4.02 | 289 ratings
Black Market
1976
3.73 | 303 ratings
Heavy Weather
1977
2.75 | 126 ratings
Mr. Gone
1978
3.09 | 96 ratings
Night Passage
1980
3.10 | 77 ratings
Weather Report (1982)
1982
3.68 | 72 ratings
Procession
1983
3.27 | 57 ratings
Domino Theory
1984
2.51 | 55 ratings
Sportin' Life
1985
2.97 | 61 ratings
This Is This
1986

WEATHER REPORT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 42 ratings
Live In Tokyo
1977
3.44 | 68 ratings
8:30
1979
4.37 | 39 ratings
Live & Unreleased
2002
3.13 | 11 ratings
Live in Berlin 1975
2011
4.12 | 17 ratings
Live in Offenbach 1978
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Live in London
2020

WEATHER REPORT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Japan Domino Theory: Weather Report Live in Tokyo
1984
5.00 | 2 ratings
Young And Fine Live!
2004
4.75 | 19 ratings
Live At Montreux 1976
2006
4.16 | 12 ratings
Live in Germany 1971
2010
4.16 | 13 ratings
Live In Offenbach 1978
2011

WEATHER REPORT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
The Collection
1993
3.04 | 9 ratings
This Is Jazz 10
1996
4.21 | 5 ratings
This Is Jazz, Vol. 40: The Jaco Years
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Collection
2001
3.52 | 8 ratings
The Best of Weather Report
2002
4.10 | 10 ratings
Forecast: Tomorrow
2006
4.80 | 5 ratings
Original Album Classics - Weather Report
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
Collections
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Original Album Classics
2011

WEATHER REPORT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

WEATHER REPORT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 303 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Saimon

4 stars Review #24: Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather was also Weather Report's best selling record. It reached number 30 on the Billboard pop chart, quickly sold nearly half a million copies, and has subsequently gone gold (signifying sales of 500,000 copies). In his January 2001 Down Beat retrospective on the band, Josef Woodard said, "In 2000, Heavy Weather still sounds like a milestone in the cultural unconscious of jazz history. By some accounts, the album is the crowning achievement of the band's recorded output, and therefore, by extension, a towering landmark of 'fusion.'"

Birdland (10/10): Aggressive and gentle jazz with several steady basses and cymbals that warn of the coming rhythmic changes, the beautiful and sensual saxophone accompanying the brilliant melodies of the keyboards and basses. In my opinion, always the most important thing to take into account in an album is the ambience of the beginning... and by God! What a splendid way to start! I was really fascinated with the beauty and magic of the joyful and fantastic sounds that all the instruments made for such a brilliant entrance.

A Remark You Made (5/5): Here we go with a piece, this time, much more sensually intoned, that starts with a bass and a saxophone that, to specify a little, would appear in a movie in which the protagonist arrives tired and desolate of everything to a bar at night, and meets the love of his life for the first time... to give us an idea. A night melody, passionate and as ardent as the summer sun. And how can we forget that excellent piano that acts as an accomplice of the saxophone during the middle of the song, or that synthesizer that enters the scene, about a minute before the end of the song, with those futuristic sounds and so "satirical (to find a suitable term). And Pastorius' unmistakable bass is one thing that drives me crazy when I listen to this again.

Teen Town (6/10): Something faster and shorter. Ever present haihat and bass throwing out random melodies with the saxophone doing the same as if to give some ambience. This is more pure experimental than anything else, so I didn't find much to analyze, heh. it's good, but it doesn't convince me.

Harlequin (4/5): A slow keyboard start, and then something more groovy and with synthesizers creating a flying atmosphere. Something to highlight is the piano chaperone that finishes and helps the keyboard between verses. Like the previous track, this is also something more ambient and experimental. All very normal... until near the end, when the drums start to "get angry" and there are abrupt and cool breaks and solos that, to be honest, caught me by surprise and made me give the song some extra points.

