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Alright, give me a reason why Weather Report isn't fusion.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Guss, Apr 20, 2003.


  1. Jaco insisted they werent. So do some other people. But when I turn on a jazz album and start hearing synthesisers all over the place, I know it's not straight jazz. Counter point?:)
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    You're right.

    Thread over man, thread over!;):bassist:
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Actually fusion was initially called Jazz Rock Fusion. In this respect I can see where WR wouldn't be considered Fusion. Non-traditional instrumentation, yes. The music was Jazz.
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    They are usually cited as the best fusion band - although as Brad points out most of the fusion bands are taking elements of rock and fusing it with Jazz - so like Return to Forever and Mahavishnu had "rock"-influenced rhythm sections.

    Whereas if anything, WR had Latin/African rhythm sections - their drummers were more into these kinds of rhythms and none of them would have been classed as rock drummers.

    So - the dominating figure is Zawinul whose interest in world music has seen him take elements of African rhythms further in his solos stuff - but he has never really been interested in rock as far as I can remember?

    So if you take an album like Mysterious Traveller - the opener is undoubtedly African-influenced and other tracks are even just acoustic piano and sax - ad the last track has no synths and is just Joe playing mostly acoustic instruments......
     
  5. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Zawinul himself hated Weather Report being called fusion. He didn't want to be categorised like that. I think he just thought of it as music - not trying to be any particular style - just whatever style they wanted to be at any particular time - no constraints.

    Being that they were first and foremost Jazz musicians, the Jazz influence is very obvious.

    Was it Zawinul who referred to WR as "the leader in a field of one"?
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with the overall sentiments - but I 'm not sure that all of Weather Report's members have been : "first and foremost Jazz musicians".

    So, some of their drummers and percussionists - like Manolo Badrena - were primarily from other traditions - like Latin American or African. Joe's current favourite drummer is from the Ivory Coast in Africa.
     
  7. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ok fair enough - but the core members & composers - Zawinul & Shorter definitely are first & foremost Jazz musicians.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Rumba Mama on Heavy Weather was composed by Badrena and Alex Acuna...
     
  9. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    EARLY Weather Report was out of the Miles' Bitches Brew bag(surprise, surprise...Shorter/Zawinul were an integral part of that period of Miles).
    BB, I think, is the "first Fusion album". I doubt many would typically associate it with the sorta stuff put out by RTF & the MO, though.
    Although, in the Complete Bitches Brew set, there are samples of McLaughlin & Cobham noodling in what may have been a pre-cursor to what was to be in the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

    Something else kinda weird....this goes along with Brad's Jazz-Rock Fusion comment:
    In their hey-day, Weather Report didn't have a guitarist. Most, if not all, of the other Fusion heavyweights featured chops-laden guitarists.

    For me, The Tony Williams Lifetime(w/ McLaughlin & Larry Young) is still the epitome of a true Jazz-Rock Fusion band.
    Same goes for some of '70s Santana's output(e.g. Lotus).

    So, is Weather Report a fusion or Fusion band?
    (it's a rhetorical question).
    ;
     
  10. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I did say core composers.
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Jaco was a core producer and sometimes composer for a couple of albums, and although he was a phenomenal jazz player, he really seemed like an R&B bassist when came into the band.
     
  12. Wow, that was quite a long time for not mentioning Jaco in a thread about WR.:eek:
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No you didn't, you said : "core members & composers" ! ;)
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That was weak;)

    He said "the core members & composers - Zawinul & Shorter..."

    Sometimes you have to finish reading a sentence to get the full meaning;)

    Or did you misunderstand? :D
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Anyhow Zawinul & Shorter were the core members no? They were the core of Weather Report - the drums/percussion and bass chairs were the "hotseats".
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well at least you know I was "teasing" and being sarcastic - unlike some people who couldn't spot a joke or irony if it got up and bit them!! ;)
     
  17. i deffinatly agree with that
     
  18. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    At the same time Bruce, don't forget that many Americans don't know what irony is. We often think coincidence is irony, so true irony may often be lost.
     
  19. I think that what used to be referred to as "fusion" vs what is now referred to as "fusion" has changed.

    When they first came on the scene, Weather Report were very hard to catgorize (and still are), so people just called it fusion, because they couldn't think of something else.

    Now matter how you want to lable them, I would lable them as GREAT!