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Weather Report

Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather (1977)



Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band of the 1970s and early 1980s. The band was initially co-led by the Austrian-born keyboard player Joe Zawinul, the American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Czech bassist Miroslav Vitouš. Due to creative and financial disagreements, Vitouš left the band after a few years. Zawinul took increasing control and steered the band towards a more funk, R&B oriented sound. Other prominent members at various points in the band’s lifespan included bassists Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorius and Victor Bailey; and drummers/percussionists Peter Erskine, Alex Acuña, Airto Moreira, and Chester Thompson.

Alongside Miles Davis’s electric bands, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Headhunters, Weather Report is considered to be one of the pre-eminent early jazz fusion bands. As a continuous working unit, Weather Report outlasted all of its contemporaries despite (or perhaps because of) frequent changes of personnel, with a career lasting sixteen years between 1970 and 1986. However, the band was nearly always a quintet of keyboards, sax, bass, drums, and percussion.