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Weather Report

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/B**ches 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. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

gwenarcadia
Yup
alohakghi
I wish Pandora would list the musicians who are playing on each track. When album covers were around, my friends and I would constantly refer to the list of musicians to figure out who was playing on a particular song we liked. Weather Report LOVE
I really miss this progressive style of jazz. Totally sends you over the moon....
Boogie Woogie Waltz WOW !!!!! The whole band rocks !!!! Miroslav kicks a** :) x
alohakghi
Where does jazz-rock fusion fit in the R&R Hall of Fame? If any group meets the induction criteria, it's WR. They were such innovators and attracted so many gifted artists. We always loved you, Jaco.
LUV Y'ALL 4EVER,JOE & JACO!!! Totally irreplaceabl e . . . . . . . . . R I P ! ! ! :'(:-D :'(
First time pandora played Birdland, and it's not even the studio version -_-
Me again, I just wanted to say that the Boogie Woogie Walltz will always be one of my favorite songs of all time.
I saw WR at the Kennedy Center in DC, fanastic show.
I was in a progressive band in '76 called Space Opera - based out of Ft. Worth. We were the warm up band for WR in Dallas in '76. What an awesome experience!!
Astonishing how their sound deliberately evolved over the years, yet at no point was it unevolved. Each WR album marks its place in time, informed by its past while nodding toward the future.
wolfspider
I was very lucky to have seen them at the Warner Theater in DC with Al Di Meola as the warm up band and the great late Jaco was on bass with WR. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I was blown away.
damn! never had a chance to see them live. sweetnighter is the best!
The Sweetnighter cd is a definite must have if you're a Weather Report fan !! Sooooo funky X
Badia Is a classic !!! Weather Report forever x
Agree on 8:30. fabulous!
8:30 is a masterpiece live album; I happen 2 have had it myself. Tour-de-forc e performances , & yes,I miss Jaco!
The weather for the day will be; sunny in the cool mid 70's, humidity low 40's and a breeze from Canada....th a t w/b the WEATHER REPORT
I tell the pupils @ St Martin de Porres of the greatness of WR !!! They think that I'm crazy ;)
Nothing better !!! You'd better recognize :) x
Bravo, a classic ; I miss Jaco!
got to hear them live in the late part of 70's at the Berkeley comm. theatre, sound perf., jaco did a great trib. the jimi, flames on his bass. Not to mention that cool thing he did where he looped his bass lines 2 or 3 times, then played a solo over them...bad a**!!!
jim.bridges1 7
Weather Report, which I saw live at least four times, never wasted a single note or beat. My kids grew up hearing these records and their musical tastes and sensibilitie s are more diverse and sophisticate d for it. Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, and Jaco were clearly musical geniuses who's musical accomplishme n t s will never be equalled.
pjdaugherty
Black Market leading off the show at the Palace in Cleveland on the 830 tour: Zawinul by himself for awhile improvizing, then Jaco dancing onto the stage while playing with the bass line, then Shorter coming in with aggressive sax line, joyous stuff and an all-time concert highlight.
Seen WR. In offenbach ge. What a show a memory never to be forgotten
I was fortunate to see them in November 1978 at Long Beach Arena. What a performance!
Weather Report appeared on the fusion scene about the same time as several other groups spawned from the trajectory Miles launched during the Silent Way and B**ches brew time period. I always felt they were the funkiest f the fusion bands…case in point Birdland
goofpod
Saw them live for about 5 bucks at small Allegheny College music hall just as Heavy Weather was hitting. Absolutely blown away... Jaco's solo was incredible. Attended college house party afterward, standing around the keg on the back porch and Jaco comes walking around the corner in his stage clothes (some moron stole his streets). He was looking for fun (and girls) but my best friend and I cornered him at the keg for 10 minutes firing musical questions at him... amazing experience. RIP Jaco...
philippepelu s o
Heavy Weather album is their best release!
turnertd
As a Weather Report Fan, I was fortunate to see then twice in the Virginia Tidewater Area. My first born grew in my tummy hearing their music, and today at age 34, he's a fan also. There still isn't a band who can deliver the magic that was Weather Report.
In '78 I won Heavy Weather on a call-in contest at my college radio station and was totally blown away. I had never heard a tighter, fuller sound.
Thank you all for the great comments, I agree. My brother introduced me to W/R and I love him dearly for it!
unfortunatel y I never caught this group live, but have been into W/R for many years on vinyl & CDs & always enjoyed them, very interesting mix, so many of their cuts remind me of bits & pieces of other things but the way they put it all together is truly unique, love that sound!
philippepelu s o
Weather Report was such a remarkable band, everyone in the Jazz world wanted to imitate their sound....
theelonnieda v i s - you are spot on! I saw them at the Waikiki Shell and they were so much more then their album, so totally different live, truly heavy weather. The only groups close that I know of are Brand X and The Yellow Jackets.
Right behind accepting Christ, getting married and working WR songs into our sound track = one of the coolest moves I've ever made. My park west date described them as 'able to take you all over the emotional spectrum' or something like that . Jaco,Joe R.I.P.
Three times I feasted on WR the intimacy of the Park West on Chicago's near north ,the near sophisticati o n of the Auditorium in the loop and all the open air concert venue in the south burbs now sporting the name of a bank (they should have paid to keep the name Tweeter center). Had the treat of taking Wayne Shorter's dec card while working Customs in L.A. ('88) cool! Then got treated to Grover Washington at the HW Bowel talk about perks but I digress! I included Weather Report in my wedding
It's early for me and I intend to get to bed early shouldn't even try to share anything about this band that transcends all other jazz incarnations of the late twentieth century. First turned on to WR probably because I turned my best friend( high school days) Ricky D on to Led Zepp. he did it with Black Market and the rest was history. This band is what Zepp would reincarnate into as a jazz band . Like Zepp, for me, Weather Report =the undisputed kings of their craft!!
jnshattuck
I saw Weather Report play opening for Herbie Hancock on his Head hunters tour in Berkeley in 1973. After Weather Report's set, Herbie was a let down. AND Herbie was great! What is it that generates this kind of creative experimentat i o n and where is it now?...
Weather report was literally a band before their time, you have musicians who just grasping their concepts of great ideas. Forever one of my favorites!!
Look at all these posts!! Weather Report and in particular this cut changed me forever...to answer a post below - Miroslav is playing bass on Sweetnighter . . . . as much as Weather Report & I Sing the Body Electric
defined WR, Sweetnighter , Mysterious Traveler & Talespinin Evolved Weather Report. i was at that 8:30 show in Cleveland too with Jaco ...thanks Joe, Wayne, Slim Johnson, Miroslav, Airto, Dom, Alphonse et al!!
I will never forget seeing them in Dallas in the mid 1970's, and what made it more fun, it was Jaco's birthday. They rocked for a couple of hours. Great show...
just as bad as return to forever
greenroselar r y
The first time i saw them at the palladium in new york after the first song i had tears in my eyes. Wayne on sax Jaco and god rest his soul Zawinal
lets not foget peter erskine
Seeing them live back in the 70's is a memory I'll never forget. One of the best ever pure musically talented bands of all time.
I had WR on 8 track lol
I've seen Wayne Shorter play with Steely Dan. It was excellent.
One of my regrets was never seeing WR. I've seen Zawinul and Shorter several times but it would have been great to see Weather Report in their prime
You absolutely must try to add the band's Sportin' Life album on Pandora. One of their best.
Have all of their albums and are all good. Zawinul and Shorter's solo work is good too. I especially like Dialects by Zawinul. Rest in peace Joe.
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