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Weather Report

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Editors’ Notes

Just 18 months after meeting in New York to record Bitches Brew as part of Miles Davis' band, Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter reconvened for the first album from Weather Report. While the group's eponymous debut is often credited with solidifying the fusion concepts that Davis first introduced, Weather Report were deeply connected to other musical innovations of the time. They set aside the conventional need for unfailing structures and nonstop entertainment, instead creating abstract, often rhythmless soundscapes that presaged Brian Eno's ambient works. While the group may have been dispensing with conventional structure—especially notions of thematic repetition—their music remained full of inventive melodies and skittering rhythms. The group's innovation was to let these musical nuggets float freely and morph into one another in unplanned ways, rather than cementing them in the architecture of pop songs. The music on Weather Report comes not only from the agile rhythms generated by bassist Miroslav Vitouš and drummer Alphonse Mouzon but also in the greasy, swampy sound effects Zawinul pulls from his keyboards.

Customer Reviews

Weather Report (the album)

This is a fantastic album, the group's first. This is one of the albums that was from the era, back in the days when we used to put on a record, friends and family present, and we'd all just sit down and listen from beginning to end. All the best musicians on this, really just thought invoking, pure, wonderful music. Having seen this band in concert also, many times, this album captures the beautiful sounds of this group early on. This type of music never goes out of style, and a great buy on iTunes. Glad to see it here. Well done.

Weather Report's First

I hike, I climb, I'm willing to try most anything to experience something new, startling, or just out of the ordinary. I played this the first time on a quadrophonic sound system that a physician father of a girl I knew in Silver Spring, Maryland, had set up in their living room - next to a string bass that the mother played. The father had played with Charlie Byrd and others in the local jazz scene when he was pre-med. We laid on the carpeted floor and listened from beginning to end. It was as if we had fallen through the ceiling, and into the sky: it sparkled, cried, shattered, and sang. It was alive and yet, eternal. Of course part of that listening experience was the people we were, then: we were, as listeners, willing to be taken wherever the music could take us. I'm not sure if it still has that power, but if you are that open..

Biography

Formed: 1970

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s

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...
Full Bio