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Weather Report - Sweetnighter CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.75 | 148 ratings

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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.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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