Spotlight 06/29/21: Weather Report

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Weather Report was a jazz fusion band (from 1970 to 1986) founded by keyboardist Joe Zawinul, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and bassist Miroslav Vitous.  During their tenure in the jazz world, members came and went, with Zawinul and Shorter always there. They usually maintained a quartet which was rounded out with a bass guitarist, a percussionist, and a drummer.  They were considered a most influential factor in the jazz fusion period.  Interestingly, the band had two self-titled albums.  Needless to say, it caused confusion for consumers, as well as music critics, and I imagine record store inventories.

Featured here is one of their best offerings, Heavy Weather (1977), which included the huge success Birdland.  Birdland was written by Zawinul and was a tribute to the world-famous NYC Jazz club of the same name. Furthermore, the club itself was a tribute to one of the most iconic saxophonists of all time, Charles “Bird” Parker.  Zawinul met his wife, Maxine, at Birdland and the two of them went on to greatness.  I’m guessing that’s why both the club and the song held a special place in his heart.

Jazz, jazz, and nothing but jazz.

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Listen to Heavy Weather on Spotify

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