7 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1984 Joe Zawinul called Domino Theory the easiest album Weather Report had ever done, adding that they'd had a blast making it. That sense of easy gratification is felt throughout—a markedly different tone from the group’s canonical '70s work, which always felt like it was pushing the envelope to prove something. The newfound sense of contentment can be heard on “Can It Be Done,” one of the only Weather Report songs to feature vocals (courtesy of Broadway star Carl Anderson). It was written by New Orleans R&B great Willie Tee—a close friend of Zawinul’s—and momentarily set aside Weather Report’s virtuosity in favor of unadorned soulfulness. Likewise, “D-Flat Waltz” and “Predator” are funky in the old-fashioned sense, even as the former contorts itself into some dazzling solo passages. With its swirling rhythms, “The Peasant” is another of Zawinul’s studies in global rhythm. Even as he found new ways to make his complex musical ideas feel simpler and more direct, Weather Report also made room for “Swamp Cabbage” and “Domino Theory,” a pair of eager intergalactic jams that recall the kineticism of the group’s years with Jaco Pastorius.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1984 Joe Zawinul called Domino Theory the easiest album Weather Report had ever done, adding that they'd had a blast making it. That sense of easy gratification is felt throughout—a markedly different tone from the group’s canonical '70s work, which always felt like it was pushing the envelope to prove something. The newfound sense of contentment can be heard on “Can It Be Done,” one of the only Weather Report songs to feature vocals (courtesy of Broadway star Carl Anderson). It was written by New Orleans R&B great Willie Tee—a close friend of Zawinul’s—and momentarily set aside Weather Report’s virtuosity in favor of unadorned soulfulness. Likewise, “D-Flat Waltz” and “Predator” are funky in the old-fashioned sense, even as the former contorts itself into some dazzling solo passages. With its swirling rhythms, “The Peasant” is another of Zawinul’s studies in global rhythm. Even as he found new ways to make his complex musical ideas feel simpler and more direct, Weather Report also made room for “Swamp Cabbage” and “Domino Theory,” a pair of eager intergalactic jams that recall the kineticism of the group’s years with Jaco Pastorius.

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