Weather Report: Birdland




Weather Report


Heavy Weather (Sony 1246)

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Wayne Shorter (tenor sax, soprano sax), Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Jaco Pastorius (electric bass, mandocello, steel drums), Alex Acuna (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion, vocals).

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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Related Links

In Conversation with Wayne Shorter by Bob Blumenthal
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Wayne Shorter Performances by Matt Miller
”Wayne Shorter” by Matt Miller (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)
”Joe Zawinul” by Jared Pauley (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)

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