|Weather Report - Heavy Weather (1977)|
|Front Cover||Album Info|
|AMG Review by Richard S. Ginell (5):
Weather Report's biggest-selling album is that ideal thing, a popular and artistic success — and for the same reasons. For one thing, Joe Zawinul revealed an unexpectedly potent commercial streak for the first time since his Cannonball Adderley days, contributing what has become a perennial hit, "Birdland." Indeed, "Birdland" is a remarkable bit of record-making, a unified, ever-developing piece of music that evokes, without in any way imitating, a joyous evening on 52nd St. with a big band. The other factor is the full emergence of Jaco Pastorius as a co-leader; his dancing, staccato bass lifting itself out of the bass range as a third melodic voice, completely dominating his own ingenious "Teen Town" (where he also plays drums!). By now, Zawinul has become WR's de facto commander in the studio; his colorful synthesizers dictate the textures, his conceptions are carefully planned, with little of the freewheeling improvisation of only five years before. Wayne Shorter's saxophones are now reticent, if always eloquent, beams of light in Zawinul's general scheme while Alex Acuna shifts ably over to the drums and Manolo Badrena handles the percussion. Released just as the jazz-rock movement began to run out of steam, this landmark album proved that there was plenty of creative life left in the idiom.
"Heavy Weather is an arrangemental tour-de-force, a smorgasbord for the ear... On balance, this is a five star disc; there are two tunes that don't really click for me, but what is good is so good that it tips the scales. Zawinul's ballad 'A Remark You Made,' despite the wrenching emotionalism of the standout tenor solo, is almost too pat in its undeniable prettiness; his 'The Juggler,' a gentle, dancing melody accompanied by a wistfully martial snare pattern, is uncomfortably reminiscent of Return To Forever's mechanistic flair. But the joyful multiplicity of 'Birdland' and Shorter's 'Palladium,' and the particularly lyrical and flighty bass solo on 'Havona,' are unforgettable. And Jaco's easily overlooked 'Teen Town' (the other side of the ['Birdland'] single) has a desperate, manic feel, a stunning bass break and a melody that bears down like a crazed kidnaper, serious and parodistic at the same time."
--Neil Tesser, Down Beat, May 19, 1977
"To me, Heavy Weather is the best [Weather Report album]. That's one of the great records of all time. Pretty much from beginning to end, there is not a dead spot on that record. It's conceptually brilliant and, execution-wise, it's devastating. Also, the sound on that record is incredible."
--Pat Metheny, In A Silent Way, 2000
Jazz Album of the Year, 42nd Annual Down Beat Readers Poll
Jazz Group of the Year, 42nd Annual Down Beat Readers Poll
Record of the Year, Jazz Forum People's Poll
1977 Silver Disc Award, Swing Journal magazine.
Jazz Record of the Year, Playboy
Jazz Band of the Year, Playboy
Instrumental Group of the Year, Record World
Record of the Year, Cashbox