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WEATHER REPORT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Weather Report biography
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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Buy WEATHER REPORT Music


Heavy WeatherHeavy Weather
Remastered
Sony 1997
Audio CD$2.91
$0.38 (used)
The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975
Box set
Sony Legacy 2012
Audio CD$28.14
$39.25 (used)
Mysterious TravellerMysterious Traveller
Import
Imports 2002
Audio CD$3.54
$2.00 (used)
Black MarketBlack Market
Sbme Special Mkts. 2002
Audio CD$2.07
$2.22 (used)
The Columbia Albums 1976-1982The Columbia Albums 1976-1982
Box set · Limited Edition
Sony Legacy 2012
Audio CD$25.68
$28.19 (used)
Celebrating the Music of Weather ReportCelebrating the Music of Weather Report
Hybrid SACD - DSD · Super Audio CD - DSD
Telarc 2001
Audio CD$18.26
$5.00 (used)
Mr GoneMr Gone
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.96
$3.98 (used)
8:308:30
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.52
$2.50 (used)
Weather ReportWeather Report
Arc / Columbia
Vinyl$50.00
$1.95 (used)
MR GONE LP (VINYL) DUTCH CBS 1978MR GONE LP (VINYL) DUTCH CBS 1978
Cbs
Vinyl$2.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
WAYNE SHORTER/ Without a Net (CD, Feb-2013, Blue Note (Label) Mr. Weather Report US $4.99 [0 bids]
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Heavy Weather - Weather Report US $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 38m
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Weather Report "Procession" Vinyl Record 1983 *Authentic Original* US $10.00 [0 bids]
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Heavy Weather [Remaster] by Weather Report (CD, Sep-1997, Sony Music... US $5.99 [0 bids]
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9h 57m
WEATHER REPORT Black Market Jaco Pastorius Joe Zawinul jazz fusion MINT - lp US $9.26 [0 bids]
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WEATHER REPORT Sweetnighter jazz fusion Joe Zawinul Miroslav Vitous 10 days Lp US $12.26 [0 bids]
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WEATHER REPORT Mysterious Traveller Mint Miroslav Vitous Joe Zawinul shrink Lp US $9.25 [0 bids]
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Heavy Weather [Remaster] by Weather Report (CD, Sep-1997, Sony Music... US $7.49 Buy It Now 12h 38m
WEATHER REPORT "HEAVY WEATHER" PC 34418 (1977) 12" LP :: EXCELLENT CONDITION EX US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 52m
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WEATHER REPORT Procession LP 1983 Columbia Records Canada VG+/NM Shrink US $6.95 Buy It Now 16h 13m
DOMINO THEORY Weather Report +inner sleeve CBS 1984 Uk press US $14.59 Buy It Now 16h 36m
Mysterious Traveller, Weather Report, New US $6.55 Buy It Now 16h 48m
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WEATHER REPORT / STUFF / RETURN TO FOREVER-BEST FUSION GROUP-JAPAN 3 DVD L08 US $52.99 Buy It Now 19h 19m
Weather Report Tale Spinnin' 8 Track Tape TESTED US $20.00 Buy It Now 19h 29m
70s ROCK LP - WEATHER REPORT - ARC 25358 - "MR. GONE" US $8.00 Buy It Now 20h 8m
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Weather Report - 1st Album - 1971 - 1st Edition Jazz Vinyl LP KC30661 US $6.99 [0 bids]
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Weather Report Night Passage vinyl LP 1980 Columbia Records EX w/ Inner sleeve US $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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WEATHER REPORT PROCESSION ORIGINAL INNER SLEEVE LP 584 US $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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weather report I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC CD JAPAN SRCS 7032 OBI Sony 1992 RARE US $9.99 [0 bids]
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WEATHER REPORT This Is Jazz Vol. 40: The Jaco Years CD JAZZ Jaco Pastorius, Bass US $6.99 [0 bids]
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Sportin' Life by Weather Report MINT OOP CD Columbia US $79.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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WEATHER REPORT NIGHT PASSAGE ORIGINAL INNER SLEEVE LP 585 US $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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WEATHER REPORT BLACK MARKET (1976) COLUMBIA LEGACY CD CK 65169 US $3.49 Buy It Now 2 days
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Weather Report - Live In Cologne 1983 (NEW CD) US $23.92 Buy It Now 2 days
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WEATHER REPORT shows & tickets


