Recorded California 1975 - 1976.
Wayne Shorter - soprano sax, tenor sax, lyricon; Joe Zawinul - Fender
Rhodes Electric Piano, Yamaha Grand Piano, Oberheim Polyphonic Synthesizers,
ARP 2600; Alphonso Johnson - electric bass, Charles Le Boe electric
bass, Gertu; Jaco Pastorius - Fender electric bass ( 2,6 ); Narada Michael
Walden - drums ( 1, 2 ); Chester Thompson - Ludwig drums - ( 3, 7 );
Alejandro Neciosup Acuna - congas, percussion ( 2-5 & 7 ); Don Alias
- percussion (1, 6 ).
1. Black Market
2. Cannon Ball
4. Elegant People
5. Three Clowns
6. Barbary Coast
"Black Market" was the sixth studio album recorded by the
band Weather Report. It proved to be highly significant in the history
of this group in several ways. With this session the music seemed to
become much heavier,more studio based and much more reliant on electronics,
both in terms of sound generation and also in the shaping of acoustic
tones. The other major change in the music comes with the appearance
of the virtuoso bassist Jaco Pastorius as a player on "Cannon Ball"
and as a player and composer on "Barbary Coast".
The title track is a driving piece notable for the blending of Shorter's
lyricon and saxophones and for his forceful soprano solo. His work here
is a continuation of the style to be heard on the band's previous release
( " Tale Spinnin' " ). " Cannon Ball " is Joe Zawinul's
tribute to his friend and former employer Cannonball Adderley, who had
recently passed away. This is an altogether gentler tune and has a memorable
melody section which is at times quite wistful. Wayne Shorter contributes
some highly effective passages on the tenor saxophone this time.
The other tracks are all of a similar level of interest, "Gibraltar"
is particularly atmospheric and " Elegant People" contains
some tenor playing which befits the title. Of the other musicians featured
Alphonso Johnson is universally first class, both in solo and accompanying
roles. It was only his decision to form a band with Billy Cobham and
George Duke which allowed Pastorius to finally achieve his desire and
join the band. Although Pastorius has now risen to legendary status,
at the time of this record I would consider it very much a matter of
taste as to who was the better suited bass player for the group ( both
are excellent ) . The various percussionists and drummers contribute
admirably throughout this disc. This is a welcome reissue of a most
enjoyable and influential recording.