John McLaughlin & Arjen’s Bag

From Extrapolation (1969).

John McLaughlin (guitar), Brian Odgers (bass), Tony Oxley (drums), John Surman (baritone saxophones). The time signature appears to be 11/8. This song came to be called “Follow Your Heart” and you can hear another version with that title and more of an all star cast (but also with McLaughlin) right here on this station.

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Weather Report & Cannon Ball

From Black Market (1976).

Joe Zawinul (composition, keyboards), Wayne Shorter (sax), Jaco Pastorius (bass), Narada Michael Walden (drums), Alex Acuña (congas, percussion). Zawinul wrote this song in homage to his former bandleader, the great saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.

Weather Report & Speechless

From Weather Report (1982), the other self-titled album.

I just got this album at a used place. It doesn’t rate super high compared to most other Weather Report work, perhaps for good reason, but I had been looking for it and I’m liking it fine as car music. Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Jaco Pastorius (bass), Wayne Shorter (sax), Peter Erskine (drums), Robert Thomas Jr. (percussion). Plus points for the album on the whole: Peter Erskine’s drums, the layered moods and grooves, Jaco. Minus: Joe Zawinul’s synthesizer dominates on this album; it does not always age so well, especially on solos, and sometimes sounds thin and nasal.

John Scofield & Chank

At the North Sea Jazz Festival (1997).

John Scofield (guitar), John Medeski (keyboards), Chris Wood (bass), Billy Martin (drums). The comments on Youtube crack me up: “steve jobs plays some sick guitar” Then, “Russell Crowe plays some sick drums” and “Woody Harrelson plays some sick B3” Wise guys.

I love this kind of extended funk vamp. This is a smoking combo, but I don’t really know any of them except Scofield. Jazz in the 90s is mostly an unknown continent for me. I’m going to have to look for more of their collaborative efforts.