The Low End Theory


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Weather Report started out as a jazz equivalent of what the rock world in 1970 was calling a "supergroup." But unlike most rock supergroups, this one defined the state of the jazz-rock art throughout almost all of its run.

Weather Report also anticipated and contributed to the North American interest in world music rhythms and structures, prodded by keyboardist/co-founder Joe Zawinul.

Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter first met and became friends in 1959 while they were playing in Maynard Ferguson’s Big Band.

Zawinul went on to play with Cannonball Adderley’s group in the 1960s, while Shorter joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and then, in 1964, Miles Davis’ second great quintet. During this decade, both men made names for themselves as being among the best composers in jazz.

Weather Report’s self-titled debut album Weather Report (1971) caused a sensation in the jazz world on its arrival, due to the various talents of the group’s members and their unorthodox approach to their music

Another Weather Report began to experience a disband around 1978, their contract required another album, so Zawinul’s solo work was absorbed into what became Weather Report’s eighth album, "Mr. Gone."

Notoriously, Mr. Gone (1978) received only a 1-star review rating from Down Beat magazine after a string of group releases, which had all pulled a 5-star rating. The group arranged for a rebuttal interview with the magazine to defend their efforts.