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WEATHER REPORT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.70 | 77 ratings
Weather Report
1971
3.78 | 106 ratings
I Sing The Body Electric
1972
3.76 | 93 ratings
Sweetnighter
1973
3.75 | 114 ratings
Mysterious Traveller
1974
3.48 | 71 ratings
Tale Spinnin'
1975
3.95 | 176 ratings
Black Market
1976
3.68 | 185 ratings
Heavy Weather
1977
2.68 | 76 ratings
Mr. Gone
1978
3.03 | 59 ratings
Night Passage
1980
3.08 | 47 ratings
Weather Report (1982)
1982
3.63 | 37 ratings
Procession
1983
3.35 | 31 ratings
Domino Theory
1984
2.33 | 29 ratings
Sportin' Life
1985
2.98 | 29 ratings
This Is This
1986

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

3.35 | 21 ratings
Live In Tokyo
1977
3.25 | 38 ratings
8:30
1979
4.23 | 27 ratings
Live & Unreleased
2002
2.96 | 5 ratings
Live in Berlin 1975
2011
3.67 | 9 ratings
Live in Offenbach 1978
2011

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Japan Domino Theory: Weather Report Live in Tokyo
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Young And Fine Live!
2004
4.60 | 11 ratings
Live At Montreux 1976
2006
4.12 | 7 ratings
Live in Germany 1971
2010
4.00 | 5 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
3.00 | 5 ratings
This Is Jazz 10
1996
4.09 | 2 ratings
This Is Jazz, Vol. 40: The Jaco Years
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Collection
2001
3.52 | 6 ratings
The Best of Weather Report
2002
4.00 | 4 ratings
Forecast: Tomorrow
2006
4.67 | 3 ratings
Original Album Classics - Weather Report
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
Collections
2008

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

WEATHER REPORT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Weather Report (1982) by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.08 | 47 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.

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 Black Market by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.95 | 176 ratings

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Black Market
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1978-79 I listened for the first time to this band with an album called "Mr-Gone" which I didn`t like. Since then I realized that this band, as others in any musical style, wasn`t really a band. It was really a "team" of two main composers and leaders (Zawinul and Shorter) with other musicians who were more like their "employees". So, the line-ups never were permanent due to these situations. Unfortunately, egos reign in the music business, and with the passing of time they cause a lot of problems in the interactions, friendships and work among the musicians.

I really wanted to listen to this album because I read that drummer Chester Thompson participated in it. I consider him as one of the best drummers I have listened to, so I listened to this album. First, as I do many times before listening to an album or to a band, I read about their history and the circunstances on which this album was recorded. I also found in the web an interview done with Thompson some years ago on which he explains how he was involved with this band. He said that he played with this band after being for several years with Frank Zappa`s band, but Zappa split his band for a time, so Thompson was unemployed, but fortunately he was a very good friend of bassist Alphonso Johnson (who also participated in this album). Both played in this band for more or less a year before Johnson left the band durig the recording of this album in late 1975. Having secured a recording contract for his own projects, he simply didn`t appear in the studio (without telling anybody about this) when the band returned to the recording sessions in early 1976. Zawinul and Shorter assumed that Thompson, being a very good friend of Johnson`s also wasn´t going to return to the band, but Thompson returned, and then he found two new "members" in the band: drummer Michael Walden (also a very good drummer) and bassist Jaco Pastorious (a very good bassist like Johnson, but with a more complicated style in comparison). So, Thompson was then informed that he wasn`t required as drummer anymore and he wasn`t treated well in this situation and this caused some problems. Anyway, after recording two musical pieces (the first two which appear in the album) with Walden and Pastorious, the leaders finally realized that Walden`s style wasn´t as compatible to the band as Thompson`s , so Thompson returned to the recording sessions to record a final track, but his style wasn`t compatible with Pastorius`, and this with also the strain in the personal relationship with the leaders led Thompson to leave the band after the album was completed.

