Weather Report – The South Bank Show Documentary (1984)

The legendary jazz fusion giants Weather Report appeared in an edition of The South Bank Show in 1984. The South Bank Show made a documentary on the astonishing career of the band, from their beginnings in the early 1970s up until 1984. Footage from this documentary are going to be used for another documentary on this fantastic band which is still being produced by Tony Zawinul, one of the sons of Joe Zawinul.

Weather Report performing live at Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 11 June 1981, as photographed by Jun Tendo. In this photograph, this line-up of the band still included bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius (left). Image source: Commons Wikimedia

The British South Bank Show arts series captured the essence of Weather Report very well in the following documentary, showcasing the major achievements of the band and how it got to refine its sound as it gradually evolved throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Co-frontmen and co-founders Joe Zawinul (keyboards) and Wayne Shorter (saxophone) talk about their experience in the band, with the band, and as the band in the passing of time. In addition, they also talk about their musical education and about their upbringing and overall artist background.

The narrator praises the cult status that the band managed to achieve in its career, detailing how Weather Report pioneered jazz fusion (or jazz rock fusion) as they rose to prominence during the 1970s, despite line-up changes. The main two unchanged artistic elements of Weather Report had always been Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter and, out of the two, by far Joe Zawinul was the leading, creative force that propelled the group to worldwide stardom, commercial success, and critical acclaim, being one of the sturdy favourites of jazz-based publication DownBeat magazine (without the sole unexplainable and tremendously erroneous exception of the review they gave in 1978 to ‘Mr. Gone‘, the follow-up studio album to ‘Heavy Weather‘, primarily given its avant-garde new sound, being deemed too experimental).

Therefore, that being said, I wholeheartedly recommend integrally watching the following South Bank Show documentary on Weather Report, one of the most finest (if not the most finest) jazz fusion band of all times.

Documentation sources and external links:

2 thoughts on “Weather Report – The South Bank Show Documentary (1984)

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