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Zawinui, Acuna, Shorter, Pastorius, Badrona.


Cup

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Well, I took the plunge! After hearing so many people on this forum talk about this mans greatness, I finally grew tired of second hand reports and decided to find out for myself. I bought (yeah I got a job :) ) Weather Reports Heavy Weather today. Pastorius, Badrona and all others in the above title, I salute you!

 

The musicianship (especially bass) on this record astounds me. I'm really blown away.

 

I do however salute only the musicianship. To me there are no songs (don't flame me here but this is MY opinion after just 3 listens). I just can't listen to any of the tracks on this C.D and pass through the emotions I feel when listening to a really good song.

 

My question is this. Do you think we naturally veer towards a certain kind of music? Is it nature or nurture? I've been brought up for the most part on Rock n Roll, chart music and country music (parents are ardent followers of irish/country). All these genre's have the most accepted form of song writing, i.e verse/bridge/chorus/verse etc. This album has no recognisable format. I literally don't know where the music will go in 2 seconds. This I'm sure adds to the excitment.

 

I appreciate this L.P but I'm not sure if I'll still be listening to it regulary in a months time. If I was brought up on jazz would I appreciate this (and other types of music foreign to me) more? Or is there only good or bad music?

 

Look forward to reading the responses.

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

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As rightfully respected as Pastorious was/is, I strongly urge you to check out Weather Report's earlier albums, featuring Miroslav Vitous & , later, Alphonso Johnson.

All players are different but these two requite themselves finely in their performances & compositional roles; IMHO, in fact they were better, especially Miroslav.

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when i first started playing, pretty much all i listened to was metal and alternative rock. once i started taking lessons, i found that while quite catchy, the rock genre didn't have much to offer in terms of experimental material. my teacher suggested several jazz albums (he being primarily an upright player himself) to get me started, and i didn't like any of them at first. i found, though, that jazz in general is one of those things that grows on you, kind of an aquired taste (for people originating in rock as i did). the more you listen and study it the more you enjoy it. my jazz collection has now overtaken my cd library as the primary genre; now i can't get enough of this stuff, and am taking lessons on standup.

 

long story short - give it time and patience and ye shall see. a couple of other great jazz albums for new listeners from the rock world (heavy weather's a great one):

 

1)bela fleck and the flecktones: three flew over the cuckoo's nest. this one will most likely strike your fancy just because of your current music background

 

2)dave holland big band: what goes around. this one's more straight-ahead jazz, but i find that the chord changes and high energy performance on this one are much more comfortable to rockers than most; kind of like a little taste of home in a foreign land for me.

 

hope that helps; enjoy!

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Is there any song on the disc that appeals to you?

If so,try this: listen to it (not the entire disc) until you catch onto the melodic or harmonic/chordal parts that you like become ingrained enough that you can hum them when the mood strikes.

Then listen to that song with an ear toward learning the overall arrangement---not the lines & parts, just the order in which they occur, as though you were learning a new song.

This may help you to see/hear the music's sections & themes better.

 

Look at the music first in terms of what you like, then in terms of what you understand; finally, in terms of what you can learn.

 

& remember, you don't have to like anything...it's not a test of your abilities or knowledge (or even your taste)as to whether you like anything artistically.

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Weather Report is challenging music. I've never automatically liked any Weather Report track from the first listen. Instant gratification is a quality of "pop" music, not intense, progressive jazz.

 

My approach when listening to challenging music is to continue to listen to it until I can hum the melody when the music is NOT playing. If I can't hum the melody when I'm alone, in silence, then I don't know it well enough to judge it.

 

The second track, "A Remark You Made," is very melodic. That track runs through my head at least once a week, regardless of how longs it's been since I heard it. Try listening to this song. Sing the melody along with Wayne, Jaco, and Josef as they're playing. Then try to sing it when the CD is off. When you can wake up in the morning and hum the melody to parts of "A Remark You Made," you will be a TOTAL Weather Report fan. Until then, you have to work a little harder to get the most out of the music.

 

:thu:

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I guess it's what you are used to listening to. I think it's very melodic, more so that other Weather Report albums.

