Weather Report

Weather Report

Weather Report’s eponymous 1982 album was the last to feature what many fans consider the group’s classic lineup, with Jaco Pastorius on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. Though the band was being torn apart by internal conflicts and exhaustion, this album was a fitting sendoff; it showed each man doing what he did best, in concert with the other three. “Volcano for Hire” might be the platonic ideal of a Weather Report track: Erskine provides a wonderfully propulsive, churning rhythm; Pastorius is right there with him, playing bass in a way that's both menacing and playful; Joe Zawinul coats the songs in unusual keyboard sounds; and Wayne Shorter provides an ageless sense of melody with his tenor saxophone. For the first time, no man was sitting ahead of the others. They were all playing together, up front, without reservation and without competition. The album closes with a feeling of contentment. It didn’t feel as though this group had run out of steam; instead it felt like they had accomplished everything they had set out to do.


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