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Album Review

Weather Report – “Heavy Weather”

carsonstreet   5/31/2022   12-inch, Jazz

Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band active from 1970 to 1986. The band started as a free improvising jazz group with avant-garde and experimental electronic leanings and then moved to a funky, edgy sound incorporating elements of R&B and world music. Joe Zawinul used the latest developments in synthesizer technology and took advantage of a large variety of sounds and tone colors to make the band stand out. During the first half of their career, Weather Report were seen as one of the defining acts in modern jazz, winning the DownBeat “best album award” five times in a row. Heavy Weather is Weather Report’s eighth album was a commercial hit thanks to “Birdland,” a catchy change of pace for FM radio and a nice unification with older jazz styles. Austrian leader and keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter were the only original members left. After their introduction on 1976’s Black Market, Florida bassist Jaco Pastorius, Peruvian drummer Alex Acuña and Puerto Rican percussionist Manolo Badrena were promoted to full-time players on Heavy Weather.

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