Mysterious Traveller cover

Mysterious Traveller

Released

Weather Report was no more a band than Steely Dan was. The group’s creative nexus was keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and rhythm sections came and went. On 1974’s Mysterious Traveller, the funk was deep thanks to fretless bassist Alphonso Johnson and drummers Ishmael Wilburn and Skip Hadden (with percussionists Dom Um Romão and Ray Barretto popping in here and there), but Zawinul’s newfound love of the ARP 2600 synth let things get thrillingly weird at times, particularly on the opening “Nubian Sundance,” which is world music from another world entirely.

Phil Freeman

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