Well. After writing about the "usual politics" in bands, I can say that this album is very good. The compositions are very good and the tracks on which Thompson and Johnson recorded together are the best in this album, particularly the last track in this album called "Heradnu", composed by Johnson. At least it seems that the main composers and leaders gave some "musical freedom" to Thompson and Johnson, who as a team worked very well. Pastorius and Walden also are very good musicians, of course. So, after listening to this album my musical opinion about this band changed because the style of the album is more in the Jazz-Rock Fusion style in comparison to "Mr. Gone" which was more in the Funky and Disco styles. So, this album really deserves the respect it has as a very good Jazz-Rock Fusion album (despite the "usual politics" which are really a shame but they happen very often in the music business).

A final "correction": Thompson said in that interview that the first track in this album is really an edit of two versions of the same musical piece, but one recorded with Walden and Pastorius, and the other recorded with him and Johnson.

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 Live At Montreux 1976 by WEATHER REPORT album cover DVD/Video, 2006
4.60 | 11 ratings

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Live At Montreux 1976
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

5 stars Ah, blessed relief!

I was a bit reluctant to invest into this DVD. My reason is simple. I saw the band perform around 1980 in Cologne, Germany. That show for me represented a big disappointment, a waste of effort (in getting there and back home), money and a good night's sleep. Little I anticipated then that WR were about to release a string of weak and rather forgettable material in the early 80's that eventually led to the ban to - disband.

But this is 1976 and Montreux and the prestige of the venue hopefully compels. Also, that around this time WR were at their peak, so fingers crossed, I got the DVD. Well, even if it doesn't please I am not about to endure the associated inconveniences of attending a live show.

I am happy to say that my concerns were premature. Without much ado, it is indeed a fine performance of the band at it's best. Even the often sidelined co-leader, Wayne Shorter gets more room to impress when compared with his short soundscapes on the band's studio material.

For 1976, both the audio and the video qualities are surprisingly good. (Ah, when do we get a decent quality DVD of Genesis "Seconds Out" of the same year?)

On the strength of this excellent concert, I am now more inclined to check out other, pre-1980 live material of Weather Report. This one is highly recommended.

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 I Sing The Body Electric  by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.78 | 106 ratings

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I Sing The Body Electric
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Weather Report's debut was warmly received by the press as one of the best examples of early Fusion, but its release was followed by the departure of Airto Moreira, who's commitments with Miles Davis prevented him from following the band's schedule.He proposed Dom Um Romao as his replacement, but disagreements on tour resulted another major loss.Drummer Alphonse Mouzon quit from his responsibilities and was replaced by Eric Gravatt.The updated Weather Report line-up recorded another album, ''I Sing the Body Electric'' in November 71' and January 72', released on Columbia in May 72' for the US market and on CBS for Europe.

While Waether Report's debut was a bit of a semi-loose but well-constructed affair, their sophomore work sounds a bit headscratching to my ears.The first four tracks are studio cuts, recorded at Columbia Studios in New York, but while having an instant Fusion delivery, they sound too Avant-Garde for my tastes, like a mix of Avant-Fusion, Experimental Jazz with a touches of Fusion reminiscent of their debut.Too smooth at moments, with long individual solos and lacking the dominant keyboard techniques of Zawinul as captured on their debut.Still there are some impressive moments with the band in full collaboration, performing an edgy and very powerful Jazz/Fusion with great instrumental depth, but these are too few compared to the more free approach of these pieces.