Rumba Mama (2/5): It would all start with fade-in clapping that continues with what seems to be some strange stomping, and well... the guy yelling things I don't understand is something that was weird and I was kind of dumbfounded. I really like the percussion that follows that weird act. And meanwhile... the guy still yelling weird stuff... he doesn't seem to learn, but admit it made me laugh a little haha. And yes, he concludes the song with more applause.

Palladium (10/10): We continue with the aggressive and super happy funk music. This song is perfect from any point of view. A sweet melody, some rhythm changes and tuning algorithms from another world, the infallible sax and Yaco's bass, the pop atmosphere that is generated in the environment, the softness with which the synth plays with the background percussion .... Really admirable the work of the band. It's been a long time since I heard something so funk that moved me so much, besides, considering what we heard before with "Rumba Mama", it was a very "voluptuous" and sensational change. I felt like I went from listening to "Anarchy in the U.K. (Sex Pistols)" to "Anonymous II (Focus)", in a way.

The Juggler (4.5/5): First thing to note, I was fascinated by the keyboard riff at the beginning. It was very addictive to finish the track and play it again just to hear that. The drums, as always, starring the changes and the fierce speed so provocative to generate all the time super fluid and interesting rhythmic breaks. The atmosphere full of tension that is generated between the drum and the keyboard I loved it.

Havona (4/5): In this last part of the album the synthesizer takes initial prominence, creating chords and hopeful melodies, so to speak, that introduce us to the last track of "Heavy Weather", another aggressive Jazz, this time more accentuated to the intrepid and subtle, rather than to the passionate. A great piece of action and melodic percussion. I really like the clash he makes when he violently combines the pianos and drum with the cymbal.

I'm not a person who listened to a lot of instrumental stuff, but this really captivated and excited me too much, considering as I said before, the immortal beginning of this adventure. I think if it had lyrics, it would be just as fascinating, but meh..... I can't complain, tremendous piece of work!

8/10, 4 stars. Some of the most sensational and funkiest stuff I've heard in a long time.

 This Is This by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1986
2.97 | 61 ratings

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This Is This
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "This Is This" is the 14th full-length studio album by US Jazz rock/fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia Records in June 1986. Itīs the successor to "Sportinī Life" from 1985 and was more or less released to fulfill the bandīs contract with Columbia Records. Growing tensions and a feeling that the band had run its course meant that Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter ended Weather Report after the release of "This Is This".

Although Omar Hakum only performs on "Consequently" and Peter Erskine performs the drums on all other tracks, the remaining part of the core quintet lineup who recorded the two direct predecessors is intact: Joe Zawinul (keyboards/synths), Wayne Shorter (soprano & tenor saxophones), Victor Bailey (bass), and Mino Cinelu (percussion, vocals). Carlos Santana makes a guest guitar appearence on the opening title track and on "Man With the Copper Fingers", and his unmistakable playing style makes those songs stand out quite a bit. Itīs not often Weather Report have included guitar on their music.

Stylistically the material on "This Is This" are relatively diverse and the listener is treated to ethnic world music styled fusion, ambient jazz rock/fusion ("I'll Never Forget You"), and a furiously fast played fusion track in "Update". If youīre familiar with the last couple of albums, you wonīt be surprised by what "This Is This" has to offer. The musical performances are on a high level on all posts, and the album also features a well sounding production job, so while itīs certainly not the bandīs most interesting release, itīs not a bad quality release either. On the other hand the choice to disband was probably the right one, as "This Is This" and the last couple of releases before that, only offer very little new and for the most part the music is lacking the edge of the bandīs 70s heyday. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

 Domino Theory by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.27 | 57 ratings

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Domino Theory
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Domino Theory" is the 12th full-length studio album by US jazz/fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia Records in February 1984. Itīs the successor to "Procession" from 1983 and features the same quintet lineup who recorded the predecessor.

