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Weather Report - Mysterious Traveller CD (album) cover

MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 146 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Mysterious Traveller" is the 4th full-length studio album by US Jazz rock/fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through Columbia/CBS in March 1974. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the last album as Alphonso Johnson has taken over the bass duties from Miroslav Vitous. The latter does however play bass on "American Tango". Ishmael Wilburn is new behind the drums while percussionist Don Um Romao, keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophone player Wayne Shorter are the remaining members from the lineup on Weather Reportīs preceeding studio album "Sweetnighter (1973)".

The music is in some ways a continuation of the rather free-form jazz rock/fusion style of the two predecessors to this album. This album features a style shift towards a more structured compositional style though, which also makes "Mysterious Traveller" a more accessible album compared to itīs more experimental predecessors. That process had already begun on "Sweetnighter (1973)", but "Mysterious Traveller" is more streamlined.

Musically there are some outstanding playing on the album. The rythm section is adventurous, Wayne Shorterīs saxophone playing a bit more melodic than usual (compared to his playing on the first three albums) and Joe Zawinul absolutely shines throughout the album with his electric piano and keyboard sounds. What an innovator! This is music where every instrument battle for a spot in the limelight, but instead of sounding abrasive, the very busy instrumentation work well together. Every possible empty space is filled with notes and rythms though, so if you generally favor music with a bit more room to breathe, this may not be to your liking. While there are certainly some really powerful jazz rock/fusion tunes on this album like "Nubian Sundance" (with an etnic flavour and some choir vocals) and the title track, the album features so much more than that. "Blacthorn Rose" displays Weather Report from their most melodic side while "Scarlet Woman" moves into avant garde territory. The album ends with the ethnically flavoured "Jungle Book", which while not the strongest track on the album, shows yet another sound and musical style.

The sound production is powerful and organic and suits the music well. The whole package is actually a very enjoyable experience and upon conclusion "Mysterious Traveller" is a high quality release by Weather Report. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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