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Weather Report - Black Market CD (album) cover

BLACK MARKET

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 220 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Black Market" is the 6th full-length studio album by US Jazz rock/Fusion act Weather Report. The album was released through CBS/Columbia Records in March 1976. As usual there are a couple of changes to the lineup since the last album. Bassist Alphonso Johnson is still present on the album but future bassist Jaco Pastorius is introduced on the tracks "Cannon Ball" and on his own relatively short composition "Barbary Coast". Narada Michael Walden plays the drums on "Black Market" and "Cannon Ball" while future Genesis drummer Chester Thompson, fresh out of a stint with Frank Zappa & The Mothers plays the drums on the rest of the tracks. New percussionist is Alejandro Neciosup Acuña (Don Elias plays percussion on "Black Market" and "Barbary Coast"). The ususal suspects are Wayne Shorter on saxophone and Joe Zawinul on acoustic & electric pianos and keyboards/synths.

I´m not sure what happened between "Tale Spinnin' (1975)" and "Black Market" but the latter is so much more vibrant, inspired, and powerful than it´s predecessor. The lineup changes are of course a big part of the explanation but it´s not only the playing that makes "Black Market" such an incredible album. The 7 tracks on the 37:17 minutes long album are simply outstanding. The more structured jazz rock/fusion style with memorable themes that was introduced on "Mysterious Traveller (1974)" and continued on "Tale Spinnin' (1975)" is perfected here.

Expect an explosion of powerful soloing, great rythmic playing and tightly structured jazz rock/fusion tracks. There´s still an air of adventure in the music (like on the early albums by the band) that I greatly enjoy though so the tight structures never kill the passion which is something I felt happened to some degree on "Tale Spinnin' (1975)". One of the things I´m going to mention in addition to the always strong playing by Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul are the playing of the new drummers and percussionists. Some of the best rythmic playing I´ve heard on a jazz rock/fusion album. To top it all off the sound production is warm, detailed, organic and powerful. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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