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Title - 'Tale Spinnin' [Hybrid SACD - DSD]
Artist - Weather Report

For those not in the know, Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band of the 1970s and early 1980s. The band was initially co-led by the Austrian-born keyboard player Joe Zawinul, the American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Czech bassist Miroslav Vitouš.

Due to creative and financial disagreements Vitouš left the band after a few years. Zawinul took increasing control and steered the band towards a more funk, R&B oriented sound. Other prominent members at various points in the band's lifespan included bassists Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorius and Victor Bailey; and drummers/percussionists Peter Erskine, Alex Acuńa, Airto Moreira and Chester Thompson.

Now released on a stunning Hybrid SACD, Limited, Numbered Edition CD from Audio Fidelity, Tale Spinnin' is the sixth album by Weather Report, recorded and released in 1975, featuring the addition of Leon "Ndugu" Chancler on the drums. Ndugu was recruited after Josef Zawinul heard him play with Carlos Santana. Weather Report was recording next door to Ndugu in the studio, and Chancler was asked to join them for a recording session. That session ended up lasting a week and produced Tale Spinnin'. After the record, Ndugu was asked to join the band as a permanent member, but declined in favor of continuing to work with Carlos Santana.

In truth, and listening to this incredible 6 track album once again today, but via this crisp and clear SACD, Alphonso Johnson (bass) and Ndugu Chancler (drums), and the less well-known percussionist Alyrio Lima, deserve a lot of credit for giving Zawinul and Shorter's compositions the right kind of backdrop to make the music coalesce and the song-forms and improvisation really come back into focus. Kicking things off with "Man In The Green Shirt", a good example of the aforementioned would be the superlatively beautiful acoustic piano solo in "Lusitanos"; a Shorter composition, behind which the band grooves in a manner both mysterious and yet muscular.

Zawinul's beautifully titled "Between The Thighs" then proceeds to kick some seriously funky jazz-fusion butt. "Badia" is a typical mellow simmering Shorter 'ballad' of the sort WR excelled at, which moves into the percussion heavy intro of "Freezing Fire", once again combining muscularity of groove with those weirdly spaced out slightly angular melodies Zawinul and Shorter were both masters of.

This brilliant album then ends with, appropriately enough given the album title, "Five Short Stories", essentially a Shorter/Zawinul duet, and a musically stunning way to end this, or any album of this genre - and inner perspective class. As you might be able to tell by now, there are no filler tracks here as every track is very strong, the flow continuance throughout the entire album. Importantly, this newly-created, original 2-Channel Stereo Mix sound quality is like we've all been waiting for a fine wine to mature!

Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical disc for audio storage, introduced in 1999. It was developed jointly by Sony and Philips Electronics, and intended to be the successor to their Compact disc format. Indeed, this SACD format can offer more channels (ie: surround sound), and a longer playing time than regular CDs.

'Tale Spinnin' SACD Purchase Link