CK 64976 Sweetnighter
Produced by Shoviza Productions
Released on 1973
US CHART POSITION #85 . . . US JAZZ ALBUMS CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
CK 64976 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K ronomyth 3.0: SWEET NIGHT, GOOD PRINCE, AND FLIGHTS OF ANGELS. Sweetnighter is where the relationship with Eric Gravatt and Miroslav Vitous soured. Wayne Shorter and Z had decided to explore funkier terrain on this album, which left the jazz-inclined Gravatt and Vitous out in the cold. Oddly, Weather Report didn’t replace them; instead, they invited another bassist (Andrew White) and drummer (Herschel Dwellingham) to join them, apparently hoping that the extant rhythm section would take the hint. All of which makes Sweetnighter an unusual, transitional album, as it has the new rhythm section superimposed on top of the old. It causes some confusion on the two extended funk workouts, “Boogie Woogie Waltz” and “125th Congress Street.” A clearer vision of the band’s funk future emerges on the closing “Non-Stop Home,” which features only Dwellingham on drums and White on electric bass. This song, a study in contrasts between the sweeter Shorter and the revolutionary Z, is their most succinct track to date. Of the three funk experiments, “Boogie Woogie Waltz” is the best, filled with the kind of musical revelations found on earlier Weather Report albums. The remaining three tracks are similar to the still-life paintings of Body Electric. On “Adios” and “Will” especially, you can almost imagine a transfixed Eno listening to these songs and making notes for Another Green World. Despite its share of great music, Sweetnighter isn’t a personal favorite of mine. Two of the six tracks, “Manolete” and “125th Street Congress,” just don’t do it for me musically, and that’s a third of the album. The decision to open both sides of the album with extended funk workouts must have had a polarizing effect on fans up to this point. In retrospect, we can see that Weather Report would weather the storm and come out stronger on the other end, but at the time it must have seemed as though they were abandoning their experimental jazz roots and growing into some unmanageable monster. All totaled, Sweetnighter is two-thirds of a classic Weather Report album, which makes it required listening for fans of their first phase.

CK 64976 back sleeve
CK 64976 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BOOGIE WOOGIE WALTZ    (Josef Zawinul)    13:03
  2. MANOLETE    (Wayne Shorter)    5:55
  3. ADIOS    (Josef Zawinul)    2:59
  4. 125th STREET CONGRESS    (Josef Zawinul)    12:13
  5. WILL    (Miroslav Vitous)    6:20
  6. NON-STOP HOME    (Wayne Shorter)    3:52

CREDITS

HERSCHEL DWELLINGHAM -- drums
ERIC GRAVATT -- drums
MURUGA -- Moroccan clay drums, tympani, splash cymbal, roller toy, Israeli jar drum
WAYNE SHORTER -- soprano and tenor saxophones
DOM UM ROMAO -- bell, tambourine, chucalho, pandeiro, cuica, tamanco, gong, cowbell, cachichi, wood block, percussion, vaibis-stone, Chinese tom-tom, cymbal, castanhola, caxixi, wood flute
MIROSLAV VITOUS -- acoustic and electric bass
ANDREW WHITE -- electric bass, English horn, bass
JOSEF ZAWINUL -- synthesizer, electric and acoustic pianos
Phil Giambalvo -- engineer
John Berg -- cover design
Dick Hess -- cover art
Columbia Records Photo Studio -- photography
Bob Belden -- 1996 reissue producer
Paula Wood -- 1996 reissue art direction & design
John Ephland -- 1996 reissue liner notes

return to WEATHER REPORT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1973 Columbia LP KC 32210  
UK/NET 1973 CBS LP S65532  
JPN 1973 CBS/Sony LP SOPL-189  
US   Columbia LP/CS PC/PCT-32210  
JPN   Sony CD SRCS-7176  
US August 27, 1996 Columbia CD CK 64976 digital remaster
EUR 1996 Sony CD 485102  
NET May 7, 2012 Music on Vinyl LP MOVLP-515 180g vinyl remaster

 

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