"Procession" was the first Weather Report to more prominently feature vocals and lyrics, although the band had made brief experiments with vocals on earlier releases too. The trend to include vocals continues on "Domino Theory", which opens with the stunning "Can It Be Done" (sung by Carl Anderson), but Weather Report have not abandoned their jazz/fusion instrumental work, which is as impressive as ever on the 11:10 minutes long "Db Waltz", which follows. That track also features brief moments with vocals, but no lyrics. We īre treated to funky and jazzy rhythms and bass work, Wayne Shorterīs exciting saxophone playing, and Joe Zawinulīs always intriguing and creative use of keyboards/synths.

While some of the material are quite brilliant, there are other times when I donīt think Weather Report quite hits the mark. "The Peasant" is for example unnecessarily long and becomes a little tedious with its ambient sound, and few climaxes. "Predator" features a lot of nice rhythmic playing, but itīs also a track which isnīt really leading to anywhere. The same can unfortunately be said about "Blue Sound Note 3", which is a relatively experimental affair, but again lacking direction and catchiness, until about 5 minutes in, when some melancholic saxophone melodies come in to save the day. "Swamp Cabbage" is decent enough, but not exactly a mind blowing track. I like the dark and haunting atmosphere of the title track, but itīs another ambient track, and "Domino Theory" could definitely have been a little more interesting with fewer ambient moments.

"Domino Theory" features a detailed, organic, and well sounding production. Some people may not appreciate some of the 80s synths choices, but Zawinul is a master of his craft, and anything he touches is at least interesting to listen to. Upon conclusion "Domino Theory" isnīt the greatest release by Weather Report. It starts out strong with "Can It Be Done" and "Db Waltz", which to my ears are the two best quality tracks on the album, but from then on the highlights are few and far between. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 303 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars When Weather Report released their most successful album "Heavy Weather" in 1977, the jazz fusion era was already starting to wind down in popularity. They were considered one of the 4 most influential jazz/rock fusion bands of the time along with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and The Headhunters, but each of those bands had already had their popularity peaks in previous years and were on their ways down from those pinnacles. Weather Report, on the other hand, was still on the way up, and "Heavy Weather" would end up being their most popular album, mostly pushed to that peak by the track "Birdland", and justifiably so. With a memorable, yet still complex sound, it grabbed the attention of both jazz and rock lovers alike.

The band was riding high after the previous album "Black Market" which was also successful, yet it still didn't beat "Heavy Weather" in terms of sales. That previous album introduced one of jazz's best bass players, Jaco Pastorius, but this new album would feature Pastorius as a regular member. His influence could be strongly felt in the style of the band, opening them up to less stringent songs. The music not only sounded less forced, but his amazing style reminded listeners of an instrument that could speak and that fit so naturally with the direction the band wanted to go in, a freer, more upbeat sound where all of the players were important. Jaco was not one to sit in the background and play a repetitive pattern, but could prove that bass could be upfront just like any of the other instruments. You can hear his playfulness throughout the entire album, and that drive pushed the rhythm section above and beyond many of the other fusion bands of the time.

The first half of the album starts off with the favorite "Birdland" that most everyone is familiar with and the infectious groove and style of that track definitely got everyone's attention. It is interesting that the remainder of the first half slows things down to songs that are more romantic sounding, mellow, yet still intriguing songs, yet Jaco's playing still stands out, yet it never overplays Zawinul's keys and guitars or Shorter's brass. However, when the record gets to "Harlequin", the interplay between the keys and the bass is simply outstanding. The 2nd half of the album is devoted to more upbeat tracks with the album's weakest moment "Rumba Mama" opening it up with crazy percussion. It's simply the weakest moment because the track is way too short. It is recorded live, which is fine, and it works it's way up to where it sounds like it is going to just take off, and then it's over. However, the remaining 3 tracks more than make up for this with happier and groovier sounds and leaving the best track "Havona" top close it all out. The feeling I get when I get to this point is, I want to hear more.

The reissue that was released with the box set in 2014 does exactly that. Three live tracks that really bring the excitement of their live shows right to your living room (or wherever your sound system is located). There is a 9 minute live version of the previous album's "Black Market" that sounds better than ever. The biggest pleasant surprise is the live version of "Teen Town", which comes from this album in a less than 3 minute version, now stretched out to over 6 minutes. This is what the band could do in concert, even with what might be considered their less important songs. Now it takes on a new life where it becomes just as important and great as any of the band's best. The last track is a faster paced version of "Birdland", also live.

