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Weather Report & Morning Lake

From their first album, just called Weather Report (1971).

Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone), Miroslav Vitous (bass), Alphonse Mouzon (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion). In some ways, this will always be my favorite Weather Report album. From the Wikipedia entry:

From the start, Weather Report took the unusual and innovative approach of abandoning the traditional “soloist/accompaniment” demarcation of straight-ahead jazz and instead featuring opportunities for continuous improvisation by every member of the band.

About the album:

Weather Report’s self-titled debut album Weather Report (1971) caused a sensation in the jazz world on its arrival, due to the various talents of the group’s members and their unorthodox approach to their music. The album featured a softer sound than would be the case in later years, predominantly using acoustic bass, with Shorter exclusively playing soprano saxophone. The band later employed the use of synthesizers, instruments, and other effects, but the first album is still considered a classic of early fusion. It built on the avant-garde experiments, which Zawinul and Shorter had pioneered with Miles Davis on Bitches Brew (1970), including an avoidance of head-and-chorus composition in favor of continuous rhythm and movement) but taking the music further. To emphasize the group’s rejection of standard methodology, the album opened with the inscrutable avant-garde atmospheric piece “Milky Way” (created by Shorter’s extremely muted saxophone inducing vibrations in Zawinul’s piano strings while the latter pedaled the instrument). Down Beat magazine described the album as “music beyond category” (Dan Morgenstern, Down Beat, May 13, 1971) and awarded it the title of “Album of the Year” in the magazine’s polls that year.

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2 responses to “Weather Report & Morning Lake

  1. Right on… this album is maybe my favorite of theirs.

  2. wdydfae

    Thanks! Welcome back dbl. It’s probably mine, too. I wanted to put up Orange Lady, which is my favorite cut, but the Youtube of it had an album cover picture with the wrong personnel on it!

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