7 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Starting with the spooky, tense, and eventually tumultuous “Unknown Solder,” I Sing the Body Electric immediately reaffirms the paradigm that would guide Weather Report for the rest of the '70s: instrumental music that's ambitious without sacrificing its power to hypnotize. The group's sophomore effort showed the balance of power shifting toward Wayne Shorter and, even more prominently, Joe Zawinul. Rather being built out of improvisation, key works here like “Unknown Soldier,” “The Moors,” and “Second Sunday in August” were molded by Shorter and Zawinul’s personal visions. Guitar virtuoso Ralph Trower was brought in to add an introduction to “The Moors,” while Zawinul conducted a host of guest singers and musicians to augment “Unknown Soldier.” I Sing the Body Electric is also the place where Zawinul’s innovative synthesizer work became the group’s signature element. For all the personalized experimentation, the last three songs—all recorded live in Tokyo in January 1972—show the group operating as a single forceful unit. The resulting music is every bit as muscular and otherworldly as Miles Davis’s live recordings from the same era.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Starting with the spooky, tense, and eventually tumultuous “Unknown Solder,” I Sing the Body Electric immediately reaffirms the paradigm that would guide Weather Report for the rest of the '70s: instrumental music that's ambitious without sacrificing its power to hypnotize. The group's sophomore effort showed the balance of power shifting toward Wayne Shorter and, even more prominently, Joe Zawinul. Rather being built out of improvisation, key works here like “Unknown Soldier,” “The Moors,” and “Second Sunday in August” were molded by Shorter and Zawinul’s personal visions. Guitar virtuoso Ralph Trower was brought in to add an introduction to “The Moors,” while Zawinul conducted a host of guest singers and musicians to augment “Unknown Soldier.” I Sing the Body Electric is also the place where Zawinul’s innovative synthesizer work became the group’s signature element. For all the personalized experimentation, the last three songs—all recorded live in Tokyo in January 1972—show the group operating as a single forceful unit. The resulting music is every bit as muscular and otherworldly as Miles Davis’s live recordings from the same era.

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