JJ 05/83: Weather Report – Procession

Forty years ago, Weather Report's hood-down, motorway cruisin' sound failed to stimulate Barry McRae's grey matter. First published in Jazz Journal May 1983


This record represents a backward step, and it takes the Weathers con­sciously into the hood-down, motorway cruisin’ field. As a result much that we hear will disturb the passenger seat’s hair style more than the grey matter of the serious listener.

Hakim manages little in the way of relaxed swing and Rossy’s percussion decorations are some distance from the Airto Moreira or Dom Um Romão tradition. For some time now Zawinul has concerned himself with sound patterns and group textures at the expense of solos of substance and, on this issue, Shorter does little better. His down-to-earth tenor on Two Lines flatters to deceive, and only when he takes to his soprano on Moon do we hear any real involvement.

When Manhattan Transfer sing on the same track the whole glossy pack­age is complete, and it leaves only the problem of where the record shop owner is to display it.

Procession; Plaza Real; Two Lines (21.45) – Where The Moon Goes; The Well; Molasses Run (17.30)
Wayne Shorter (ts/ss); Joe Zawinul (key/syn); Victor Bailey (b); Omar Hakim (g/d/v); Jose Rossy (pc/concertina).
(CBS 25241)