Black Market is an instrumental jazz fusion album released by Weather Report in 1976. This album was produced by Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter. It was recorded in December 1975 and released in April 1976 through Columbia Records. Columbia released it again as a digitally remastered CD in 1991.
This is Weather Report’s seventh overall album and the first with the bass player Jaco Pastorius who features on two tracks. The back cover photo shows Pastorius, Chester Thompson and Alex Acuña with the band, although Alphonso Johnson played on more than half of the record. The album draws heavily from African influences and its style could be described as “world fusion”. The second Track, “Cannon Ball” is tribute to Zawinul’s then recently deceased former band leader, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (https://goo.gl/Qr79sa).
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell:
The shifts in Weather Report’s personnel come fast and furious now, with Narada Michael Walden and Chester Thompson as the drummers, Alex Acuna and Don Alias at the percussion table, and Alphonso Johnson giving way to the mighty, martyred Jaco Pastorius. It is interesting to hear Pastorius expanding the bass role only incrementally over what the more funk-oriented Johnson was doing at this early point — that is, until “Barbary Coast,” where suddenly Jaco leaps athletically forward into the spotlight. Joe Zawinul or just Zawinul, as he preferred to be billed — contributed all of side one’s compositions, mostly Third World-flavored workouts except for “Cannon Ball,” a touching tribute to his ex-boss Cannonball Adderley (who had died the year before). Shorter, Pastorius, and Johnson split the remainder of the tracks, with Shorter now set in a long-limbed compositional mode for electric bands that would serve him into the 1990s. While it goes without saying that most Weather Report albums are transition albums, this diverse record is even more transient than most, paving the way for WR’s most popular period while retaining the old sense of adventure (https://goo.gl/dj1eWo).
“Black Market” (J. Zawinul) – 6:28
“Cannon Ball” (J. Zawinul) – 4:36
“Gibraltar” (J. Zawinul) – 8:16
“Elegant People” (W. Shorter) – 5:03
“Three Clowns” (W. Shorter) – 3:31
“Barbary Coast” (J. Pastorius) – 3:19
“Herandnu” (A. Johnson) – 6:36
Joe Zawinul — Yamaha Grand Piano, Rhodes Electric Piano, Arp 2600 Synthesizer, Oberheim Polyphonic Synthesizer, Production, Orchestration
Wayne Shorter — Selmer soprano and tenor saxophones, Computone Lyricon, Co-Production
Alphonso Johnson – electric bass
Jaco Pastorius – electric fretless bass (tracks 2 & 6)
Narada Michael Walden – drums (1 & 2)
Chester Thompson – drums (3-7)
Alex Acuña – congas, percussion (2-5, 7)
Don Alias – percussion (1, 6)
Released: March 11, 1976
Recorded: December 1975 – January 1976
Producer: Wayne Shorter