Artist: Miroslav Vitous
Album: Music of Weather Report
Release Date: 07/08/2016
You figure if anyone can freely and wildly deconstruct, reshape, and rebuild the lasting themes and improvisational spirit of Weather Report, it would be, and should be, its founding bassist Miroslav Vitous. For it was he, along with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, percussionist Airto Moreira and drummer Alphonse Mouzon who turned the fusion frantic 70’s on its collective ear with virtuoso flair and complex, multi layered song design.
Vitous takes many rewarding liberties here, stripping rhythm and structure from keystone WR songs such as “Birdland,” “Scarlet Woman,” “Pinocchio,” and his own oft recorded “Morning Lake” and “Seventh Arrow” and, with a stellar group of improvisers, retells the grand tale. “Birdland Variations” sets free the song’s thematic form, as drummers Gerald Cleaver and Nasheet Waits swing in opposing time, creating a big sky palette for saxophonists Gary Campbell and Roberto Bonisolo to soar. And while keyboardist Aydin Esen magnificently reinvents the tripped out, burbling, propulsive charge and texture of Zawinul’s keyboards and Vitous own floating bass opens the space with its horn like qualities, everyone holds true to the Weather Report credo: everyone solos and no one solos. It all falls into that elongated and expansive head space.
– Mike Jurkovic