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Weather Report

Read Weather Report's biography



Weather Report - I Sing The Body Electric (CBS Holland 32062) (1972)

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ITEM# SR-CB32062
Ratings: C=NM-; LP=NM-

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Artist:

Weather Report

Title:

I Sing The Body Electric

Released: 1972
Label: CBS Holland
Catalog: 32062
Genre: Jazz / Fusion
NOTE: Holland pressing
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Unknown Soldier
02 The Moors
03 Crystal
04 Second Sunday In August
05 Medley:
(i) Vertical Invader
(ii) T.H.
(iii) Dr. Honoris Causa
06 Surucucu
07 Directions
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Album Review

by Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

Like the weather itself, this band would assume a new shape with virtually every release -- and this album, half recorded in the studio and half live in Tokyo, set the pattern of change. Exit Airto Moreira and Alphonse Mouzon; enter percussionist Dom Um Romao, drummer Eric Gravatt, and a slew of cameo guests like guitarist Ralph Towner, flutist Hubert Laws, and others. The studio tracks are more biting, more ethnically diverse in influence, and more laden with electronic effects and grandiose structural complexities than before. The live material (heard in full on the import Live in Tokyo) is even fiercer and showcases for the first time some of the tremendous drive WR was capable of, though it doesn't give you much of an idea of its stream of consciousness nature.


Weather Report - Heavy Weather [Columbia PC 34418] (March 1977)

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ITEM# SR-COPC34418
Ratings: C=VG-; LP=VG

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Artist:

Weather Report

Title:

Heavy Weather

Released: March 1977
Label: Columbia
Catalog: PC 34418
Genre: Jazz, Fusion


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Birdland
02 A Remark You Made
03 Teen Town
04 Harlequin
05 Rumba Mama
06 Palladium
07 The Juggler
08 Havona
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Album Review

Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

Weather Report's biggest-selling album is that ideal thing, a popular and artistic success -- and for the same reasons. For one thing, Joe Zawinul revealed an unexpectedly potent commercial streak for the first time since his Cannonball Adderley days, contributing what has become a perennial hit, ''Birdland.'' Indeed, ''Birdland'' is a remarkable bit of record-making, a unified, ever-developing piece of music that evokes, without in any way imitating, a joyous evening on 52nd St. with a big band. The other factor is the full emergence of Jaco Pastorius as a co-leader; his dancing, staccato bass lifting itself out of the bass range as a third melodic voice, completely dominating his own ingenious ''Teen Town'' (where he also plays drums!). By now, Zawinul has become WR's de facto commander in the studio; his colorful synthesizers dictate the textures, his conceptions are carefully planned, with little of the freewheeling improvisation of only five years before. Wayne Shorter's saxophones are now reticent, if always eloquent, beams of light in Zawinul's general scheme while Alex Acuna shifts ably over to the drums and Manolo Badrena handles the percussion. Released just as the jazz-rock movement began to run out of steam, this landmark album proved that there was plenty of creative life left in the idiom.

Weather Report's Biography

by Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

Weather Report started out as a jazz equivalent of what the rock world in 1970 was calling a "supergroup." But unlike most of the rock supergroups, this one not only kept going for a good 15 years, it more than lived up to its billing, practically defining the state of the jazz-rock art throughout almost all of its run. Weather Report also anticipated and contributed to the North American interest in world music rhythms and structures, prodded by keyboardist/co-founder Joe Zawinul. And WR, like many of jazz's great long-lived groups, proved to be an incubator for several future leaders who passed in and out of the band in a never-ending series of revolving-door personnel changes. The original members of the band were Zawinul, Wayne Shorter (saxophones), Miroslav Vitous (electric bass), Airto Moreira (percussion) and Alphonse Mouzon (drums), with only Zawinul and (until 1985) Shorter remaining in place throughout the band's lifespan. Zawinul, Shorter and Moreira all had experience playing in and influencing the studio and live electric bands of Miles Davis -- and at first, WR was a direct extension of Miles' In a Silent Way/Bitches Brew period, with free-floating collective improvisation and interplay, combining elements of jazz, rock, funk, Latin and other ethnic musics.

With the release of Sweetnighter in 1972, Zawinul's influence upon the band's direction began to deepen; the groove became more important, structures were imposed upon the material (though the group continued its freewheeling interplay in live gigs). When the innovative bassist Jaco Pastorius replaced Alphonso Johnson in 1976, WR entered its most popular phase, with Pastorius becoming a flamboyant third lead voice, Shorter's sax receding into more epigrammatic form, and Zawinul rediscovering his commercial touch and sharpening his electronic sophistication. The best-selling Heavy Weather album (1977) actually served up a hit song that became a jazz standard ("Birdland"), and with the entry of Peter Erskine on drums (1978), the group finally had a stable lineup for awhile.

Contrary to accepted wisdom, the departures of Pastorius and Erskine in 1982 led to a recharging of WR's batteries; their replacements Victor Bailey (bass), Omar Hakim (drums), Jose Rossy and later, Mino Cinelu (percussion) were more amenable to Zawinul's deepening inclinations for Third World rhythms, sounds and textures. This edition of WR rattled off three more albums, including the outstanding Procession. But Shorter, who had gradually ceded nearly total artistic control to Zawinul, was getting restless; he took a leave of absence in 1985 and later that year, left WR for good. This Is This (1985), in which Erskine returns and Shorter plays only a limited role, was WR's swan song. Zawinul would tour in 1986 with a revamped version called Weather Update (a prelude to the keyboardist's own Zawinul Syndicate), and there was talk in 1996 about Zawinul and Shorter reuniting in the studio for a new edition of WR, but Zawinul later deflated the speculation.
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