Thursday, April 12, 2007

WEATHER REPORT - Heavy Weather @320

Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter didn't truly fulfill Weather Report's artistic and commercial potential until they brought on-board a bassist who could function as an equal partner in the musical equation, like co-founder Miroslav Vitous, whose main shortcoming was his inability to play funk. In renegade bassist Jaco Pastorius, the band found a formidable composer and improvisor, who possessed deep roots in funk and R&B, yet was equally at home in modern jazz and Afro-Cuban settings. Not coincidentally, the presence of this innovative fretless bassist on Heavy Weather gave Weather Report the rhythmic/melodic dimension it had been missing since Vitous's departure, as evidenced by his voice-like declamations on Zawinul's ballad "A Remark You Made." On Zawinul's chart-topping, big band-styled arrangement of "Birdland," Pastorius provided the kind of big, sweeping orchestral gestures the tune required, while on the shifting canvas of Wayne Shorter's "Harlequin," the bassist's ability to articulate complex chords allowed him to function as a string section unto himself. And on his own "Havona," Pastorius not only soloed with horn-like artistry, but combined with drummer Alex Acuna and percussionist Manolo Badrena to give Weather Report its funkiest rhythm section ever. --Chip Stern

1. Birdland
2. A Remark You Made
3. Teen Town
4. Harlequin
5. Rumba Mama
6. Palladium
7. The Juggler
8. Havona

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Please leave a comment


Gordon said...

As a bass player myself I really appreciate how absolutely amazing Jaco was.
But apart from that this has never been one of my favourite fusion records. A bit lighthearted and happy, and not in the canterbury way.

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. said...

Popish you mean? I agree with you. I am tryin to be wide at the beginning to set up some kind of frame...


Gordon said...

Yeah a bit poppish. But i dont mean to discourage you from posting diverse music. Variety is the spice of life after all. ;)

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seniormole said...

nice one
my favourite is Mysterious traveller it may not be as commercially accessible but it has that edge.