The final three pieces were captured live in Shibuya Kokaido Hall in Tokyo, Japan, sometime in January 72'.All of them along with a few more are contained in the first live album of the group ''Live in Tokyo'', released also in 1972 on CBS, originally headed for the Japanese audience.These sound a bit better than the first pieces, which were rather dissapointing.They still lack even a bit of structured textures and rely heavily on Shorter's sax improvisations, but they are much into Jazz/Fusion than more experimental forms.Dynamic percussion parts, swirling electric piano by Zawinul and a frenetic rhythm section offer some good ideas of virtuosic musicianship.Some passages are too jazzy in my opinion, but most of them fall into the aesthetics of the growing Fusion sound.

''I Sing the Body Electric'' is not what I actually expect by a band with so many talent.Too loose and even too experimental at moments, it fails to grab me from the start and only the live pieces have some really interesting moments.Definitely not a winner, but a good purchase for those starving for some diverse but a bit dated Fusion sound...2.5 stars.

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 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 185 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Argonaught

3 stars Heavy Weather is an unusually weak and lazy album by an otherwise wonderful band, Weather Report. This weakness is especially disappointing after the sequence of great albums they had made before Heavy Weather (the immediate predecessor, Black Market, being probably the coolest).

It all begins with the first two songs on Side A, amounting to almost 13 minutes of dumbed-down, repetitive pop music. A note to the producers: If you are going to record some generic pop stuff, at least have the decency to make the songs short & sweet ... 3 minutes if perfectly enough, maybe stretching into 4 minutes with a slowly fading refrain.

The saving grace kicks in with the 3rd title, Teen Town, where the most impressive Mr. Pastorius finally gets around to playing his trademark bass solo. Unfortunately, the rest of the band does next to nothing on this track, and Mr. Pastorius's impro hits the limit switch in less than 3 minutes .. what a bummer.

Things improve somewhat after Teen Town, and a new quality of energy is ushered in by the übercool exotic chants in the beginning of the Side B, but, all in all, this already short (37') album is a little short on innovation and virtuoso musicianship that Weather Report used to be famous for.

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 Tale Spinnin' by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 71 ratings

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Tale Spinnin'
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

4 stars |B-| A diverse, over-complicated, groovy, and occasionally beautiful work of jazz-fusion.

Tale Spinnin' seems the be considered somewhat of the red-headed stepchild of the group's early work (as in before the famed Heavy Weather, I suppose). As it has been awhile since I've done a review on here, I figured I'd do this one since I should probably give my LP copy back to my old friends (from whom I borrowed it) at some point soon. As this is my first real excursion into Weather Report's music, I don't have other albums for comparison, so this review will be very much focused on the album in it of itself (unlike most reviews on it) in the context my general understanding of jazz-fusion, which is limited but not in ignorance.

I think this bit from the liner notes can tell a lot about the unique variety of jazz-fusion that this particular album might possess: "The harmonies of Tale Spinnin' come from street celebrations, the harmonies of different peoples of different cultures gathering to participate in the most basic and essential of musical activities, song and dance." And as it also says in the liner notes, harmony, for Weather report, is synonymous with music itself, and that dance itself had a lot to do with their mentality in creating the album.

Thus, I wonder how much of the red-headed stepchild praise on this album is really due to the use of dance harmonies with may not be well understood by more heavily "western culture" oriented people, where the traditional harmonic format is sufficiently different, and thus perhaps less relate-able to most of us in America or Europe, not unlike Piazzolla's work with tango (though he had even more western art music influence, for sure). This might just be speculation on my part, but I've been exposed to enough Latin American music to have some foundation in that assertion, I hope.

