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Weather Report albums - suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by moley, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Hey folks.

    I've just been listening to Weather Report. Black Market and Heavy Weather to be precise. I've also got Mysterious Traveller, and I'll listen to that in a minute. Listening to these albums, I came to the conclusion that Weather Report were great. Ok, I suppose I already knew that, I've had Heavy Weather and Black Market for over three years now. But I've decided they're really worth listening to Properly(tm). As I've not really listened to their music Properly(tm) until now (except for Birdland, and to an extent Teen Town - i.e. only the bassline). When I say listen to Properly(tm) I mean in detail, finding out what makes them tick, getting all the chords down etc. And now that I think about it, I've not been doing much of this generally in recent times, not like I used to. I used to listen to things and just transcribe the chords, bass, etc. etc. Sometimes I literally transcribed the lot, note-for-note (or as close as I could get) - The Beatles had that treatment a few years ago.

    Ok, so, suggestions for what Weather Report albums to get next, please... what are your favourites? What eras? Pre-Jaco? Post-Jaco? or Jaco? :)

    Like I say, I've only got:

    Mysterious Traveller
    Black Market
    Heavy Weather

    So, answers on a postcard...
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    I highly reccomend the Live and Unreleased album. I received that album for Christmas and it has been in heavy rotation since. One of the best parts of the album is that it spans a few Weather Report eras. The bass chair rotates from Jaco, to Alphonso Johnson, to Victor Bailey (not in that order.)
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I hadn't been planning on getting the new Live & Unreleased one. Not yet anyway. I'd rather get the originals first.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Those are all great ones; WR in their prime. I would also add "Tale Spinnin", which features some great Alphonso Johnson. Also, I really love the first three albums; "Weather Report", "I Sing The Body Electric", and "Sweetnighter", all of which feature the great Miroslav Vitous on DB. Very different from the later stuff. I think "Mysterious Traveller" is one of the greatest recordings of all time. If you like live Jaco, "8:30" is a pretty good album.
  6. Mysterious Traveller--I think the Johnson-era Weather Report albums are the best. Not to rag on Vitous or Jaco, but Zawinul and Shorter hadn't really found their way in the early years, and by the time Jaco joined Zawinul's patented "New as Tomorrow!" synth attack was becoming grating.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would definitely opt for-
    Live & Unreleased(best damn version of "Teen Town" I've heard).
    Tale Spinning...the only WR album with Ndugu Chancler on kit. Chancler sounds like a drummer & percussionist all rolled into one(in fact, he stayed with Santana rather & declined the WR gig. Santana let one of his percussionist go 'cause Chancler was so damn bad!). ;)
    Night Passages...an underrated WR. Has Jaco's "3 Views". "Fast City" is nutz, too!

    I do like the initial WR albums, too. Very different; more Wayne & Joe Z. sounds a little like Cecil Taylor(on some cuts). If you're interested in early Jazz Fusion/Miles Davis Bitches Brew era stuff, give these a chance(eventually).

    BTW, on a tangent-
    Since brudda Pete is here & since we are on WR...
    I picked up two '70s McCoy Tyner albums for Xmas:
    Sahara & Focal Point. On the latter is then-Weather Report drummer Eric Gravatt...Gravatt goes totally off. One track, in fact, is only Tyner & Gravatt; similar, in vibe, to the Coltrane/Rashied Ali duets on Interstellar Space!
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I think I'd prefer the later WR to the earlier WR. I do prefer Black Market & Heavy Weather to Mysterious Traveller. And while I do like Bitches Brew and the like, I prefer BM & HW sorta stuff. 3 Views Of A Secret is said to be the best Jaco composition I've heard. Maybe I should go for Night Passage next :)
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well I JUST picked up "Live and Unreleased"

    Its pretty hot, I'm listening to "Teen Town" right now...this version of "Teen Town" is smoking!, its the best I've ever heard the song played(though Brian Brombergs version is pretty tasty as well)

    I've barely listened to the album, but so far so good.

