Jazz in one form or another has been around for many a year, and at some point I should start focusing on the “purer” form of jazz here as well, so stay tuned. But for now, the musical rotation here comes back around to jazz-fusion with the focus being upon Weather Report.
This is a band that came along at a magical time for the genre, with experienced pros and up-to-then relative “sidemen” from the earlier stages of jazz and the real roots of fusion (see Miles Davis, Tony Williams, etc.) such as John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report’s Josef (Joe) Zawinul and Wayne Shorter stepping forward to form their own groups in the early 1970s.
In doing so, they set the music world on fire. And jazz just had another category to fit into its part of that world.
Weather Report went through many a player in its 16-year history, from 1970-86, with Zawinul on keyboards and Shorter on sax being the mainstays as their main composers. Along the way, there were names like Miroslav Vitous, Chester Thompson, Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Victor Bailey, Omar Hakim … a long and glorious list.
One thing that stayed consistent and wonderfully predictable with Weather Report was this: their music was often bright and sunny, sometimes cloudy, yet always very cool.