This album shows this band at some of it's best, and if you were to only own one of their albums, this would be the one to get. But make sure you pay attention to the way this band functions so well together. And just listen to that amazing bass. If there wasn't anything else great about this album, just the bass alone would merit that album's inclusion in your collection, but fortunately, everything about this album is perfect. This is one I would consider essential to any fusion lover's collection, and even any prog collection.

 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 303 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Squire Jaco

5 stars Remember when "heavy" was common slang used for "fantastic" or "hip"? This album is it...

As a self-proclaimed prog head coming out of the 70's and appreciating more of the jazz sound in music, fusion groups like Weather Report were a natural fit for me when I discovered this album during the early 80's. (Hey, it was either fusion or groups like Wham! - I made the right decision... ;-) "Heavy Weather" made enough use of synthesizers to soothe my prog yearnings, while I reveled in the jazzy excursions on which these masters took me. Just fantastic songwriting from all members of the band, and clever execution as true virtuosos on their respective instruments. My only regret is that it entertains us for a mere 38 minutes!

For a bass lover like myself, of course I was additionally drawn to the unique and jaw-dropping craftsmanship displayed by Mr. Pastorius. With the exception of some of his work with Joni Mitchell, this may have been his best stuff.

Others here have already lavished suitable praise in critique of this album. I wish only to add my voice to the throng. This album is it. It's heavy, man.

 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 303 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Sometimes you hear a lot about an album but you simply canīt get a hold of it for years. Thatīs exactly what have happend to Weather Reportīs Heavy Weather in my case. A lot of people talked about it and I heard it was a kind of classic jazz-rock/fusion. Recently I finally got it on CD and Imust say I was not impressed. Condiering the talents of the people involved, it sounded bland, tamed, popish and, frankly, a bit boring.

Of course there are good moments like the second track A Remark You Made (a song Kenny G must have heard a million times when he was young) an their biggest success, Birdland. The inclusion of a live track Rumba Mama, which is a simply drum solo with some goofy spanish words thrown in, is a mystery. The rest is nice: Jaco Pastorius bass playing is realy awesome. I also enjoy Wayne Shorter sax a lot. But in the end I found everything here too slick and predicable.

Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe it was innovative for the time and it got copied a lot. Maybe it is not as representative of their best work as I was told. I donīt know. What I do know is that there was much better and more exciting records in that genre during that year. Guess Iīll have to look for other WR stuff to see if I change my mind over their sound. But Heavy weather, despite its title, has nothing really heavy on it. On the contrary, is very light. Too light.

Rating: 2 stars.

 Live in Offenbach 1978 by WEATHER REPORT album cover Live, 2011
4.12 | 17 ratings

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Live in Offenbach 1978
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars In spite of the filler on here, I have to give this four stars. There's plenty of awesome stuff on here, and I find this preferable to the 8:30 album released from the same tour as this performance.

I'll admit that "Teen Town" and "Birdland" aren't my favorites by this group. And "Young and Fine" may be the weakest track on the then-current Mr. Gone album (though it sounds strangely more tolerable on here for some reason - go figure). The solos may be interesting to watch (I have the video too) but not as interesting to listen to. Add in the fact that this was the only tour they did without a percussionist, and it may seem a bit odd to rank it this highly.

However, there are some blistering performances on here. "Black Market" has an extended tenor sax solo at the end (in fact, it's Wayne Shorter's longest solo of the night within a group song) where Joe Zawinul just sits back and lets Shorter blow over Peter Erskine's drums. Erskine's drums provide the strongest-yet recorded structure to the rather ethereal "Scarlet Woman", and Joe Zawinul's electric piano sounds outstanding until he goes synth with Shorter's soprano sax (Jaco Pastorious's bass work there is also outstanding). "The Pursuit of the Woman With the Feathered Hat", like much of the Mr. Gone material, actually sounds better on here than it did in the studio, in part because we get to hear Shorter's soprano in place of the synths that dominated the studio version and because Erskine lays down a terrific groove. "A Remark You Made", as always, is beautiful. "River People" bubbles with energy, and the synths sound better than in the studio (plus, again, Shorter's soprano is prominent). And the disc 1 ender, "Mr. Gone", blisters along as Pastorious can't stay still playing the song's famous groove. Shorter gets much more sax here to than on the studio version, and Zawinul's keyboard solo is quintessentially him.

