Album Reviews

Weather Report

Tale Spinnin'

Artist:     Weather Report

Album:     Tale Spinnin'

Label:     Columbia/Audio Fidelity

Release Date:     10/16/2016

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By the time Weather Report recorded their sixth album, Tale Spinnin’, in 1975, they were in the midst of a significant transition. Three years earlier, they had established themselves as forebears of the fusion era, working alongside John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, Carlos Santana’s recent solo endeavors, Jean Luc Ponty and Return To Forever to secure the bonds between jazz and rock while developing a new progressive posture. Although the band– now joined by temporary recruit Leon Chancler on drums– tended to veer more towards traditional jazz, swinging far more freely than on previous albums, there were still obvious sparks of loose improvisation, particularly in the bird sounds and synthesizer fills that accentuate such songs as “Badia” and “Between the Thighs.” Mainstays Josef Zawinul and Wayne Shorter remained at the helm, composing all the material and guiding the band from behind the boards. This audio fidelity reissue brightens the sound to a considerable degree, accentuating the high-end by brightening the ambiance overall. A milestone of sorts, Tale Spinnin’ gave Weather Report a sunny forecast going forward into the future.

-Lee Zimmerman

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