Weather Report – Heavy Weather (Full Album)

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Heavy Weather is the eighth album by Weather Report, released in 1977 through Columbia Records. The release originally sold about 500,000 copies; it would prove to be the band’s most commercially successful album. Heavy Weather received a 5-star review from Down Beat magazine and went on to be voted jazz album of the year by the readers of that publication.

Featuring the jazz standard “Birdland”, the album is one of the best-sellers in the Columbia jazz catalog. This opening track was a significant commercial success, something not typical of instrumental music. The melody had been performed live by the band as part of “Dr Honoris Causa”, which was from Joe Zawinul’s eponymous solo album.

Although not mentioned as a live recording in the liner notes, “Rumba Mamá” (a percussion and vocals feature for Manolo Badrena and Alex Acuña) was recorded at the band’s concert in Montreux in summer 1976. (Wikipedia).

AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell:
Weather Report’s biggest-selling album is that ideal thing, a popular and artistic success — and for the same reasons. For one thing, Joe Zawinul revealed an unexpectedly potent commercial streak for the first time since his Cannonball Adderley days, contributing what has become a perennial hit, “Birdland.” Indeed, “Birdland” is a remarkable bit of record-making, a unified, ever-developing piece of music that evokes, without in any way imitating, a joyous evening on 52nd St. with a big band. The other factor is the full emergence of Jaco Pastorius as a co-leader; his dancing, staccato bass lifting itself out of the bass range as a third melodic voice, completely dominating his own ingenious “Teen Town” (where he also plays drums!). By now, Zawinul has become WR’s de facto commander in the studio; his colorful synthesizers dictate the textures, his conceptions are carefully planned, with little of the freewheeling improvisation of only five years before. Wayne Shorter’s saxophones are now reticent, if always eloquent, beams of light in Zawinul’s general scheme while Alex Acuña shifts ably over to the drums and Manolo Badrena handles the percussion. Released just as the jazz-rock movement began to run out of steam, this landmark album proved that there was plenty of creative life left in the idiom. (

Track listing:
Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Birdland” Zawinul 5:57
2. “A Remark You Made” Zawinul 6:51
3. “Teen Town” Pastorius 2:51
4. “Harlequin” Shorter 3:59
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Rumba Mamá” Badrena, Acuña 2:11
2. “Palladíum” Shorter 4:46
3. “The Juggler” Zawinul 5:03
4. “Havona” Pastorius 6:01

Joe Zawinul – ARP 2600 on all tracks except “Rumba Mamá”, Rhodes electric piano on all tracks except “Birdland”, “Rumba Mamá” and “Havona”, Yamaha grand piano on “Birdland”, “Harlequin”, “The Juggler” and “Havona”, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer on all tracks except “Rumba Mamá”, “Palladíum” and “The Juggler”, vocal on “Birdland”, melodica on “Birdland” and “Teen Town”, and guitar and tabla on “The Juggler”.
Wayne Shorter – Soprano saxophone on all tracks except “A Remark You Made” and “Rumba Mamá”, and tenor saxophone on “Birdland””, “A Remark You Made” and “Palladíum”
Jaco Pastorius – Fretless bass on all tracks except “Rumba Mamá”, mandocello on “Birdland” and “The Juggler”, vocals on “Birdland”, drums on “Teen Town”, steel drums on “Palladíum”
Alex Acuña – Drum set on all tracks except “Teen Town” and “Rumba Mamá”, congas and tom-toms on “Rumba Mamá”, and handclaps on “The Juggler”
Manolo Badrena – Tambourine on “Birdland”, congas on “Teen Town”, “Rumba Mamá” and “Palladíum”, vocal on “Harlequin” and “Rumba Mamá”, timbales on “Rumba Mamá”, and percussion on “Palladíum” and “The Juggler”

Released: March 1977
Recorded: Late 1976 – Early 1977
Studio Devonshire Sound Studios, North Hollywood, California
Length: 37:39
Label Columbia
Producer: Joe Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter