|Studio album by|
|Released||April 27, 1973|
|Recorded||February 3–7, 1973|
Connecticut Recording Studio
|Producer||Bob Belden (Reissue producer)|
|Weather Report chronology|
|Christgau's Record Guide||B|
|Rolling Stone||(not rated)|
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
Writing and recording
The group had recorded the songs in a five-day stretch during February of the same year. It was to be the last album to feature founding member Miroslav Vitouš as the primary bassist.
Zawinul began to assert greater control of the band, steering it away from the collective improvisation that marked its live performances toward more structured compositions emphasizing funk and groove. This was exemplified by the album's two dominant tracks, "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and "125th Street Congress," as well as the closer, "Non-Stop Home." Other tracks were reminiscent of Weather Report's previous albums. Sweetnighter is considered to be the most stylistically transitional release by the band as it bridged the gap between the more open, improvisational earlier style to a more compositionally structured format. Also, the more prominent use of electric bass is evident here. Zawinul had taken the decision to add some funky beats in the band's sounds, so he recruited drummer Herschel Dwellingham and percussionist Muruga Booker to play on the album. Andrew White was hired to play the English horn, but also handled the bass for three tracks of the album.
Sweetnighter was recorded at a Connecticut recording studio in less than a week, and was released in April 1973.
Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "Ask yourself: What kind of a jazz (or rock) (or jazz-rock) group would conceive its sonar identity around electric keyboards and soprano sax? A pretty dinky (not dunky) one, right? So while I'm pleased that they're going for a drum groove a little solider than anything Dom Um Romao can move and shake, I'm not surprised that they get it only—just barely, in fact—on '125th Street congress.' And that 'Boogie Woogie Waltz' is fatally cute, ace improvisations and all."
"Boogie Woogie Waltz" was frequently in the band's live sets through the 1970s, and a live version from 1978 appeared on the album 8:30. Also in 1978, Vitouš recorded a new version of "Will" with Terje Rypdal and Jack DeJohnette on their collective album for ECM.
- "Boogie Woogie Waltz" (J. Zawinul)– 13:06
- "Manolete" (W. Shorter)– 5:58
- "Adios" (J. Zawinul)– 3:02
- "125th Street Congress" (J. Zawinul)– 12:16
- "Will" (M. Vitouš)– 6:22
- "Non-Stop Home" (W. Shorter)– 3:53
- Josef Zawinul – piano (2, 6), electric piano (1-5), synthesizer (1, 2, 6)
- Wayne Shorter – saxophone
- Miroslav Vitouš – acoustic bass (1, 2, 4), electric bass (3, 5)
- Andrew White - electric bass (1, 4, 6), English horn (3, 5)
- Herschel Dwellingham - drums (1, 2, 4, 6)
- Eric Gravatt - drums (2, 4, 6)
- Muruga Booker - Moroccan clay drums (1, 2), roller toy (3), Israeli jar drums (4)
- Dom Um Romão - percussion, wood flute
- Produced by Shoviza Productions
- Phil Giambalvo - engineer
- John Berg - cover design
- Dick Hess - cover
- Ginell, Richard S. "Sweetnighter - Weather Report | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 22, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- "Weather Report : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
- Campbell, Hernan M. (15 July 2012). "Review: Weather Report - Sweetnighter | Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 204. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
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