Over the years, I’ve given Weather Report a number of gos. Heavy Weather, in particular, I’ve tried to get along with several times, in a few different formats. I’ve even tried with their bassist extraordinaire, Jaco Pastorius. All to no avail. So why keep beating my head against this fusion wall and pick up a 1980s Nice Price EX++ re-issue of their 1971 début for one pound at a Hythe charity shop last Friday? Well, a lot of it has to do with the musical history immediately preceding this release; starting with Joe Zawinul’s excellent mid-60s Atlantic Lps Money In the Pocket and Rise & Fall of the Third Stream and continuing with his, and WR co-leader Wayne Shorter’s groundbreaking electronic work with Miles Davis in the late 60s.
My hope was that a bit of the grit and magic of those performances (missing, at least as far as I was concerned, from the later WR music I heard) might still linger, so much closer to the source.
Unfortunately, I’m waiting for a new turntable, the ol’ Pioneer seems to be giving up the ghost, and so have no way of enjoying the vinyl collection. Don’t worry though, things should be sorted by Tuesday night and I’ll let you know the verdict on Weather Report some time after then.
UPDATE: Much more like In A Silent Way than Heavy Weather. Gets my vote.