Disc 2's openers - "In a Silent Way" and "Waterfall", sound as good as they ever did and add an experimental feel to what is a fairly strongly charted setlist. "Elegant People" has a different intro than it did in the studio and on previous tours (same as "Black Market"), but still sounds very good even if the great piano before the song's main theme is replaced with a synthesizer and Shorter's sax. And Badia...the live versions of this always have more energy than the excellent studio version, and this time is no exception.

So - there's a lot to like here. The video is well worth checking out too, and the solos become much more interesting when presented visually. Despite the shortcomings, where this album clicks it REALLY clicks. Four stars. Check it out.

 Black Market by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 289 ratings

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Black Market
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars This may be overall my favorite WR album. That doesn't mean I believe it's truly a classic like their debut, but it's fun, enjoyable, sophisticated and accessible all at once. Top-notch writing and great performances, with Joe Zawinul adding in more - but not excessive - synthesizers (I'm looking at you, Domino Theory). Not a ton of soloing, but enough to make things interesting.

The title track starts off as a fun trot courtesy of Chester Thompson's laid-back drumming (despite the credits on the remaster, he plays the beginning portion of this song; Narada Michael Walden takes over in the frenetic ending after a hard cymbal edit); Zawinal plays a synth set up in reverse just for the challenge of it and you'd never know the difference. The song starts to wind up before breaking into a full gallop with an almost symphonic synth/sax line before winding down with a Wayne Shorter soprano solo. Just a great song that I never tire of hearing.

Zawinal's tribute to his former bandleader, Julian "Cannonball" Adderly, is a fantastic tune. Gentle synths and warbling bass courtesy of the newly minted Jaco Pastorious occupy much of the song before an almost elegiastic tenor sax solo from Shorter brings the song to an amazing crescendo. The synth/bass theme returns in a coda with more emphasis (likely with help from Shorter) before melting into an ambient section. All highly enjoyable and meaningful.

"Gibraltar" bubbles with energy. Great playing all around (Alex Acuņa's percussion here, as it is on the entire album, is excellent), and some great synth and sax interplay. A terrific first side by any standard.

Side two begins with "Elegant People". Wayne Shorter has always been sort of my "George Harrison" when it comes to WR - not as prolific as "Lennon/McCartney" (Zawinul), but I probably favor his songs the most (or at least a higher percentage of them). This is one of my faves by this group and by Shorter himself - probably one of my top three WR tracks ever. I particularly love the piano near the beginning before the main theme of the song breaks in. Terrific drums and percussion (again), and Alphonso Johnson's bass playing is melodic and energetic. Shorter's terrific solo in the middle is the icing on a very delicious cake. (Can you tell I love this song?)

After such a great song (great four songs, really), "Three Clowns" is a bit of a letdown. It's definitely an attempt at being truly experimental on the strange-sounding lyricon, but having it as a central instrument with very sparse surroundings makes it just not work very well. It doesn't even work as a tone poem like "The Elders" or "Badia". Given that jazz is about pushing boundaries, though, I can forgive this as a failed attempt to do something original and appreciate the spirit in which it is offered.

"Barbary Coast" is a bouncy, poppish electric piano/bass/sax tune that doesn't have a ton of variety but is highly enjoyable nonetheless. Pastorious made a nice start in the group here as a composer (his debut album is terrific as well) and his playing and writing would become essential to the WR sound for the next several albums.

The album finishes with Johnson's "Herandnu", which starts with Shorter blowing over an odd synth/bass time signature before breaking out into a more traditional rhythm with lots of nice interplay. A bit overlong, perhaps, but still enjoyable, and a nice valedictory for Johnson in the band.

