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    Weather Report - Black Market

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    Vera Narishkin

    par Vera Narishkin

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    Weather Report was an influential jazz fusion band of the 1970s and 1980s, one of the bands that helped define the genre.

    The band was founded by a number of musicians who had worked with Miles Davis in his pioneering electric band of the late 60s: Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Wayne Shorter (saxophones). They had an ever changing line-up, with only Zawinul and Shorter staying from 1970-1986. Bass players included Miroslav Vitous, Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorius and Victor Bailey. Drummers Peter Erskine, Alphonse Mouzon, Chester Thompson, Leon Ndugu Chancler, and Alex Acuña were augmented by percussionists Airto Moreira or Dom Um Romao.

    The band was known, especially in their early years, for a kind of collective improvisation that remained more rhythmically cohesive than the free jazz of the 60s.

    Zawinul and Shorter had both played with Miles Davis during the latter's late-60s excursions into acid jazz, and Weather Report's earliest releases owe a clear debt to the Davis style. By the release of Mysterious Traveller in 1974, the group had arrived at a style of its own: several of the tracks depend upon propulsive rhythmic figures, with solos more explorative of mood than technical 'excellence'. In this respect they were always more artistically ambitious than the majority of other jazz/fusion artists.

    From Black Market until Weather Report (released in 1982) the band's line-up was at its most stable, with Zawinul, Shorter and Pastorius remaining constant as the group's core. This period saw the release of Heavy Weather, the album which brought Weather Report to its widest public awareness. After Pastorius' departure the group struggled to find a bassist of similar capabilities, and subsequent releases proved considerably less rewarding. Their final release -This Is This, in 1986 - was dominated by Zawinul's keyboards and included hackneyed solos by guest artist Carlos Santana; Shorter's saxophone was hardly to be heard at all.

    http://www.last.fm/music/Weather+Report/+wiki