Black Market Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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|Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, June 4, 2002||
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1. Mysterious and ethereal compositions
2. Funky rhythm & blues "grooves"
3. Elaborate electronic textures
4. Virtuoso supporting musicians
5. Influence of diverse musical cultures
"BLACK MARKET" (1976) evinces a maturity of approach, the band consolidating artistic gains from previous years by constructing a unified group of suite-like musical landscapes that draw on elements of jazz, funk and "world music".
The opener ( "Black Market" ), with its infectious melodic "hook", radiates a positive, life-affirming warmth (nice solos and firm, funky rhythmic support) while the closing moments provide a sobering contrast: synthesized imitations of gun and artillery fire reflecting the tragedy of strife endemic (then and now) in many parts of the war-torn "third world".
"Cannonball" is a tribute to (then recently deceased) Julian Adderley, the famous alto saxophonist/bandleader who was Joe Zawinul's former employer. The tune, while pleasant enough, is somewhat lightweight: its streamlined style and overtly sentimental melody presage similar material to follow on their next ( and most famous ) album "Heavy Weather" ( note that Jaco Pastorius' recorded debut with WR took place on "Cannonball" ).
"Gibraltar" opens to sounds of the portside city (waves & foghorns) and softly evocative soprano sax before giving way to a prototypical Weather Report groove superbly laid down by bassist Alphonso Johnson.
Wayne Shorter's "Elegant People" is one of the perennial Weather Report favorites with its feeling of romantic intrigue and flamenco influenced (Phrygian) cadences (yet another infectious thematic "hook" and some impassioned tenor sax by Shorter).Read more ›
"Black Market"- Alphonso lays down an ultra-funky groove to give the album one hip start.
"Cannon Ball"- A great song for two reasons. One, it is a Joe Zawinul ballad, and that is reason enough to label it a masterpiece (think of "Orange Lady" or "A Remark You Made"). It is dedicated to the late alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. This is also Jaco's first appearance on the record.
"Gibraltar"- An amazingly exsquisite piece by Zawinul. It starts out as a breathtaking journey, then switches to a pure fusion ditty.
"Elegant People"- Wayne Shorter's shining moment on this record. His tenors and altos have never sounded so sweet. I've had the good fortune to snag a videotape performance of the band circa 1976, and the song is beautifully preformed on it.
"Three Clowns"- Another Shorter piece, and although it is good, it's just not terribly exciting.
"Barbary Coast"- This brief, bass-driven piece is almost specifically a way to introduce the amazing talents of Jaco Pastorius.Read more ›
But for my money, the best unit Weather Report ever had was the one present on most of this album: Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Joe Zawinul on keyboards and synthesizers (and synthesizers, and synthesizers, and more synthesizers), Alphonso Johnson on bass, Chester Thompson on drums, and Alejandro Neciosup Acuna on percussion. Of all the drummers to play with Weather Report, Chester Thompson was the only one to really light a fire under the rest of the band and push it forward.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this is my 3rd time purchasing this cd and I've purchased the actual LP maybe twice. What can I say one of many of my favorites... I have them all.Published 1 month ago by Suge
I absolutely love this album, but besides the music I'd like to emphasize on the edition; the booklet is very interesting and informative, as in all of this Sony edition.Published 1 month ago by Daniel Prieto
A Classic! Buy or Die. Required listening for all Weather Report fans.Published 2 months ago by John H Fankhauser
Just got/watched the "Jaco" documentary, ordered some of the recordings he played on. It all brought me back to a time when music was more creative, and playing was taken... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Thomas Klein
While great things were happening in rock and prog in the 70's, great things were also happening in jazz and fusion. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sanityclaus