Weather Report Tale Spinnin'
"...a dramatic soundtrack for your imagination."
Recorded in early 1975, Tale Spinnin', Weather Report's fifth studio album is filled with sunny textures of Latin and African flavors. During the '60s and early '70s Weather Report began to
move towards a more cosmopolitan groove, and a melding of song with jazz in new and refreshing ways.
The recording stands with anything recorded during the so-called "jazz-rock fusion" era, if only on the basis of the range of fresh, intriguing originals by the band's co-founders and principle composers, the keyboardist Joe Zawinul and the saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
Zawinul's pioneering interest in what we now call world music is more in evidence with the exotic percussion, wordless vocals, and sandy sound effects of "Badia," and his synthesizer sophistication is growing along with the available technology. Wayne Shorter's work on soprano sax is more animated than on their previous albums and Alphonso Johnson puts
his melodic bass more to the fore.
On pieces like Zawinul's propulsive, futuristic samba "Man In The Green Shirt" and "Badia," with its Middle Eastern and North African spices, as well as Shorter's long-lined "Freezing Fire" the ensemble, pushed by its ever-responsive bass-drums-percussionist team, works in bold, bright tonal colors. Another highlight, not only of this set but the entire Weather Report body of work, is "Five Short Stories," an epiphanic duet between Zawinul and Shorter.
It's as though the whole band is hooked up here, interacting and relating as one. It takes the listener on a journey to the swamplands of the Mississippi Delta, the high desert in north africa, and winds up in a party somewhere in the tropics on Mars.