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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Weather Report

Mysterious Traveller

Columbia/Legacy 507657 2

Amazon midprice


  1. Nubian Dance
  2. American Tango
  3. Cucumber Slumber
  4. Mysterious Traveller
  5. Blackthorn Rose
  6. Scarlet Woman
  7. Jungle Book

Wayne Shorter Soprano & Tenor and Josef Zawinul Piano, Electric Piano & Synth. play on all of the tracks.
Alphonso Johnson – Electric Bass plays on all tracks except 5 & 7
Ishmael Wilburn – Drums plays on all tracks except 5,6 & 7
Dom Um Ramao – Percussion plays on tracks except 5,6 &7

Wayne Shorter and Josef Zawinul were the main driving forces behind Weather Report, one of the most successful jazz/rock groups ever with a lifespan of 15 years.

This fifteen years coincided with the rapid development of electronic instruments and it was their emergence that brought about the replacing of String Bass player Miroslav Vitious with Bass Guitarist Alphonso Johnson.

Weather report were the jazz superstars of their time; in wondering why this should be, I have come to the conclusion that they had enough of a rock beat to carry along the ‘thinking rockers’ and add them to the audience for jazz which has always been very limited.

The music on this CD recorded in 1974 was certainly very different from anything that had gone on in jazz before. Apart from Scarlet Woman, the concept of soloists supported by a rhythm section has disappeared and even in that piece the distinction is not clear.

Jawinul and Shorter were the ideas men and their exploration of everything possible in electronic instruments and in the new recording techniques enabled Weather Report to have a different sound than anything that had gone previously. In my personal opinion, I am not sure that it all worked. Whilst you have to respect the pioneering work and pure genius of the composers, arrangers and musicians concerned, a lot of the tracks on this album seem to me to have left the jazz arena completely. Maybe a new order was created, but for me much of it was overcomplicated and unpleasant on the ear.

Don Mather




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