Weather Report: Harlequin
Heavy Weather (Columbia (CK65108))
Composed by Wayne Shorter.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, 1976-early 1977
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
This album marked the second appearance on a Weather Report release for Jaco Pastorius, his first being Black Market. This is the first release where the bass chair was entirely in his possession though. Call it irony or coincidence but Pastorius's first appearance as the main bassist was also Weather Report's most successful album, featuring the hit song "Birdland," which would go on to become a hit for other groups like Manhattan Transfer.
"Harlequin" on the other hand is a nice little number written by Wayne Shorter, featuring the undeniable pocket groove of Pastorius who plays very subtle but effective notes, aiding this song with its mellow feel. Joe Zawinul plays his usual effect-driven Fender Rhodes but he also works in some nice blues lines on the piano. On this tune, Weather Report prove to the rest of the playing field why they were the greatest fusion band ever formed. I know that might be up for debate but Weather Report had all of the right elements and their releases up until the 1980s were always consistent, especially Heavy Weather .
Reviewer: Jared Pauley