Just 18 months after meeting in New York to record Bitches Brew as part of Miles Davis' band, Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter reconvened for the first album from Weather Report. While the group's eponymous debut is often credited with solidifying the fusion concepts that Davis first introduced, Weather Report were deeply connected to other musical innovations of the time. They set aside the conventional need for unfailing structures and nonstop entertainment, instead creating abstract, often rhythmless soundscapes that presaged Brian Eno's ambient works. While the group may have been dispensing with conventional structure—especially notions of thematic repetition—their music remained full of inventive melodies and skittering rhythms. The group's innovation was to let these musical nuggets float freely and morph into one another in unplanned ways, rather than cementing them in the architecture of pop songs. The music on Weather Report comes not only from the agile rhythms generated by bassist Miroslav Vitouš and drummer Alphonse Mouzon but also in the greasy, swampy sound effects Zawinul pulls from his keyboards.
8 SONGS, 40 MINUTES
MAY 12, 1971
℗ ORIGINALLY RELEASED 1971 SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT INC.