Weather Report - Heavy Weather (1977/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/176.4kHz
Artist: Weather Report
Title: Heavy Weather
Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Label: © Columbia Records | Sony Muic Entertainment
Release Date: 1977/2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 176,4kHz/24bit
Recorded: Late 1976 – Early 1977 at the Devonshire Sound Studios in North Hollywood, California
Weather Report's biggest-selling album is that ideal thing, a popular and artistic success -- and for the same reasons. For one thing, Joe Zawinul revealed an unexpectedly potent commercial streak for the first time since his Cannonball Adderley days, contributing what has become a perennial hit, "Birdland." Indeed, "Birdland" is a remarkable bit of record-making, a unified, ever-developing piece of music that evokes, without in any way imitating, a joyous evening on 52nd St. with a big band. The other factor is the full emergence of Jaco Pastorius as a co-leader; his dancing, staccato bass lifting itself out of the bass range as a third melodic voice, completely dominating his own ingenious "Teen Town" (where he also plays drums!). By now, Zawinul has become WR's de facto commander in the studio; his colorful synthesizers dictate the textures, his conceptions are carefully planned, with little of the freewheeling improvisation of only five years before. Wayne Shorter's saxophones are now reticent, if always eloquent, beams of light in Zawinul's general scheme while Alex Acuña shifts ably over to the drums and Manolo Badrena handles the percussion. Released just as the jazz-rock movement began to run out of steam, this landmark album proved that there was plenty of creative life left in the idiom. --Richard S. Ginell
Probably the best fusion album ever made, and the coming together of five precociously talented musicians. Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter assembled the unit with little knowledge that the complex music would become so accessible. Two compostions stand out; the graceful 'A Remark You Made', an evocative love song without words, and the hit single 'Birdland' (so successful it was even used by Akai for a major advertising campaign). On these two Zawinul compostions their genius bass player Jaco Pastorius gives a taste of what he was capable of. He bent the notes to make them talk, and that high octave solo on 'Birdland' is still a treasured moment.
Heavy Weather was the album that turned the corner for Weather Report. That was when audiences started to jump up — especially in Europe [we started getting] 14–15,000 people in our audiences. In Rome, 18,000 or more.
Jaco Pastorius had just joined the band, I think. We had been in Florida and we were kind of inquiring about him. Then one day when we were coming out of a restaurant, we heard this guy running up behind us. "I heard you guys were looking for me," he said. "I'm Jaco. The baddest bass player in the world."
And he was right for us. His bass had a sort of vocal, melodic quality. He could punctuate and sing at the same time on the bass. From the first time we heard him we knew that he was it. He was the guy. He was a very integral part in getting the kind of tonal focus we wanted. He supplied what we couldn't get at that time. We were up against rock and roll. And Jaco playing the bass contributed to the pulse of the sound that we couldn't get from just one person on the drums.
During the recording of Heavy Weather there was a lot of activity between all of us, and a lot of enthusiasm, camaraderie and laughing in the studio. We were working on the bass lines, like never before. We could do things with Jaco's bass and Joe Zawinul's bass lines on the synthesizers, working together, with ease. Things we could never do before we got into the Heavy Weather recording.
We tried to stay away from an album where all the pieces sounded so much alike, a trap that many other players still fall into — doing something familiar in the effort to be sure of getting a hit. We were saying that anywhere they put the needle on the record should be an attention-getter. The music should sound the way it did when we recorded it, with gusto and passion, flowing through the recording studio, as though we were playing it for a live audience. That was the approach that moved the music right into the album.
We didn't actually think "Birdland" was going to become a hit. [Editor's Note: The lead track Heavy Weather, "Birdland" was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2010.] Joe named the piece "Birdland" because he wanted it to reflect the experiences he had when he played at Birdland, the club. I remember him playing with Dinah Washington there — with exactly the kind of beat she had, with her high heels stomping the floor while she was singing. And that's what Joe used in "Birdland." And in places you can hear the Latin flavor of Birdland, the club, too. So we all agreed, "Let's call the song 'Birdland.'"
When we were asked what kind of music we were playing, we all came to kind of the same description. We said, "We're playing folk music of the future." --Don Heckman
1. Birdland 05:59
2. A Remark You Made 06:51
3. Teen Town 02:52
4. Harlequin 03:59
5. Rumba Mama 02:11
6. Palladium 04:46
7. The Juggler 05:03
8. Havona 06:01
Joe Zawinul, vocals, piano, synthesizers, melodica
Jaco Pastorius, vocals, fretless bass, mando-cello, drums, steel drums
Manolo Bandrena, vocals, percussion
Wayne Shorter, soprano & tenor saxophones
Alex Acuna, drums, percussion
You must register before you can view this text. Please register and Login
Would you like to leave your comment? Please Login to your account to leave comments. Don't have an account? You can create a free account now.