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Weather Report Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 27, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Weather Report's 1971 debut album defined the spirit of fusion--restlessly creative, eager to explore new sonic landscapes, and aware that there was a new audience out there eager to share in the discoveries. It's no accident that four of the five original band members--keyboardist Joe Zawinul, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Miroslav Vitous, and percussionist Airto Moriera--had played with the godfather of fusion, Miles Davis. Drummer Alphonse Mouzon brought a tireless propulsive force into the mix. The short, densely-written pieces on this record were like blueprints for a band that would expand on them in live performance. --John Swenson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002868
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,596 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In the beginning, Weather Report was a cooperative. Composition duties were split between the three leaders (Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Miroslav Vitous) and in performance, each of the 5 musicians was an equal participant. This album, from 1971, is exemplary of this approach. Though informed by Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis, the rhythms are much looser and the music is more playful. (There's also quite a bit of 60s post-bop in "Eurydice" and a few of the other tunes.) Most of the compositions are simple, relying on the sophisticated interplay of the group to generate excitement. There's also one genuine classic, Zawinul's gorgeous "Orange Lady" (another less successful version is available on Miles Davis's album Big Fun). Zawinul's keyboard set-up is limited to just electric and acoustic piano, but he produces an incredible range of sounds -- just listen to the spaced out "Milky Way", which could have been an outtake from the first two or three Tangerine Dream albums. Unlike later efforts, Wayne Shorter plays a lot of (soprano) saxophone here. Fans of Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way should definitely pick up this classic fusion recording.
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Format: Audio CD
In the beginning, Weather Report was a cooperative. Composition duties were split between the three leaders (Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Miroslav Vitous) and in performance, each of the 5 musicians was an equal participant. This album, from 1971, is exemplary of this approach. Though informed by Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis, the rhythms are much looser and the music is more playful. (There's also quite a bit of 60s post-bop in "Eurydice" and a few of the other tunes.) Most of the compositions are simple, relying on the sophisticated interplay of the group to generate excitement. There's also one genuine classic, Zawinul's gorgeous "Orange Lady" (another less successful version is available on Miles Davis's album Big Fun). Zawinul's keyboard set-up is limited to just electric and acoustic piano, but he produces an incredible range of sounds -- just listen to the spaced out "Milky Way", which could have been an outtake from the first two or three Tangerine Dream albums. Unlike later efforts, Wayne Shorter plays a lot of (soprano) saxophone here. Fans of Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way should definitely pick up this classic fusion recording.

(This review is based on the 1992 CD reissue; I do not know what the 2009 version sounds like.)
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album, beautiful and thoughtful. It does not have the rocking or funky elements of later Weather Report. It is a brilliant achievement and rewards intense and repeated listening.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the best fruits of the post electric Miles band. The level of group interaction and improvisation combined with unique electric/acoustic textures makes this a must-have for any serious jazz collection. This album opened areas of exploration that have remained practically unexploited to this day. Standout among the entire brilliant collection of compositions is Joe Zawinul's "Orange Lady" a soulful journey through sounds and emotions that are deeply familiar and strange at the same time. Music at its highest level!
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Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with some of the other reviewers in stating that the best Weather Report recordings were during the Miroslav Vitous years. The debut album along with 'I Sing The Body Electric' are, for me, the best of the Weather Report recording efforts. After the passage of all these years (better than 30) I still find its sound to be bold and original. This is fusion where the emphasis leans towards the jazz side of the marriage. Perhaps because the fusion genre was so new and its core memebrs were fresh out of the master's (Miles Davis) house. What ever the reason its a great album and a 'must have'.
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Format: Audio CD
Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul left the Miles Davis fold to start their own group, soon to be known as Weather Report. This is their debut album with bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Alphonse Mouzon, and percussionist Airto Moreira. With so many of the musicians coming out of Miles's early electric period, one would expect more of the same funk and fire coming out of the trumpeter's recordings and performances at the time, especially since Shorter and Zawinul were probably the two most prominent in terms of shaping Miles's music compositionally. But instead of the spontaneous energy and rawness of Davis's electric music (which is definitely an acquired taste), this album delivers more of a studio production, although not to the level that their subsequent recordings would. The different tunes are more like sketches than long funky jams, though they do continue the tradition of electronic sounds. They explore new sonic territories in a relatively laid-back fashion, and thus the result is like "In A Silent Way" or even more like "Filles de Kilimanjaro" than "Bitches Brew" or anything Miles was doing at this point. But this album takes it a step farther, like on "Milky Way," the product of recording echos from an acoustic piano that form a remarkably coherent yet far-out piece of music.

When this album was first released, it was critically acclaimed to be brilliant (Shorter and Zawinul are two of jazz's greatest geniuses) but somewhat cold in comparison to Miles's recordings on which the present leaders had played. That criticism stands up today; I listen to this album once in a while when I'm in a strange mood and find myself very interested in the experiments but not particularly emotionally affected.
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