Is it perfect? No. There are a few not-so-classic moments in the album's latter half. But the first four songs alone are all five-star efforts, and the more experimental or poppish material later is still better than many groups could ever hope to achieve on their best day. The playing is awesome, and the composing is at worst good and at best outstanding. I break this out often after many listens, and will continue to do so. Four enthusiastic stars.

 Sweetnighter by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.77 | 170 ratings

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Sweetnighter
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars During 1972 Weather Report launched their first live album, a double LP recorded in January 1972 at the Shibuya Kokaido Hall in Tokyo, Japan, entitled ''Live in Tokyo''.But inner conflicts were about to rise, as Zawinul had taken the decision to add some funky beats in the band's sounds.For this reason he invited Andrew White to play the English horn, but also handled him the bass for three tracks of the upcoming album, while he also recruited drummer Herschel Dwellingham, who played drums in five of the six tracks.Zawinul apparently needed musicians with a Funk background, thus the performances of Vitous and Gravatt were limited to a just a few pieces.Percussionist Muruga Booker was also invited and the album ''Sweetnighter'' was recorded at the Connecticut Recording Studio in less than a week, released in April 1973.

There is a definite turn in Weather Report's sound with this album, gone are the long, directionless improvisations and the loose soloing of the previous album and the new side of the band displayed a more structured Jazz Fusion sound with lots of percussion and funky beats.They kind of enter the RETURN TO FOREVER territory circa-1971/72 with this work, introducing ethereal jazzy interludes and smooth bass lines over some Latin-spiced rhythms due to the heavy percussion content, creating a very tropical style with ethnic orientations.The longer cuts though are typical of the Jazz/Funk Rock movement, featuring a happy atmosphere but also a very technical sound, filled with Wayne Shorter's neurotic solos and Zawinul's jazzy lines on piano and synths, based on breezy grooves and individual solos and characterized by some tricky bass exercises and inventive drumming.From the dark and abstract echoes of ''I sing the body electric'' the band had switched into a very pleasant and joyful sound, which still contained some ambiental, ethnic soundscapes, but overall was propelled by delicate rhythms and tight instrumental performances, eventually producing something equal to the line-up's talent and one of the very good examples of funky-styled Fusion.

Relying somewhere between atmospheric Jazz with Lounge aesthetics and groovy Electric Fusion with funky extensions, ''Sweetnighter'' recalculates the value of Weather Report within the Jazz Rock and Fusion scenes and finds the band on the rise.Strongly recommended to all Jazz Fusion fanatics...3.5 stars.

 Weather Report (1982) by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.10 | 77 ratings

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Weather Report (1982)
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Weather Report" is the eponymously titled 10th full-length studio album by US jazz/fusion act Weather Report. The album was originally released through Columbia Records in February 1982. It's the second self-titled album in the group's discography as their debut full-length studio album, released in 1971, was also a self-titled affair. "Weather Report" is the last album to feature the rythm section of bassist Jaco Pastorius and drummer Peter Erskine.

The music on the album is unmistakably the sound of Weather Report. By now not as adventurous or cutting edge as was the case in the seventies, but still an interesting enough listen. The rythm section on the album, which in addition to Jaco Pastorius and Peter Erskine also includes percussionist Robert Thomas Jr. are tight and well playing, but as always it's the keyboard attack and saxophone playing of bandleaders Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter respectively, that define the band's sound. On this release it's especially Jaco Pastorius bass playing that I'm impressed by though.

The compositions are generally of decent quality and the album is packed in a nice organic sound production, but I don't really think there are many of the tracks that leave a lasting impression and sometimes (too often) the music is closer to complex muzak than jazz/fusion with depth. Listen to a track like "Current Affairs" for proof of that. It's pleasant enough background music, but it's not the kind of track I'd put on to listen to intriguing adventurous details. It's an issue I've had before with other albums/tracks by the band and "Weather Report" is another one to the collection of more standard quality output by Weather Report. Not really bad but not spectacular either. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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