Wayne Shorter - soprano & tenor saxophones; Joe Zawinul - electric
piano, melodica, tonto, ARP 2600, organ, muzthra, vocal, acoustic
piano, West Africk, xylophone, cymbals; Alphonso Johnson - electric
bass; Alyrio Lima - percussion; Ndugu - drums, tympani, marching percussion.
1. Man In The Green Shirt
3. Between The Thighs
5. Freezing Fire
6. Five Short Stories
"Tail Spinnin' " has long been my all time favourite Weather
Report album. This might be due to the fact that it was the first
of their releases I ever bought, or it might equally be due to the
fact that this disc is packed with a variety of different styles,
all of which swing in their own fashion. The compositions of Joe Zawinul
and Wayne Shorter seemed to reach a new maturity and directness at
this time and the group is as tight as it ever was or, indeed, ever
Shorter is to be heard mainly on soprano saxophone and he has by this
time reached a quite staccato mode of delivery in certain passages
( "Man In The Green Shirt," " Between The Thighs"
). His control of this most wayward of the saxophones is masterful
and his playing is replete with smears and other subtle tonal nuances.
Zawinul performs on a whole arsenal of keyboards, synthesizers and
percussion, including some very tastefully mixed steel pans on "Between
The Thighs." At this point in his career his creativity seemed
to be driving him to constantly seek new and different combinations
of sound. His compositions range from the driving, almost frantic,
"Man In The Green Shirt", inspired by an old West Indian
man dancing, to the eastern sounding " Badia" with its alternate
meditative and swinging passages which feature an early use of the
hand-clap as rhythmic accompaniment.
The drums and percussion of Ndugu and Lima are particularly effective
on this recording and the bass playing of Johnson is absolutely superb.
As I stated earlier, it is the group interaction that really makes
this session - it is a true example of the blend of the great talent
on display creating a much more fulfilling entity. Highly recommended.