|Persona Digital Music |
Joe Zawinul co-founded the jazz-rock band, Weather Report with Wayne Shorter. They recorded a successful debut album in 1971 and continued to record 14 studio albums until 1986. Jaco Pastorius, the electric bass player, went on to great fame and a tragic death in 1987. In 2006, Pastorius was voted "The Greatest Bass Player Who Has Ever Lived" by reader submissions in Bass Guitar Magazine. Zawinul won the "Best Keyboardist" award 30 times from American jazz magazine.
Zawinul objected to the "fusion" classification. He stated that Weather Report played its own creative music: “You can’t call it rock or fusion or all these comical words. I love that word ‘jazz,’ man. Jazz is a beautiful word. I connect jazz not with what’s happening today in America so much as when I was young and listened to Jimmie Lunceford, Ellington, Miles Davis, Bird, Dizzy Gillespie: how beautiful music was then and how exciting music was then. That’s what I connect myself with.”
Heavy Weather was their most popular album. In his January 2001 Down Beat retrospective on the band, Woodard wrote: "In 2000, Heavy Weather still sounds like a milestone in the cultural unconscious of jazz history… the album is the crowning achievement of the band's recorded output, a towering landmark of fusion. Birdland was the first WR tune from that album that I choose to arrange and record. Woodward wrote:” Birdland changed the landscape for the band, which had already gained a solid following and crossed over into the rock scene… audible charm on an album that seems like a thing of near perfection and unprecedented taste, a shining example of the artistic possibilities of fusion's cultural mash process.
Birdland was the famous New York jazz club. Zawinul stated: "All of us in Vienna knew about this fabulous place. Friederich Gulda, the great pianist, played there with a jazz group and told me all about it. We all dreamed about visiting Birdland some day ... That club made such an impact on me. I met Miles there, and Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong; I met my wife Maxine there. Everyone I worshiped I met at Birdland."
Wayne Shorter and Zoe Zawinul
This album created by Stephen Gislason contains jazz classics by Wayne Shorter, Zoe Zawinul, and
Jacob Pastorius, featuring pieces that they wrote separately and together as Weather
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, the Zawinul/Adderley hit of 1965
Listen to some examples of recordings of Weather Report classics at the Persona Digital Studio...
Speak No Evil
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy