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Weather Report - Black Market CD (album) cover


Weather Report


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.02 | 308 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I guess you could call this a transitional album as they would start to make more accessible music from here on out. There would be a lot more of that found on the next one "Heavy Weather". Jaco was introduced on this album although he's only on two tracks, one of which he composed. Alphonso Johnson is still the bass player at this point although he would leave after this one to join Billy Cobham and his new musical adventure with George Duke. Chester Thompson of Zappa fame drums on the last five tracks, although he helps out on the title track too. I have to say that there are points on this album that i'm almost dizzy listening to the collage of sounds, it's pure bliss. The fact that there is some world class percussion on every song help too.This though is mostly about Shorter and Zawinul who composed 5 of the 7 tracks.

"Black Market" opens with the sounds of a market as it builds to a pleasant melody. So much going on after 1 1/2 minutes. Amazing ! Love the percussion.The sax and bass are more prominant after 2 1/2 minutes. As the song draws to a close it settles down more and more. "Cannon Ball" is dedicated to Zawinul's friend and alto sax player Julian "Cannonball" Adderley who had just passed away months before this recording. This is where we hear Jaco for the first time on this album. This is very relaxing and enjoyable although the keys are jarring at times early on. Sax after 2 1/2 minutes as the sound gets fuller. Nice drumming after 3 minutes and then it settles to a calm after 4 minutes. "Gibralter" opens with the sounds of water and a ship. Sax takes over beautifully. An explosion of sound before 1 1/2 minutes. The drumming sounds incredible, so crisp as the bass throbs. The sax is back before 4 minutes. Zawinul is really fantastic on this song as well as he comes and goes. Check it out 6 minutes in, so much going on ! Shorter is letting it rip after 7 minutes. What a song !

"Elegant People" features percussion that is simply a pleasure to listen to. The sax and keys after 1 1/2 minutes amaze. "Three Clowns" with the synths and atmosphere brings to mind the previous album "Mysterious Traveller". Then a slow sax melody comes in with piano before 2 minutes. "Barbary Coast" is Jaco's composition. It opens with the sound of a train going by. Then it's Jaco's prominant bass lines that steal the show. This one is funky and you gotta love it. Sax and keys are also featured. "Herandnu" is my favourite track on here and is a Johnson composition. He sure left the band on a high ! This sounds so good ! Drums, sax, keys and bass create a fantastic sound early. A change before 1 1/2 minutes with what sounds like fuzz bass then the tempo picks up. These guys blow me away on this song.

A must have in my opinion for you Jazz fans out there. It's not just the playing it's those arrangements as well that are so impressive.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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