Miroslav Vitous Group: Remembering Weather Report (ECM)

 |   |  1 min read

Miroslav Vitous Group: Variations on W Shorter
Miroslav Vitous Group: Remembering Weather Report (ECM)

With the reunion of Chick Corea and John McLaughlin; bassist Stanley Clarke back with another trio album with pianist Hiromi and drummer Lenny White; Clarke, Corea, White and guitarist Al Di Meola returning as another Return to Forever; and other Seventies fusion artists on the trail again it looks like that whole movement has been rehabilitated.

The nu-fusion from some these people isn't as confusin' as the old fusion (see McLaughlin and Corea here), but this album lead by acoustic bassist Vitous who was a founder of Weather Report (replaced by Alphonso Johnson who was in turn replaced by the tragic Jaco Pastorius in '76) takes off in a very different direction.

This isn't the spiralling, rapid-fire, electric fusion of most practitioners but -- perhaps as expected on the ECM label -- a more quiet, considered, edgy and acoustic exploration which keeps one ear on Weather Report but equally makes its own very independent statement.

The spirit of Ornette Coleman is as evident as that of WR's Wayne Shorter and late Zawinul, not just in their Variations on Lonely Woman but in the playing of tenor man Gary Campbell and trumpeter Franco Ambrossetti. Drummer Gerald Cleaver is tangential and discreetly exciting, driving when necessary; and guest on bass clarinet Michel Portal might as well be part of the group as he is integral to this innovative music.

The music also refers to Slavic folk (one lively piece is When Dvorak Meets Miles) but everywhere Vitous' playing -- melodic runs, strident or sensitive arco -- is the glue.

Don't come here if you are expecting a straight tribute album to Weather Report, but certainly sign up if the idea of inventive, mutually appreciative but never indulgent, hard-edge improvised music is your thing. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

MANFRED EICHER OF ECM RECORDS, INTERVIEWED (1992): Art for the artists' sake

MANFRED EICHER OF ECM RECORDS, INTERVIEWED (1992): Art for the artists' sake

As much as a disembodied voice down a phone line can, Manfred Eicher confirms the impression he made on English journalist Richard Cook when he visited London in late ’89: “He is a... > Read more

Pat Metheny/Cuong Vu Trio: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch)

Pat Metheny/Cuong Vu Trio: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch)

The 46-year old Vietnam-born trumpeter Vu established himelf in the NYC Downtown scene in the Nineties, has recorded for the edgy Knitting Factory label and played with Laurie Anderson, drummer... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rod Stewart; Storyteller

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rod Stewart; Storyteller

It would be a churlish and narrow-mided rock writer who would deny that Rod Stewart was one of the greatest voices in rock, and perhaps that he would often squander it on lesser material. And... > Read more

EVERY POSTER TELLS A STORY! 30 YEARS OF THE FRONTIER TOURING COMPANY edited by ELOISE GLANVILLE and  SARAH MORGAN

EVERY POSTER TELLS A STORY! 30 YEARS OF THE FRONTIER TOURING COMPANY edited by ELOISE GLANVILLE and SARAH MORGAN

Many people who have grown up in the rock era have band posters knocking about the house. Some of these are artistic (my framed one of Big Brother and the Holding Company with Moby Grape in San... > Read more