Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band active from 1970 to 1986. The band was founded (and initially co-led) by Austrian keyboard player Joe Zawinul, American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Czech bassist Miroslav Vitouš. Other prominent members at various points in the band's lifespan included Jaco Pastorius, Alphonso Johnson, Victor Bailey, Chester Thompson, Peter Erskine, Airto Moreira, and Alex Acuña. Throughout most of its existence, the band was a quintet consisting of Zawinul, Shorter, a bass guitarist, a drummer, and a percussionist.
The band started as a free improvising jazz group with avant-garde and experimental electronic leanings; when Vitouš left Weather Report (due mostly to creative disagreements), Zawinul increasingly steered the band towards a funky, edgy sound incorporating elements of R&B and native musics from around the world. Zawinul used the latest developments in synthesizer technology, and took advantage of a large variety of sounds and tone colors to make the band stand out. During the first half of their career, Weather Report were seen as one of the defining acts in modern jazz, winning the DownBeat "best album award" five times in a row.
Alongside bands such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, Herbie Hancock's the Headhunters (all with members inspired by and partially responsible for the fusion-era work of Miles Davis), Weather Report is widely considered one of the defining bands of the jazz fusion genre.
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