October 28

Weather Report teaches us to unlearn our ideas of musical differences, and only concern ourselves with each musical moment, the essence of the music. We have also been taught that understanding can only come with words and explanation: we must be told. But language can only go to a certain point in human communication and expression; certain ideas, emotions, questions and answers cannot be verbally expressed: music is a means of expressing the inexpressible. Weather Report plays music without words. Much is said: there are stories, conversations, singing, laughing, crying, whispering, understanding but no words.”

So says Robert Hurwitz on the liner notes to the 1972 Weather Report release I Sing The Body Electric:

Well Mr. Hurwitz… I do need a path to follow. I can’t grasp music that seems aimless, that is not transporting me somewhere. Even if it’s someplace I don’t want to go at least I know I’m on a ride! And as for definitions and meaning… for me that is within the listener: you could ask 10 different people what Dark Side of the Moon or Abbey Road means and you would get 10 different answers. Each of those examples has many profound musical moments within and with a comfortable structure. This really allows me to focus on those moments rather than just trying to keep up.

And a word about words… Vocals are so much more than just words! A truly great singer communicates so much more then the definition of the word sung.

I’ve come so far so fast in my appreciation of the jazz idiom, but Weather Report? You keep letting me down!

This is strike two Weather Report! I know that my next session with one of your records contains the bass player Jaco Pastorius and I really like his stuff on Joni Mitchell records, so I’m still holding out hope. Please don’t let me down!

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2 thoughts on “October 28

  1. Sorry to read your disappointment. Those first couple of albums are demanding in the way that ‘In a silent way’ or ‘Bitches Brew’ are demanding. The later Weather Report albums (such as 1977’s ‘Heavy Weather’ that even had a hit single) might be an easier listen. But do hang onto ‘Body Electric’. It’s quite special in its own way.

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