THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

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Weather Report: The Moors
THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

One jazz encyclopedia says of this, the second album by the Joe Zawinul-Wayne Shorter lead fusion group -- "everyting about I Sing the Body Electric was very 1972 . . . the brilliant sci-fi artwork . . . the psychobabble liner notes". Another says "another document of the times with a sci-fi cover, impressionistic pieces, booting rhythms, overdubbed heavenly male voices, heavy electrics and a liner note of psychedelic gibberish".

Doesn't that make you want to get this just to read the liner notes?

Weather Report's sound had emerged out of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson, and their self-titled debut of the previous year had grabbed a lot of attention.

This follow-up found the band still struggling for direction -- they found it with their next one Mysterious Traveller -- but there is still plenty of exciting fusion on these pieces, especially the second half which was recorded live in Japan where drummer Eric Gravatt was on explosive form.

There is also that melange of European classical music and jazz-rock which the band was renown for.

So while not their finest moment this is a useful introduction to the magic that was Weather Report (a band with constant line-up changes around Zawinul and Shorter), and with the resurgence of interest in fusion this one - at a mere $12.99 at JB Hi-Fi stores here -- is an enticing prospect.

And another Elsewhere recommended Bargain Buy.

Unfortunately this digital remaster replaces the gibberish with an essay by Lee Jeske. Pity. 

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