Weather Report "A Remark You Made"

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by MD, May 21, 2018.

  1. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Hopefully there's a WR aficionado here that can help me out.

    Did Zawinul write out - compose - all parts on the tune? Specifically in regards Shorter's sax sole.
    Or, did WS improvise his solo over the changes.

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm no help...

    What I think I know (& from reading/listening)-
    Weather Report is a group where nobody solos/everybody solos.
    What sounds composed is actually a solo.
    What sounds like a solo is actually composed.
    jerry and gebass6 like this.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Loose improvisation based on chords progressions.
    Wayne's solo would change slightly each time they played it live.
  4. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    In the rare cases I've had the opportunity to do a solo in the studio, I've prepared by developing a broad structural guideline for the solo, and certainly woodshedded that structure. But I haven't planned the actual notes, aside from maybe a lick or two here or there that I was fond of at the moment.

    Sort of like when we think through a conversation we intend to have - we think about the concepts and our position but we probably don't plan the actual words - those just come out like they come out.

    I have no idea whether Wayne Shorter works like that too, but I believe many jazz players do. Definitely the guys I learned with.
    jerry and MonetBass like this.
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    LOL! I think Wayne would have beaten Joe over the head with his tenor if Joe had dared suggest he play a written out solo! :)

    Which isn't to say that weren't a lot of through-composed parts in Weather Report's music. Just that to my ear it's very easy to hear when Wayne (especially) is improvising versus when he's playing a composed part.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    In a 1988 interview, Woodard commented to Zawinul that “in a tune like ‘A Remark You Made,’ the very tone of the bass makes the melody sing.” “I’m a composer who works with sound,” replied Zawinul. “If you drop a dime, I can write a song based on the tone. When I heard Jaco’s tone, I immediately began to write a song, based on him and the saxophone and my little jive. That’s where I’m coming from. I dial myself up a sound on my synthesizer and turn on my tape recorder and that’s for sure a song. I live from sound, and he had a sound for all time. Nobody had a better, cleaner sound.” [DB88] Zawinul explained to Milkowski, “That boy had a sound that was so easy to write for, especially ballads. There were many strengths that Alphonso brought to the band, but tone-wise he was in another category. What I wrote for Jaco, I could never have written for Alphonso.” [Jaco, p. 81] Jaco’s own comments about his sound can be found in the description of “Cannon Ball” on the Black Market page.

    In his Zawinul interview, Sy Johnson told Zawinul the tune reminded him of “one of those ballad features for the tenor player that every big band had in the book.”

    “The first day I got the Oberheim, I sat down to try it,” Zawinul responded. “It had a string setup on it. I just played it. Every note Wayne played was there. I wrote it down and we did it in one or two takes. All I did was overdub a little harmony. It was all there in one time through from the music. People love it when we play it in person.”

    That little harmonic and melodic turn in there sounds like the kind of thing guys used to know how to do that everybody today seems to have forgotten.

    “Ain’t it the truth. It’s what we were working for on this record. I was taking it home every night to check it out with earphones. See what you do next. How to make it better. It really sounds clean. When you hear with earphones, it’s such a fine recording job we did.”