Weather Report: Birdland
Heavy Weather (Sony 1246)
Composed by Joe Zawinul.
Recorded: North Hollywood, CA, 1976
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Birdland, the midtown Manhattan nightclub, opened in 1949 with namesake Charlie Parker as headliner. During its first five years, the self-styled Jazz Corner of the World tallied 1.4 million paid admissions, but by 1965 the nest was empty and Birdland flew the coop. Reopened in 1986, the club thrives to this day. In the midst of its 21-year hiatus, ex-Birdland musicians Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter led their pioneering fusion band Weather Report's eponymous tribute to the shuttered shrine. "Birdland" sounds like nothing formerly heard there, but so what? It's a boldly conceived, brilliantly executed monument to a monument.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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