Anyway, on to my musical analysis: Man in the Green Shirt was, as far as the liner notes say, inspired by an old man in a green shirt dancing off to the side to the St. Thomas Steel Band's performance in the Virgin Islands. Lots of creative, brilliant Latin-American percussion for the whole piece, with some great melodies and song-like solo work on the Soprano Sax by Wayne Shorter, one of the biggest names among jazz Saxophonists. I love the dialogue that he and Josef Zawinul have in the between the saxophone solos. This is definitely a complex and heavy piece of jazz fusion. The album quickly breaks into Lusitanos, which is a slower, more groovy, with a heavily "wah"ed out bass, and thick chords from Zawinul. I think this is a pretty cool and interesting piece, really, and Shorter really sings the sax. There's some pretty crazy, awesome work on the piano by Zawinul, which is a real treat since you don't often hear just regular acoustic piano in jazz fusion, or at least I haven't. Between the Thighs (interesting enough title if I might say so...) is probably my favorite work off the album, starting off with a fantastic, groovy riff from the guitar by itself with lots of wah, and the whole piece is just great in the way it unfolds itself into a real dance-able groove, and I especially like Al Johnson's work on bass. I see why this ended up the longest work on the album, I think the band just really locked into a great vibe about the material for this track, and thus kept jamming on it, adding new great ideas to previous great ideas. Flipping the LP over (I know, aren't I so old school...), the piece Badia has a very folk-ethnic sound, using non-western percussion in a solemn, meditative way, with piano harmonies and acoustic bass bends adding to the meditative sound, eventually with a sweet synth melody, and some instruments I've never heard of, Melodica, Mzuthra, West Afric (??). I'll probably look those instruments up after this review. What's more, the main melody is apparently based on a japanese-influenced melody sang by the drummer, Ndugu. it's a really great, beautiful work of art music, probably among the band's best, I'd expect. Freezing Fire is definitely the opposite of the last trick, starting off with more frantic sort of druming, with some heavy, thick long-tone chords from Zawinul, and to me this piece really is the weakest part of the album, the long-tones just don't compliment the fast playing by the drums and bass, it's just a really weird and overly complicated piece, and even Zawinul's solo playing just sounds really technical and, just "there", not adding much to the appeal of the piece, in my opinion, though he plays around with harmony in cools ways every so often. I don't know what the band was thinking making this piece, let alone what they might have been getting at. The next piece Five Short Stories, luckily, starts off with slow, beautiful piano playing, with some great timbre texture experiments with saxophone and organ. There are no drums in the entire work, just lush playing from the two musicians, Shorter and Zawinul.

I'd say I personally enjoy and respect this album enough the warrant it a bit more credit than many others seem to. I understand why some might find it a difficult album, and it does really stretch the ears of the listener on numerous occasions. [However, the main weakness I find in the album, which I recall finding in other material (here and there) that I have heard over the years, is this, from the liner notes: "The music of Weather Report has always been built upon the foundations of details, on the smallest touches," which I feel that the band, whatever their positive attributes, sometimes really fail to see the forest for the trees, often forgetting about the album - and sometimes even a particular piece - as a whole cohesive work, and focusing a bit too much on complicated details constantly.]

Nonetheless, as an enthusiastic, yet occasional connoisseur of jazz-fusion, this is an album which is I always enjoy putting on to simultaneously groove and contemplate, and I do think it to be an "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection", particularly for the jazz-fusion listener.

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 Night Passage by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.03 | 59 ratings

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Night Passage
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by yamarolort

4 stars This is really one of those albums that requires a few listenings; the music has to grow on you a bit. I'll be the first to admit that I was a tad meh'ish upon my first listening, but by the 3rd or 4th listening, I was really starting to appreciate what was going on. You can't fairly compare this to other WR albums because the direction is obviously different than it's predecessors. And to me, that's the inherent beauty of Night Passages; it's it's own musical entity, so to speak. The musicality of previous releases is still there, as are the compositional skills. Give this album a fair shake and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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 Heavy Weather by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 185 ratings

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Heavy Weather
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mr. Mustard

3 stars Heavy Weather is the bands highest selling record, and it isn't difficult to see why. Musically, this isn't nearly as adventurous as the 'Romantic Warriors' or 'Inner Mounting Flames' the of the genre. What we have here some easy listening jazz fusion (though it is a bit closer to jazz than rock). I wouldn't say this is a completely bad thing, but after a few listening it seems as if there should be substance.

