Friday, April 17, 2009

Weather Report - Solarizations (1973) (aac, 128kbps)

The jam is simply tremendous. When I have some time, I will have to ruminate on how great this band was. Here are some brief thoughts.

Weather Report is, perhaps most famous for their output from the late 70's. At that time, Shorter and Zawinul had established a successful touring and recording method that mixed beautiful melody with other-worldly improvisation, almost always founded in the grooves that these two men help creat on 'In A Silent Way' where they first worked together. In the late 70's, Jaco Pastorius became a superstar sideman and Weather Report had a big hit with Zawinul's 'Birdland'. This is before all that; before Jaco and before radio-friendy hits which, inadvertantly, gave way to smooth jazz and easy listening, without ever having the quality of either.

When I finally discovered earlier Weather Report, two things struck me right away. I have never forgotten these two aspect of the music. they relate as much to me as they do to the band's aspirations and accomplishments. They are (1) that this was one fo svseral 'first' generation fusion bands that spun off directly from Miles Davis' In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew (Others included 'Return to Forever', 'Mahavishnu Orchestra', and 'Headhunters'), and (2) there was no guitar, not even rhythm guitar. Armed with these two thoughts, I began to delve into the pre-Jaco era.

This is a bootleg that I puchased (!?!) before such things were widely available. The sound quality is superior, as this was undoubtedly a radio show at some point. I have given you the song list as it appears on the CD package. These titles are not correct, but there is so much improvisation, that I understand how the mistakes were made. I think the first song is mostly 'Nubian Sundance', second is 'Freezing Fire', I think, third is a drum solo with some melody from 'Scarlet Woman', and last is 'Boogie Woogie Waltz.' I have also seen some comments that suggest the date and venue are incorrectly marked also. While this is certainly possible, it does not matter. The jam is so hot, you won't really care what the songs are called. Despite the other labelling issues, the lineup appears to be accurate. Here's the info from the CD:

Weather Report
Philadelphia, PA 12/8/74

01. Mysterious Traveller [sic.] 13:07
02. American Tango [sic.] 13:00
03. Nubian Sundance [sic.] 11:57
04. Black Thorn Rose [sic.] 16:34

Joe Zawinul : keyboards
Wayne Shorter : saxophones
Alphonso Johnson : bass
Chester Thompson : drums
Dom Um Romao : percussion

The link is in the comments.


MPomy said...

Anonymous said...

It appears that this is the Northwestern University, Evanston, Il concert (Nov 9, 1974). I found a list here:

and look under Weather Report of course
and click on the date to get a list of the tunes.