7 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time Black Market was released in 1975, it was clear that Weather Report were an ever-evolving collective of musicians, with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter the only two constants. Yet songs like “Black Market” and “Elegant People” were the clearest definitions of the group’s musical ethos, confirming the idea that the name Weather Report referred not to a specific team of musicians as much as a musical concept. That concept is embodied by the title song, which Zawinul has called the best song Weather Report ever made. Led by the quicksilver notes of Zawinul’s ARP synthesizer, the song is exacting but perfectly fluid, the rhythms propulsive but unexpectedly soothing. Most importantly, even though the song starts with a futuristic tone, it eventually builds to an African fanfare, setting the stage for the international motifs that run throughout the rest of the album. Black Market is also notable for the debut of Jaco Pastorius, whose spry and casually virtuosic playing alights “Cannon Ball” (Zawinul’s tribute to his mentor, Cannonball Adderley) and “Barbary Coast,” a leisurely but intricate funk workout that the 24-year-old Jaco penned himself.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time Black Market was released in 1975, it was clear that Weather Report were an ever-evolving collective of musicians, with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter the only two constants. Yet songs like “Black Market” and “Elegant People” were the clearest definitions of the group’s musical ethos, confirming the idea that the name Weather Report referred not to a specific team of musicians as much as a musical concept. That concept is embodied by the title song, which Zawinul has called the best song Weather Report ever made. Led by the quicksilver notes of Zawinul’s ARP synthesizer, the song is exacting but perfectly fluid, the rhythms propulsive but unexpectedly soothing. Most importantly, even though the song starts with a futuristic tone, it eventually builds to an African fanfare, setting the stage for the international motifs that run throughout the rest of the album. Black Market is also notable for the debut of Jaco Pastorius, whose spry and casually virtuosic playing alights “Cannon Ball” (Zawinul’s tribute to his mentor, Cannonball Adderley) and “Barbary Coast,” a leisurely but intricate funk workout that the 24-year-old Jaco penned himself.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

Rob Sands ,

Rest in peace, Joe Zawinul.

The music in heaven just got a bit sweeter. What an imprint Joe Zawinul left in his life. I remember the first time I "got" what was going on with the Weather Report album, Black Market. At first I didn't understand it, almost dismissed it and then there was this one time a short while later when I'm giving it another chance and BAM - I got it. It was an OMG moment. Like an epiphany. I heard the brilliance. And then I started "getting" alot of other stuff. So influencial a keyboard player. Such monster chops. So different than others. Going to miss him on the planet. This is as important an album as any and should be required listening to all those who love the fussion of jazz and world music.

Tenalrus ,

Top of the list

When I introduce folks to fusion, it is always Black Market they hear first. Compositionally, it's hard to beat; every track is so different from the others. Zawinul's melodic lines seem always perfect. Shorter's horn heard at spacious intervals, a relief for those adverse to Jazz because of all the crazy sax noodling. Shorter is always elegent and tasteful, not just on this recording. The percussion is wild yet tight, best of any WR record. Jaco is introducing a bass sound never heard before, and instantly became revolutionary in the bass world. All in all, the the best fusion of melody, harmony, and rythym.
I'll always note their ability of hard driving sound with the absence of electric guitar.
Personally the only improvement to this record would have been the track The Juggler (Heavy Weather) added to the Black Market compilation. An amazing Zawinul minimalist piece.
So you'll have get that track too!

fuzionfannatic ,

JACO GOES WHACKO

Heavy weather may have been Weather Report's most commercially successful album, but this one Black Market beats that one all to hell.

Jaco Pastorius must have been one funky dude because his bass playing on this recording is over the top! You cannot help but move to the groove laid down by the funkiest jazz fusion band around.

RIP Weather Report....you put a smile on my dial!!

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