 

Some people (maybe even me if I was in a cranky mood) would say that all Irish music sounds exactly the same. Or all James Brown songs sound the same. Or all Indian ragas sound the same. Or all the stuff played on classic rock stations sounds the same.

 

Remember the quote from Michael Rhodes in my NAMM report? I asked him what being one of the top studio players in Nashville was like and he said it was like the movie Groundhog Day....every day you go in the studio and play the same part on the same song.

 

Keep listening, you'll get into it.

 

You could listen to the Manhattan Transfer's vocal of version of Birdland, that might help you.

 

I've also heard hundreds of high school and college jazz bands play Birdland.

 

Teentown is one of those bass classics that you should learn, I worked on it for a year before I was comfortable playing it.

 

Teentown is also on a two live Weather Report albums, on a Marcus Miller album, on a Brian Bromberg album, and I've heard numerous bass players quote pieces of it in their solos.

 

Since I am a fusion fan, that's the kind of music that is usually playing at my house. My son (when he was about 13) used to sit at the computer and he would be humming along to all the fusion melodies that were playing on the stereo.

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well, it may an acquired taste- but i find Heavy Weather to be VERY melodic- i was beaten to it, but " A Remark You Made" is about as lyrical a tune as i ever heard.. my guess is this album will grow on you.. Havona is on of my all time favorites and contains a bass solo that brings tears to my eyes EVERY TIME!!

i applaud you for being open minded and checking out Weather Report- happy listening- i know its bee overplayed, but when i had a day gig, palying Birdland really nice and loud in my car going to work was a great way to get into a vibrant mood for the day- that was SO long ago!!!! enjoy!!- peace, Adrian

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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Jeremy touched on an idea. Maybe you want to check out some other musicians takes on Weather Report material. One favorite source is "Who Loves You Baby", a tribute to Jaco with Marcus Miller, Will Lee, James Genus, Mark Egan, John Patitucci, and others. There is another tribute to Weather Report from keyboardist Jason Miles, but that album veers off into smooth jazz territory. Still, these records make give you a different perspective on a the music of one of the most influencial jazz groups of the past 30 years.

 

BTW, I'm another "A Remark You Made" lover. Al Jarreau sang an interesting version with lyrics, but I'm not a big Jarreau fan.

 

Whether you come to like "Heavy Weather" or not, it's important to broaden your musical perspectives. Continue the journey.

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Well, to answer your question,

 

I'm not so sure what you like musically is a nature vs. nurture thing.

 

Music appreciation is a continuum (hmmmm..a Jaco reference?) It doesn't matter the genre, it moves from mere visceral pleasure to a much more intellectual approach.

 

In order to understand and appreciate, enjoy and love the great music, you have to understand more theory, more music history, more melodic structure, more...well more everything.

 

Just like a little kid will eat ice cream by the gallon-ful...the pleasure is so immediate, visceral, consuming....but as an older adult he will develop more mature taste...able to appreciate and even love flavors he would spew out of his mouth as a child. (Any wine lovers here?....) (I'm not, but it's a good example.)

 

A Remark you Made is just such a visceral pleasure....if you have ears to hear the subtle, beautiful interplay...the questing of Jaco's solo and the assuredness of Shorter's it's EASY to get. I love it.

 

On the other hand, "Teen Town" is more than just a pyrotechnic tune....it's minimalism in many forms. Harder to get an ear around it than fingers, maybe.

 

In country, you may start out with some band like Nickle Creek, but the journey will take you through the strong, stinky stuff...Hank Williams, George Jones; even Lyle Lovett.

 

It takes a bit of understanding to understand how truly GREAT Hank Willims was. How much more the music of Mozart or Mussorgsky?

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Thanx for the replies guys, keep em coming!

 

Well after another couple of listens I'm starting to hear more. As always I'm starting off by getting engrossed with the bass playing. Maybe when I get over Jaco's brilliance I'll hear even more.

 

I can't find anything in my starting post that states there's a lack of melody on this record, in fact due to the lack (wrong word I'm sure) of vocals there has to be melody otherwise I wouldn't have listened more than once.

 

Teentown and The Juggler are the 2 tracks that really stand out to me. Jeremy said it would be wise to learn Teentown, good idea! My reasons for buying this L.P were curiosity and approach. Approach was talked about on the "Other Cultures" thread recently and it got me thinking about my own approach . Learning something of this record would, without doubt improve my playing.

