The Weather Report

"Founders pianist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter first met and became friends in 1959 as they had both played in Maynard Ferguson's Big Band. Zawinul went on to play with Cannonball Adderley's group in the 1960s and Shorter with Miles Davis's second great quintet where both made their mark among the best composers in jazz. Zawinul later joined Shorter with Miles Davis's first recordings of fusion music as part of the studio groups which recorded In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, although Zawinul was never part of Davis's touring line-up. Weather Report is, despite this, often seen as a spin-off from the group of musicians associated with Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Initially, the band's music featured extended improvisation, similar to Davis's Bitches Brew-period work, and instrumentation included both a traditional trap set drummer (Alphonse Mouzon) and a second percussionist (first Airto Moreira, later Dom Um Romão). The group was unusual and innovative in abandoning the soloist-accompaniment demarcation of straight-ahead jazz and instead featuring continuous improvisation by every member of the band.

Reedman Wayne Shorter further pioneered the role of the soprano sax (taking the torch from Sidney Bechet's, Lucky Thompson's, Steve Lacy's and John Coltrane's earlier efforts) and both Zawinul and original bassist Miroslav Vitouš experimented with rock guitarists' electronic effects, Zawinul on piano and synthesizers, Vitouš on upright bass, often bowed, as a second horn-like voice.

By 1976's Black Market, the group's music had evolved further from the open-ended funk jams into more melody-oriented, concise forms, which also achieved a greater mass-market appeal. Most notably, this album introduced virtuoso bassist Jaco Pastorius into the group, although he only played on two of this album's tracks. Alphonso Johnson (who played on the other 5 songs) decided to leave Weather Report to play with the Billy Cobham/George Duke Band (a group that featured a young John Scofield on guitar). Black Market was perhaps the most rock-oriented studio album by Weather Report, in part due to former Frank Zappa sideman Chester Thompson playing drums on most of the songs (he later would be recruited into the touring band of Genesis). Black Market again won Down Beat's album of the year.

The addition of Jaco Pastorius helped push the group to the height of their popularity. Their biggest individual hit, jazz standard "Birdland", from the Heavy Weather album in 1977, even made the pop charts that year. The group also appeared on the Burt Sugarman produced series The Midnight Special, performing Birdland and Teen Town. Heavy Weather proved to be the band's most successful album in terms of sales, while still retaining wide critical acclaim. Pastorius established a new standard in fretless electric bass playing and added two compositions of his own. Heavy Weather dominated Weather Report's disc awards, including their last Down Beat "Album of the Year" award."

The Weather Report:

8:30 (Live)

Black Market

Heavy Weather

Mr. Gone

Night Passage

Weather Report


ENJOY!!!


-Mr. n00b

Comments

  1. HI GUYS,

    nice work...keep it up.

    By the way, what's the pass for the album-files???

    Thanks, Pepe

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry,

    confused two similar files...glad there is no pass.

    - damn, I gotta sleep more :)

    Take care, Pepe

    ReplyDelete

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