Weather Report – Tale Spinnin’ (1975), Jazz Fusion Album

Tale Spinnin’‘ is the title of the fifth studio album released by the legendary American jazz fusion band Weather Report in 1975. The LP was recorded during the same year as well. The month during which Tale Spinnin’ was released by the band in 1975 was May whereas the recording sessions took place earlier that year, more specifically between February 1975 and April 1975 at Wally Helder’s Studio 3 at Hollywood. It was produced by co-frontmen and founders Joe Zawinul (keyboards) and Wayne Shorter (saxophones).

The frontal cover artwork of the 1994 remastered version of Tale Spinnin’, originally released by Weather Report in 1975. Image source:

It is the first and last Weather Report studio album to feature drummer Leon “Ndugu” Chancler. Leon “Ndugu” Chancler was invited to perform on the recorder after frontman and founder Joe Zawinul (keyboards) listened to him while he performed for legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. Chancler accepted to briefly perform with Weather Report, but only for the recording sessions of ‘Tale Spinnin” which took place in just one week. After that, Zawinul asked Chancler to join the band permanently but the later refused, stating instead the fact that he wanted to resume working with Santana.

The album has a total length of 43 minutes and 1 second and was issued, as always before and after in Weather Report’s career, by Columbia Records, with which the band was signed since their beginnings in the early 1970s up until 1986 when they disbanded.

On the album, frontman/band leader and keyboardist Joe Zawinul stated:

“Our music is the reflection of the state where you arrive as a human being.”

Hence the title Tale Spinnin’, of course.

The record has the following tracklist:

  1. Man in the Green Shirt (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  2. Lusitanos (composed by Wayne Shorter);
  3. Between the Thighs (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  4. Badia (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  5. Freezing Fire (composed by Wayne Shorter);
  6. Five Short Stories (composed by Joe Zawinul).

As you can clearly see from above, Zawinul wrote 4 out of 6 songs on the album and Shorter only two, making the album predominantly composed by the former.

In critical regards, the album was well to very well received by such specialized musical publications as Allmusic (which gave it 4 out of 5 stars), Christgau’s Record Guide (where it received a mark of B−), The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide (which gave it 3 out of 5 stars), or The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (which gave it 3.5 stars out of 4).

The recording personnel was as follows:

  • Joe Zawinul – Rhodes piano, acoustic piano, melodica, TONTO synthesizer, ARP 2600 synthesizer, organ, steel drums, oud, mzuthra, West African talking drum, xylophone, cymbals, and vocals.
  • Wayne Shorter – soprano and tenor saxophones;
  • Alphonso Johnson – electric bass;
  • Leon “Ndugu” Chancler – drums, tympani, marching cymbals;
  • Alyrio Lima – percussion.

The technical personnel was as follows:

  • Bruce Botnick – record engineer and mixing;
  • Wayne Shorter – mixing;
  • Teresa Alfieri – cover/artwork design;
  • John Berg – cover/artwork design.

Down below you can listen to each track on the album via Youtube. My favourite two songs from it are ‘Badia’ and ‘Lusitanos’ (both exceptionally well-crafted compositions). Enjoy and all the best! Thank you very much for your attention, time, and readership! I am very grateful to you for all them! Thank you so much for visiting The Rockpedia! Cheers!

Documentation sources and external links:

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