Great Moments in Music 002 - "Birdland" by Weather Report

  1. Hello -

    Weather Report was (is) a jazz-fusion band that had its start in the the early/mid 1970s. The tune titled, "Birdland" is found first on their album, Heavy Weather which came out in the later 1970s (around 1977/78, I believe). The album won lots of awards.

    I picked this particular tune to start off this thread for a number of reasons. First, it's just a great tune! It's happy-sounding and will most certainly have you bopping on beats 2 and 4, especially towards the end of the piece. It also showcases the concept of jazz-fusion which, in my mind, is a high form of improvisational music of any genre. Finally, I picked this particular video (there are many video versions of this tune to be found on YouTube) because it showcases the players "doing their thing". I just LOVE watching Jaco Pastorius, the electric-bass player. He's looking quite happy in this video as he plays his fretless electric bass like the genius that he was. (Sadly, Jaco Pastorius died in 1987 from some "violent altercation" at a bar.)

    You most probably heard "Birdland" before. It was composed by Weather Report's Joe Zawinul (the keyboardist) in tribute to the New York jazz club, Birdland, located on 52nd street which housed countless number of famous jazz musicians. (The club, Birdland, was named after Charlie Parker who was nicknamed the "Bird".) This tune has been played by many musicians in many different settings. It's a favorite for high school and college jazz bands. It's just a nice, fun tune. I hope you enjoy watching and listening to the video.


    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 20, '16
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  3. by   Do-over
    Birdland is great - played it many times in high school and college.

    In honor of today's date, can I add a video of one of my favorite songs? I always feel better when I hear this...
  4. by   malestunurse
    Love Birdland, we used to nail it when I played sax baritone sax in the jazz band at high school.
  5. by   Ted
    Do-Over . . . Earth, Wind and Fire: Great Group! Their song, "September: Great, great tune! (There was a LOT of different and great tunes from the 1970s!!) Enjoyed watching the video! Thanks!

    malestnurse - Do you have a recording (video or audio) of your high school jazz band playing "Birdland"? Bet it was a lot of fun! "Birdland" is a great tune!