Weather Report

Again, it was former members of Miles Davis' groups who constituted the core of the most enduring group of this type: Weather Report.

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Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, leaders and main members of Weather Report

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Weather Report, first band formation; L-R: Alphonse Mouzon, Joe Zawinul, Miroslav Vitous, Wayne Shorter, Airto Moreira (although Airto Moreira actually was replacing Don Alias)

In late 1970 Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul (piano) and Miroslav Vitous (bass) invited Alphonse Mouzon (drums) and Airto Moreira (exotic percussion instrument) to create climates of a most meteorological diversity. Their repertoire was often put together like classical programme music - it told a story in the same way symphonic poems compose by European musicians of the 19th century did.

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Weather Report, 1977; L-R: Joe Zawinul, Manolo Badrena, Wayne Shorter, Alex Acuna, Jaco Pastorius

Weather Report's music was then directed toward an ever-more-diverse fusion of influences, in which the binary scanning of rock and Latin music became more and more important. In 1974 Vitous made way for the electric bass player Alphonso Johnson, while Joe Zawinul began to explore the power of synthesizers. But the group did not receive the blessing of the public until the 1976 arrival of Jaco Pastorius, who, until his death in 1987, was the most original virtuoso of the electric bass.

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Jaco Pastorious

The records Black Market (1976) and Heavy Weather (1977) are counted among the finest successes of the genre. On this last album, the title 'Bridland', which paid homage to the tradition of the big-band entertaintment of the thirties, was overwhelming success.

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Weather Report, 1978 Band Formation; (L-R): Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter

Nevertheless, despite the loyalty of a vast audience and the excellent rhythm tandem of Pastorius and the drummer Peter Erskine, disagreements between Shorter and Zawinul provoked Weaher Report's breakup in 1985, a decade and half after its creation.


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