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Weather Report - Forecast: Tomorrow CD (album) cover

FORECAST: TOMORROW

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 5 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This 3-CD (and 1 DVD) compilation turned me into a WEATHER REPORT fan. Many years ago I had listened haphazardly to one or two of their albums but apparently wasn't yet ready for them. Lately I have listened more to fusion jazz in general, and with this box I felt like finding something very crucial. How come I haven't got into them much earlier?? I begin by telling the basic facts about this band: it's mostly the collaboration of two musical geniuses, the saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboard player Joe Zawinul, both being the main composers (but seldom writing together), and the line-up changed many times during their existence, but stabilizing at certain point (mid-70's) to include Jaco Pastorius (the world's best bass player, by his own words, in addition to thousands of others) and the drummer Peter Erskine. This line-up is also captured in a concert from 1979 in the DVD disc of this box set.

The compilation kicks off with three tracks from albums featuring Zawinul or Shorter (e.g. of MILES DAVIS) preceding the eponymous WR debut (1971), which in turn is featured here very heavily. The discography is large, and it seems that the later albums have gradually less and less choices here. I wonder if it means that their later albums are not as great - ? Because all I can say is that the quality level remains very high right to the end in this compilation (their final studio album Sportin' Life is from 1985). And that's why I would have wanted to hear a bit more from the least featured albums. The running times vary a lot, there are several long tracks included. Not all of the material is from the studio albums, a principle which serves especially the more educated listeners.

The music of WEATHER REPORT is not easy to put in words. It's jazz, or more precisely fusion jazz, all right, but they had a unique sound mainly because of Zawinul. It's as if the music just flows through his fingers on keyboards. Sometimes they play very abstract, nearly-minimalist sort of music, sometimes they fire with hot Brazilian rhythms and big combos (but usually staying instrumental). I can't say I enjoy everything in this compilation, but I surely enjoyed it much more than I ever expected! Probably this will remain as a cornerstone in my voyage into fusion jazz. It's unlikely that I have other equally big names to get into this deeply, all at once. The booklet has a lot to read too, but just let the music speak for itself. Very Essental Stuff if you want to know what was going on in this genre in the seventies.

Matti | 4/5 |

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