 

I'm still interested in the nature/nurture aspect. I like the children and icecream explanation DBB, but I also think our outside influences play a large part in our musical choices. Many people, simply because of geography/history, pledge allegiance to King/Country/Jesus/Allah etc, etc. Music is universal (to a degree) but a young childs mind seems more open to new ideas. In saying that, it could be looked upon as an attempt to blame my own musical tastes and approach on my parents (I love Roger Miller) The charts, or other outside forces as some sort of stumbling block on exploration. I don't think that at all. Blame is like charity, it should start at home!

 

Ohh, have I typed this much! Well progress has been made, I like the l.p a bit more, it has enough hook in the first few listens to keep me coming back (for how long I'm not sure) and the thought of being able to play even a section of Teentown is a delicious one. I suppose every bassist who hears this wants a fretless straight away?!

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

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agreed- you never mentioned it wasnt melodic- i guess we took the reference to there being songs as lack of melody- i apologize- but i do think of the music on Heavy Weather as songs, more so than other WR records - and funny , Juggler was my least favorite tune there, goes to show,,, how different we all are. Palladium and Havona are my faves. there is pure genius in that album - perhaps because youre hearign it for the firts time now and so much music has beenn created since- but i bought that recor ( yes, vinyl!!) the day it came out and its very much a huge part of the memories of my youth

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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Originally posted by CupMcMali:

I'm still interested in the nature/nurture aspect. I like the children and icecream explanation DBB, but I also think our outside influences play a large part in our musical choices. Many people, simply because of geography/history, pledge allegiance to King/Country/Jesus/Allah etc, etc. Music is universal (to a degree) but a young childs mind seems more open to new ideas. CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

And there you have it...the classical dichotomy between "musical" and "extra-musical" forms of music appreciation.

 

Like guys in the audience yelling out at a Pink Floyd concert..."I'm stoned, dude" and thinking that the music was written as a part of the drug culture. Or, listening to Beethoven to fall asleep every night. Or buying Brittany because you too are an anorexic teen both wanting and afraid of sex.

 

Kids have listened to rock music for years to identify with a culture. The music may represent a particular culture, or the kids may just perceive that it does...You know...in the 80's REM was a "college" band...and you were supposed to adapt your musical taste there.

 

A deeper study of music that lasts will provide a deeper satisfaction...as a composer or musician attempts to say something words cannot say.

 

On the other hand, the Beach Boys music is written for immediate enjoyment, celebrating a particular culture and time. It may well last, but simply because it makes the listener feel so good. Like hot chocolate, it is immensely pleasurable, treacly sweet...carries no nutrition but gives you warm feelings inside.

 

Does there have to be SOME cultural identity for music to be enjoyable? I can listen with interest to Afghan chants as they gather around dancing....but I'm not Moved by them. I have a harder time sitting and listening to Gregorian Chants or the music of Phillip Glass.

 

Interesting problem, this. I think it comes down to: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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I get the feeling that "Heavy Weather" will slowly but surely become one of your favorite albums. It can be a little hard to digest for smoe folks the first time around; parts of it qualify as what Laurie Anderson called "difficult listening."

 

If you want to hear more of Jaco in his element, dig "The Birthday Concert." It's Jaco at a club in Fort Lauderdale, his hometown, on his birthday, with a hand-picked big band made up of players from bands he'd played with in the past. He wrote or arranged all the music, and it is phenomenal. "Havona," Jaco's feature tune from "Heavy Weather," is pretty serious, but wait until you hear him burning on "Domingo," "Reza," or "Invitation." The quintet at the core of it all is Jaco, Peter Erskine on drums, Don Alias on congas, and Michael Brecker and Bob Mintzer on saxes. Yikes.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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DBB I like to think of myself as a person who's open to new ideas. My point about my "difficulty" in totally embracing this, new and absolutely brilliant music is one of simple curiosity. Since I find this hard to hard to swallow I wondered if others who had switched from one to another had experienced similar problems. I can only really compare it to jetlag. A distance has been travelled. My settings are all mixed up. Sure I'm in a beautiful country, I'm just not familiar with the locals yet. Given time I may get over my awe and accept the new rules....Maybe even try and tinker with my bass and try to learn a few of Jaco's licks. Until then I'll just listen.

 

Hoagie, I'll keep on listening to R N R, but I think I've found enough on this L.P to shell out more money on Jaco and his associates. Thanks to all for their suggested buys.

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

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Nature vs nurture in music opens a real can of worms. I don't think there's a real answer for this question.

 

How would you explain me, for example?

(Quiet, you!)

 

As a kid, my parents played a lot of '50s and '60s music around the house and in the car -- Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Ian, etc.

 

Then I went to grade school, which was in a section of town falling squarely between a mostly black and latin neighborhood and an all-white, working class neighborhood. Since I hung out with everyone, regardless of race or background, I was exposed to hip-hop, classic rock, heavy metal and hardcore. Consequently, by the time I reached high school, I was already fluent in Led Zeppelin, Grandmaster Flash, Minor Threat and Devo, as well as my parents' classics.

 

High school blew me out of the water totally... so much music.. Jazz, Punk, salsa, Celtic music, experimental stuff, etc.

 

Then I went to college.. holy crap. Even more music.

 

Then I got a job at a music mag. You get the idea. These days, I'll gladly listen to just about anything, although I have my preferences. But today alone I have listened to John Coltrane, The Ol' Dirty Bastard, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Dwarves. It varies from day to day, but I love it all for different reasons.

 

And, I've been in: hardcore bands, metal bands, pop bands, funk bands, punk bands, experimental improv jazz bands, ambient bands and variations of all of the above.

 

So... I don't think I was born into having a tendency towards any particular kind of music. I think was born to enjoy and play all of it. Is that nature or nurture? I forget already.

 

Anyway...

Jaco is cool.

Booyah.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I must say that I don't see the question here as having a "nature/nurture" aspect---there is no inborn tendency to like any sort of music, it's all acclimation.

 

A child born in France isn't necessarily going to like European classical music but will be more likely to because that's probably what they heard most.

The same child, born in Java (or kidnapped by pirates :D & taken there at an early age) will more likely find gamelan appealing.

 

Of course this isn't the only factor. People hear (even briefly & perhaps in situations they forget) all sorts of music & sounds that affect what their interests are & they can come to like lots of things that are from other cultures, sometimes on first hearing---even thinking they were "born" to like them...but interest in any art is a matter of exposure not inborn nature.

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I think it's more nurture than nature. Jazz is still growing on me, and I've been working at it (and I mean working, as I sometimes had to MAKE myself listen) for nearly 3 years since I reluctantly took Music 241: History of Jazz to fulfill my last arts credit at school. When I started taking bass lessons a year ago, I learned to appreciate the jazz from another angle, but trust me, it takes time.

 

At first, the only song I could really *listen* to from Jaco was "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." I still love it. It's probably not going to make most people's list of "Bestest Awesome Bass Guitar Songs EVER," but it is just fun to listen to. Over time, though, I've developed a liking for other songs, on different levels. It's definitely a nurturing thing.

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Hey, don't worry if you don't like the songs!

 

There are many songs from Jaco I can't stand, or some of the songs from artists or groups like St Germain, Dave Brubeck, Weather Report.

 

Doesn't mean I think any less of him or his skill, right? I just don't happen to like such-and-such a song.

 

Yea, it's like we're pre-wired to seek certain kinds of music, and what we do, and how we live, either amplifies or squenches these tendencies.

 

BUT in spite of not liking a song, I will always listen to them, to appreciate the technical skill required to create them, and to seek to understand those skills in view of my own playing. And not only of that genre, but of many other genres as well. You have to learn what fits you, go out and seek your strength, build on it, not on what you hate or what is a weakness.

 

At the same time, there's absolutely NO sense in going the jazz examination route because someone else says you have to, if perhaps your favorite is heavy metal or something else with tons of distortion. Go with your strength.

 

You know, different strokes for different folks!

 

And I found that somethings are an acquired taste, especially complex jazz like that. Really, in my opinion, that kind of stuff has never been mainstream because it can only be loved and appreciated by those who, more often than not, have played live music whose roots are often from jazz, swing, etc....and seek to constantly learn and improve their skills and point of view, rather than let them stagnate.

 

There will always be a market for that genre of music, never doubt that!

 

Not only that....

 

Think of all of the different people out there, in different lands, from different cultures. Face it!

For any genre of music there will ALWAYS be some kind of market, certainly not measured by any gigantic ruler like the record companies use, but always some kind of market!

 

It then becomes just a matter of adjusting your own expectations as an author and musician, learning about the people you're trying to serve with your music and what they need, love and appreciate.

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; one lick and you suck forever.
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Cup:

 

A latecomer to your thread, I have a couple of observations on your initial post.

 

Weather Report in general, and Zawinul in particular, is strongly influenced by non-West European music. The forms that you (and I) are most familiar with are distincly WE. Other cultures approach music with a little less formal form structure, and a little more emphasis on themes and rhythmic flow. Think of Indonesian Gamelan, or Indian Raga music. It all tends to be more motific, and less fixed in firm rhythmic blocks

 

It took me a little while to get used to the flow, but once you get into it, it is truly great stuff. One suggestion - Wayne Shorter's songs tend to be a bit more traditional in structure and form, and may be a little more accesible. But I must say, when I think of Weather Report, the first thing I think of is Zawinul's pieces. I love the rhythms.

 

Black Market is a good second album to check out. Listen to Cannonball, and Black Market. I think these are 2 great songs. 2 other albums - Sweetnighter, and Mysterious Traveler.

 

I envy you your discovery. It will grow on you.

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Wow! This is one of the best discussions ever!! You guys have all been great. :thu: If only EVERY Jaco discussion could go this smoothly. ;)

 

I'd like to add to some of the points mentioned. "Three Views Of A Secret" is a brilliant Jaco composition. You can hear it on his "Word Of Mouth" album, but there's a Weather Report version, also - don't remember the album title, but it's the one with "Port Of Entry," a blazing Jaco performance (tune by Wayne Shorter).

 

Black Market was my favorite Weather Report album for a long time. I think I like Heavy Weather more now, but that's been a recent transition. As mentioned, "Cannonball" is a beautiful tune, actually a tribute to Zawinul's former bandleader, Cannonball Adderly. It's similar emotionally to "A Remark You Made," but the bass is a bit more adventurous. "Cannonball" was my very first exposure to the Jaco sound.

 

Keep in mind that some of the bass tracks on Black Market were played by Alphonso Johnson, another great player from Philadelphia. One tune, Shorter's "Three Clowns" amazes me every time I listen to it, even though the bass part is minimal.

 

"8:30" is a live Weather Report album worth checking out for alternate versions of their most well-known tunes, plus some memorable new material. Jaco's solo set is well-documented here. The live version of "Teen Town" is much faster (!) than the version on Heavy Weather.

 

Speaking of Heavy Weather, "The Juggler" is one of my favorite tunes from the album. When I close my eyes, I imagine a street performer in some small Third World town somewhere. "The Juggler" was an improvisation by Zawinul in the studio. The engineer happened to have the tape running. They liked it, so they arranged it for the whole band and recorded it for Heavy Weather.

 

CupMcMali, you're doing the right things here, and I'm encouraged to hear that you're slowly, steadily beginning to appreciate this music. Stick with it, the rewards are worth it. Heavy Weather has earned its place among the elite recordings of all time. The fact that it isn't necessarily one of the most accessible recordings of all time should not dissuade you. Hang in there!

 

:thu:

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Yes!! ANY Weather Report is good!!

my 3 fave albums are in no particular order

Black Market

Heavy Weather

Tale Spinnin'

notice thats more Alphonso than Jaco-

on Black Market , a Wayne Shorter tune "Elegant People " is my favorite - it just goes thru emotions- Wayne Shorter is one of my favorite composers and musicians in general-

Pat Metheny is another -

listeninng to Weather report is GOOD FOR YOU!! :D

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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Originally posted by bassaddik:

on Black Market , a Wayne Shorter tune "Elegant People " is my favorite - it just goes thru emotions-

It also features the three loveliest chords ever played on a Rhodes, at the very beginning, courtesy of Zawinul.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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