    The only Weather Report I have is "Heavy Weather"
    and in some senses thats all you need ;) "Heavy Weather" is sooo great, I hear 8:30 is pretty happening too.
  10. :D

    Sahara is tight--and I think it has Alphonse Mouzon on drums. I know that he played on the live album Enlightenment. I think he left Tyner's group to play with WR on Mysterious Traveller then moved on to other stuff. Monster drummer, he.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - Night Passage is an essential purchase for Jaco fans - but it is a more "difficult" album than the previous ones - it is harder to get into, but repays repeated listening.

    3 views of a secret is by far Jaco's best composition - although I prefer the big band version on the Birthday Concert - I imagine Jaco heard it this way, but got it on Night Passage in case he never got the chance to record it. I think Zawinul's keyboards don't do justice to the tune.

    If you are more into songs and tunes and want more Jaco stuff then nobody has mentioned "Mr. Gone" - now this has been universally slated and was a big disppointment coming right after Heavy Weather - but it does have some real gems and sublime moments.

    A lot of people can't stand it for the "dated" keyboards sounds - but there are some great moments and Weather Report's only "song" - with lyrics as well as vocals. Jaco was really pleased with "Punk Jazz" as well, which he felt "encapuslated", all that he was about.

    But Night Passage is much better.
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I suppose, Night Passage it is then! I wasn't aware WR had done any tunes with vocals. Who does the singing?
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Deniece Williams and Maurice White - from Earth Wind and Fire.

    There is singing on other albums - but this is the only that I know with lyrics (by Sam Guest).
  14. No, there's also "Where the Moon Goes" on "Procession" (sung by Manhattan Transfer). And a song with lyrics on "Domino Theory" ("Can It Be Done?" or something like that). And there's a song sung in Creole by Mino Cinelu on "Sporting Life" (I think) called "Confians."
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - I haven't got any of those albums and have only heard bad things!! I did say this is the only one I know of !!
  16. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'd totally forgotten about "Night Passage". Great album, very nicely recorded.
    Eric Gravatt is one of the most underrated jazz drummers ever. His work with McCoy Tyner was phenomenal. He was also playing what's now called hiphop pretty early on, with WR.
  17. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I'd highly suggest that you pick up:

    Night Passage - Jaco era, BURNIN' version of Shorter's "Port of Entry"... Jaco's solo to the end of the song is officially terrifying. The title song is a great mid-tempo groove. "Dream Clock" is one of my favorite WR ballads, right up there with "A Remark You Made". Of course, there is a great version of "3 Views to a Secret" on this album.

    8:30 - Mostly live album, with some great performances on it. This is Jaco era as well. The version of "Black Market" from this album is just great. Peter Erskine plays the hell out of this version with a "not quite funk but not quite swing either" drum beat. I absolutely love the version of "A Remark You Made" from this album, I like it more than the original album version... by far. Speaking of better than the original album version, "Birdland" from this album kicks all kinds of ass. They go away from the straight 16th feel after the intro and go into a mean-ass swing feel for the duration of the tune. It's BAAAAAD!!!

    "Live & Unreleased" - From every era of the band. Tons of really good stuff on these discs. Your life will be entirely more complete once you own this. "Cucumber Slumber" hurts; it's just so damn groov-licious. "In A Silent Way / Waterfall" is just absolutely beautiful.

    I'd avoid "Mr. Gone"... that album is totally "revenge of the return of the son of lot's and lot's and lot's of keyboards". :D "River People" is on that album, and I do like that song a great deal... but the rest of the album really didn't do anything for me.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    And a fashion plate, to boot:D
  19. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's ok, I'm a pianist, lots and lots of keyboards suits me fine :)
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You may like it ... but I think what people objected to was what appeared to be a big case of egomania on Joe Zawinul's part.

    So you have two great improvisors like Wayne Shorter and Jaco relegated to the role of bit-part players. I think Joe became fascinated with the possibilities of using the newly-emerging polyphonic synths (Prophet, Oberheim etc) to "orchestrate" his tunes - to the detriment of the idea of having a band.

    So - before this, there were no polyphonic synths and even the single note mono synths were more used for special effects then anything else. But around this time they were approaching the point where you could get a sound like a big band all on your own.

    I still like his tunes and Jaco gets a couple of his own in - but I can see why people don't like it.

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