CK 65112 Mysterious Traveller
Produced by Wayne Shorter and Josef Zawinul
Released on 1974
US CHART POSITION #46 . . . US JAZZ CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
CK 65112 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 4.0: THE LAST TANGO. You’ll hear the end of an era on “American Tango,” the last Weather Report composition to feature founding member Miroslav Vitous. It’s a typically ethereal piece, a fitting swan song from the musical odd duck in an ever-shifting birdland. Mysterious Traveller is still a transitional record; in fact, no two songs sound exactly alike. There is again a new rhythm section, this time featuring Alphonso Johnson on electric bass (check out the swinging “Cucumber Slumber” to hear his funky influence) and a fresh pair of double drummers (Skip Hadden, Ishmael Wilburn). Another new wrinkle is the addition of vocals; choral in the case of the opening “Nubian Sundance” (which recalls the extended jams of Sweetnighter) and actual lead vocals from Josef Zawinul on the pretty musical playground of “Jungle Book.” The band continues to break new musical ground with each album. On “Mysterious Traveller,” it seems as though Shorter and Z are creating a new musical language as realism and cataclysm collide. On “Blackthorn Rose,” the two are reconciled briefly for some remarkably restrained jazz—and in Weather Report’s world, restraint is almost an act of sabotage. On the funereal “Scarlet Woman,” Sweetnighter once again casts its shadow. A good half of Mysterious Traveller retreads the same ground as their last album, while the other half introduces the funky rhythms, African elements and piquant pairing of sax and keyboards that marked a new shift in the weather. As with their last, Mysterious Traveller is regarded as a classic Weather Report album with some minor flaws, most of them attributable to the band’s restless, experimental spirit. It’s a good record, with moments (“Jungle Book,” “Blackthorn Rose”) you’re unlikely to hear anywhere else in their catalog, and a few songs (“Cucumber Slumber,” “American Tango,” “Mysterious Traveller”) that have stayed with me over the years.

TRACK LISTING

  1. NUBIAN SUNDANCE    (Josef Zawinul)    10:39
  2. AMERICAN TANGO    (Josef Zawinul/Miroslav Vitous)    3:39
  3. CUCUMBER SLUMBER    (Josef Zawinul/Alphonso Johnson)    8:20
  4. MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER    (Wayne Shorter)    7:21
  5. BLACKTHORN ROSE    (Wayne Shorter)    5:00
  6. SCARLET WOMAN    (Alphonso Johnson/Wayne Shorter/Josef Zawinul)    5:43
  7. JUNGLE BOOK    (Josef Zawinul)    7:22

CREDITS

SKIP HADDEN -- drums
ALPHONSO JOHNSON -- electric bsas
WAYNE SHORTER -- soprano sax, tenor sax, tac piano, sea shell
DOM UM ROMAO -- percussion, drums, triangle, tambourine, cabassa
ISHAMEL WILBURN -- drums
JOSEF ZAWINUL -- vocal, pianos, Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano, synthesizer, EML synthesizer, meruga, percussion, melodica, guitar, clay drum, tamboura, tac piano, kalimba, maracas, organ
James Auger Adderlely -- vocal (2)
Ray Baretto -- percussion (3)
Billie Barnum -- vocals (1)
James Gilstrad -- vocals (1)
Isacoff -- tabla, finger cymbals (7)
Steve Little -- timpani (6)
Marti McCall -- vocals (1)
Jessica Smith -- vocals (1)
Miroslav Vitous -- bass (2)
Edna Wright -- vocals (1)
Ron Malo -- engineer
Teresa Alfieri -- album design
Helmut K. Wimmer -- front cove art
Norman Seeff -- back cover photographs

return to main WEATHER REPORT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1974 Columbia LP KC 32494  
UK 1974 CBS LP S 80027  
CAN 1974 Columbia LP WKC-32494  
JPN 1974 CBS/Sony LP SOPL-249  
US   Columbia LP/CS PC/PCT 32494  
JPN   CBS/Sony LP 25AP-946  
US   Columbia CD CK 32494  
US June 4, 2002 Columbia/Legacy CD CK 65112 digital remaster
UK 2007 Sony/BMG Jazz 5CD 714547 repackaged w. I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC,
SWEETNIGHTER, BLACK MARKET + NIGHT PASSAGE

 

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