Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Weather Report - Sweetnighter CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.75 | 145 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars To be totally unique in the world of jazz rock/fusion is not an easy thing to accomplish but Weather Report achieved that with every album they released. Evolving from their personal and direct involvement with the highly complex and revolutionary late 60s experimental music of the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, they were able to translate this radical movement into sounds that even unjazzified minds could absorb and enjoy. They were absolute masters at creating soundscapes that would take you to places you'd never thought of visiting.

Keyboard man Josef Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz" starts things off perfectly. It's a song that mesmerized me instantly the first time I heard it. Within a matter of hours I had it spinning on my turntable with the volume cranked. It has a simple rhythmic beginning sparsely populated with instrumentation that pops up and then disappears like prairie dogs peering out of their holes. It's as if the musicians are feeling each other out in short, exploratory bursts. The beat becomes more defined after a while with conga and percussion joining the drums. After a change of key you start to decipher the vague outline of a musical theme like seeing the first strokes of an artist's sketch on canvas. It slowly takes shape bit by bit and then one of the most uplifting, delectable, infectious melodies you will ever hear rises to dominate the tune. To me it's just one of those magical, contagious airs that I can't get enough of so its repetition never grows old. Perhaps that's because Miroslav Vitous' and Andrew White's bass performances are so incredibly good underneath it all. I also love the dense, definitive ending. I (obviously) consider it to be one of the greatest songs they've ever recorded. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter's "Manolete" is next and it transports you to a more eclectic dimension at the start before it falls into a nice groove generated by drummer Eric Gravatt. It's an adventurous tune with a flexible, ever-changing melody that will challenge your ears. As they near the end Shorter's fluid Soprano Sax locates the heart of the song and takes an inspiring, triumphant stance. Then Zawinul's "Adios" leads you on a short, melancholy stroll that is both moody and meditative. It's a bit of a drone but it doesn't last long enough to get boring. "125th Street Congress" follows and it's like walking out of a dark tunnel into bright, warm sunshine. It has a cool funky beat and it's kind of a controlled jam where all the band members bounce continually off one another. There are so many great riffs to grab onto because each player is a virtuoso and they just keep topping themselves as the song progresses. White's electric bass work is particularly impressive and there's an overwhelming sense of joy embodied in this piece. Vitous contributes the next tune, "Will," that features a Middle Eastern ambience in the underlying feel. It's a welcome change of pace with a slow, hypnotic melody that wanders overhead but there's just not enough happening to keep this 6+ minute song from getting somewhat stale and you'll be glad when it ends. The closer, Shorter's "Non-Stop Home," is a brisk walk on the wild side. It starts fast with some strange keyboard effects, then accelerates to a slightly higher tempo. Wayne and Josef supply an off-the-wall theme as they zip along with the group stacking layer upon layer of sounds until it ends with an abrupt pop like a bottle rocket.

I would be the first to tell you that this album may not appeal to everyone. However, if you like interesting music that takes you on a short trip away from what you're familiar with but doesn't assault your senses with dissonance or ugly noises "Sweetnighter" might be a wise investment.

Chicapah | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this WEATHER REPORT review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives