(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
What is Fusion? Look no further then the longest lasting and the most celebrated jazz-rock group of all time. Josef Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, formerly of the pioneering Miles Davis group that ushered in jazz-rock classics like Files De Kilamanjaro, In A Silent Way, Water Babies and the definite Bitches Brew, Big Fun and Live/Evil helped spawn legion of groups that tried to capture the intensity of this group, but most flamed out after a few years, but Weather Report was one of the few that soldiered on, and lasted nearly two decades together before calling it a day.
Black Market is the seventh album released by the band and arguably the band's peak period, both creatively and commercially. This is the album that ushered in the coming of the greatest electric bassist of our time, Jaco Pastorius, and the only studio album to contain future Genesis member, Chester Thompson.
Recently remastered (not that it needed it), Black Market is the second greatest (but my favorite) album that the group did, only do be out done by the upcoming album Heavy Weather. It is also on this album that the band begun to make shorter songs, thereby losing its Miles Davis edge, but in saying that, it was a great thing as for this is where the band not only begun to sell records, but still manage to keep their long time fans.
As with every album since Mysterious Traveler, Zawinul is beginning to dominate the songwriting department, contributing the first three songs of the album, and also dominating the groups overall sound with his multiple keyboarding. But what makes this album even more special, is the Zawinul written "Cannonball" (written in dedication to his recently deceased and alto sax giant, Cannonball Adderley) which Jaco's unbelievable bass lines usher in a legion of imitators.
This is one great album, and to those who like listening to great jazz-rock fusion, This is DEFINITELY the first album I would recommend to anyone wanting get into Weather Report.
Album Rating: Five Stars