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Heavy Weather Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, September 23, 1997
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002AGE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,421 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Birdland
2. A Remark You Made
3. Teen Town
4. Harlequin
5. Rumba Mama
6. Palladium
7. The Juggler
8. Havona

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter didn't truly fulfill Weather Report's artistic and commercial potential until they brought on-board a bassist who could function as an equal partner in the musical equation, like co-founder Miroslav Vitous, whose main shortcoming was his inability to play funk. In renegade bassist Jaco Pastorius, the band found a formidable composer and improvisor, who possessed deep roots in funk and R&B, yet was equally at home in modern jazz and Afro-Cuban settings. Not coincidentally, the presence of this innovative fretless bassist on Heavy Weather gave Weather Report the rhythmic/melodic dimension it had been missing since Vitous's departure, as evidenced by his voice-like declamations on Zawinul's ballad "A Remark You Made." On Zawinul's chart-topping, big band-styled arrangement of "Birdland," Pastorius provided the kind of big, sweeping orchestral gestures the tune required, while on the shifting canvas of Wayne Shorter's "Harlequin," the bassist's ability to articulate complex chords allowed him to function as a string section unto himself. And on his own "Havona," Pastorius not only soloed with horn-like artistry, but combined with drummer Alex Acuna and percussionist Manolo Badrena to give Weather Report its funkiest rhythm section ever. --Chip Stern

Customer Reviews

There may never be a better combination of musicians on one album.
Jason Decristofaro
Wayne Shorters sax playing, Joe Zawinuls keyboards, and the thunderous bass of Jaco make this the coolest line-up Weather Report ever had.
Pink Floyd in Space
Heavy Weather is a must for any jazz fan and is a great introduction for anyone not familiar with the artform.
P Magnum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on November 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Besides being perhaps the greatest ever jazz/rock supergroup, Weather Report actually managed to live up to their billings, without reservation.
They produced two astoundingly brilliant documents of their prowess, Black Market and Heavy Weather. Of the two--and this is more personal preference than anything clearly discernable--I believe Heavy Weather shines brightest.
Their ability to perfom at the highest levels of musical endeavor and innovation and still create a record that would appeal to the largest possible audience.
Surely "Birdland" and "Teen Town" are among the very highest accomplishments of what might be dubbed "accessible jazz." Combining simple, catchy melodies with progressive chord voicings and impossibly bubbly rhythms, they lend themselves both to extensive radio play and extended musical contemplation. Quite a feat.
The remainder of the disc, featuring a couple of Wayne Shorter's catchier compositions, "Harlequin" and "Palladium," also features "The Juggler," a magically mysterious offering from the pen of Zawinul, and "Havana," a stone rocker courtesy of Jaco Pastorius at the absolute height of his compositional prowess.
The absolute pinnacle of jazz/fusion, casually, effortlessly, blowing out of the water the entire jam band scene, Heavy Weather is not to be missed.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Feller who likes Old Yeller on March 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album is a 180 degree about face from Weather Report's earlier masterpiece, 'I sing the body electric'. The earlier relase features extensive improvisations and free jazz type techniques. Heavy Weather is most often rigidly arranged. The arrangements are good, and the tunes are catchy and infectious. There are some improvised solos here for sure, but in the context of largely pre-determined compositions. This is essentially a collection of extremely well-crafted pop tunes. One would be hard pressed to recognize this band as the same Weather Report that recorded 'I Sing the Body Electric'.
I enjoyed this album tremendously when I was first getting into jazz as a teenager. Having been an electric bass player at the time, I particularly appreciated Jaco Pastorius's considerable contributions. However, now that I have delved deeper into jazz, done a lot more listening and even some performing of jazz, I miss the continual interaction on this album that often happens between a combo of jazz musicians in a more liberated setting.
This is a great introduction to the Fusion genre and will probably be remembered as one of its defining moments.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on April 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This excellent 1977 release opens with the highly popular Birdland, a synthesizer-heavy piece that introduces the awesome talents of the greatest bassist in the world, Jaco Pastorius. As a bass player myself that was heavily influenced by Jaco, I was floored by his incredible technique on this recording, which includes a heady brew of harmonics, false harmonics, chords, and occasional bursts of lightning fast 64th note triplets. This is not to say that Jaco could not lay back - the moody and haunting Zawinul composition A Remark You Made features some very tasteful and restrained playing. The Wayne Shorter tune Harlequin and Zawinul's The Juggler are also very nice and similar in texture to A Remark You Made. The truly odd track is the the percussion driven piece Rumba Mama, which features a live performance by a duo comprised of excellent drummer Alex Acuna and percussionist Manola Badrena, who also "sing-shouts" in Spanish at the beginning of the piece. Although I really enjoy the entire disc, for me the highlights of Heavy Weather include Birdland, A Remark You Made, the Jaco tunes Teen Town and Havona, along with Wayne Shorter's superb Palladium. Although Joe Zawinul's use of synthesizers is heavy (a lot of Oberheim Polyphonic and ARP 2600) the sounds are natural and blend well with the jazzier and "straighter" aspects of the music. Then again, I am a huge prog rock fan so the synthesizers probably would not bother me much. If you like this recording, Black Market (1976) is also superb and in addition to Zawinul and Shorter, features a large and revolving rhythm section including: Narada Michael Walden (drums), Chester Thompson (drums), Jaco (bass), and Alphonse Mouzon (bass).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christian Wheeler on January 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There's energy and drive to spare in this landmark work from the premier jazz fusion act of the 70s, the impeccable Weather Report. A remarkable blend of style, hip grooves, and smoking hooks, "Heavy Weather" dragged jazz kicking and screaming from the doldrums of the early 70s (look into the jazz works of that period and you'll see what I mean, though there are a few gems) into an era where jazz would ultimately meet (and fuse) with pop/rock elements, evident on tracks such as "Birdland" and "Harlequin." There's even a little disco present in the sharp hooks of "Teen Town." That doesn't mean that Weather Report sacrificed their roots for the sake of a modern sound; rather, they integrated the improvisational nature of jazz into the standard rhythms and sounds of the day. There are moments when the music shows its age, though it's not from the arrangements or the traditional instruments, but from the synthetic sound of the period's keyboards, which have a harsh edge typical of the time. That in no way detracts from the overall quality of this remarkable work. The core of the group--keyboardist Joe Zawinul and sax artist Wayne Shorter--provide the basis for "Heavy Weather's" multi-layered sound, but it's the late Jaco Pastorius who nearly steals the show with magnificent efforts on bass and drums. This is one of the great jazz works of any era, and is highly recommended.
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