'Birdland' is the obvious star of the album, and is considered a jazz standard. 'Teen Town' has some amazing driving bass from Jaco, as does 'Havanah.' The remaining tracks are average at best.

This is a decent album, but far from the best Jazz fusion has to offer.

5/10

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 Mysterious Traveller by WEATHER REPORT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.75 | 114 ratings

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Mysterious Traveller
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by dreadpirateroberts

3 stars On Mysterious Traveller a shuffling of the line-up enables a step toward the funkier, slicker fusion the band would soon be playing, but a sound they hadn't full embraced just yet, as not every piece turns away from the more ethereal music of earlier albums.

The first few Weather Report albums produced some of my favourite pieces in jazz fusion, but across this record I don't find the funkier pieces as effective. This doesn't mean I think Mysterious Traveller irreversibly flawed either, but 'Cucumber Slumber' for instance, doesn't seem to have enough variation to hold my interest the whole way through. New bassist Alphonso Johnson certainly adds some pep to the piece, but I find the group's approach to funk much more satisfying on the exciting 'Nubian Sundance' which also incorporates some African elements, mixed in with Zawinul's sonic layering. In fact, he trots out a fair range of sounds on the song, seeming to have a great time with Wilburn's urgent beat to ride atop of.

While some of Zawinul's explorations on the keys don't exactly fall down, something like the moody 'Scarlet Woman' is fascinating to me ? because I can't decide whether I enjoy it or find my ears getting 'zapped' every time he and Shorter sync up. While you'll hear less of Shorter on this album than on prior releases, he still gets time for a nice solo on the title track, whereas elsewhere, on the more ambient pieces, he's much more supportive, as if considering the effect of every note.

'Jungle Book' is quite a gentle closer, but one less sombre than the surprising 'American Tango,' which is still one of my favourite Weather Report pieces. Vitous' only credit on the album, this piece is something of a stumbling ballad, with what should be jarring keys from Zawinul ? but somehow their spacey immediacy gives the song something extra, even with what's almost an awkward, lumbering and brief detour in there just before the long fade, with Shorter's soprano tugging at the heart.

A Top Fifty Billboard release, this album would be something of a gateway between their more commercially successful period and the 'In a Silent Way/Bitches Brew' influenced output of their first three albums. Still one of my favourites of theirs, and probably not one that should be overlooked due to its transitional aspects.

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 This Is Jazz, Vol. 40: The Jaco Years  by WEATHER REPORT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
4.09 | 2 ratings

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This Is Jazz, Vol. 40: The Jaco Years
Weather Report Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars You can not tell who is the greatest musician in history. Every era and every genre has its own master. Personally I do not know who is the greatest electric bassplayer in history. Jack Bruce for English Blues and Jaco Pastorius for Jazz, to quote the first two names that are buzzing in my head. Simly, no? Already, too simple and obvious. But everyone will respond well. Surprisingly and clear.

In case you were not aware, Jaco Pastorius was one of the musicians that everyone of us should idolize, even though he hates Jazz. Personally I listen to a recording of Jaco and I feel his fretless electric bass talk. In the Electronic fusion of Weather Report, then, Jaco reached unprecedented heights, transforming the Weather Report in pure magic. Since the pure joy of making magic was simple compositions for Jaco natural thing, the music played by Jaco impious age. Adding that this also applies to the music of Weather Report, here is perfection.

This compilation is great for entering the world of Jaco Pastorius (there would be "Introducing Jaco", solo recordings) and Weather Report. Clearly we just give a short idea of ​​what they were Jaco and Weather Report. However, very comprehensive.

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