Released: July 1971
Chart Peak: #191
Weeks Charted: 4
Columbia has been the major force in closing the gap between jazz and pop (BS&T, Chicago, Dreams, Chase); now with Weather Report, all graduates from Miles Davis and his focus, the label bids to bring the freeform fusion of great talents and their exciting force of vision to the mass market. Joe Zawinul, Miroslav Vitous, Wayne Shorter, Airto Moreira and Alphonze Mouzon are geniuses of collective improvisation, and "Waterfall," "Orange Lady" and "Umbrellas" will take you there.
- Billboard, 1971.
Joe Zawinul, piano, has Cannonball Adderley and "Mercy Mercy Mercy" and some Miles Davis sides to his credit; Miroslav Vitous played bass with Herbie Mann; Wayne Shorter played tenor sax with Thelonious Monk. So much for the credits. The music is electronic jazz-rock, somewhat cerebral that should appeal to the Miles Davis - getting it on into jazz set. Very cool, heard through the brain.
- Hit Parader, 11/71.
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
It took a few albums for Weather Report to find its form amid all their influences of Latin and African rhythms and exotic melodies, so the first two discs, Weather Report and I Sing the Body Electric offer too few glimpses into the magic head. * 1/2
- Gary Graff, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
The weather's always fine when this is playing, say sunny supplicants soaking up one of the earliest exposures to electronic jazz, a harbinger of excellence from the outstanding quintet. On their debut, one-of-a-kind keyboardist Joe Zawinul, saxman Wayne Shorter and the other awesome talents cover the world in beams of funk fusion. Not all barometers rise, though: some meteorologists mash the music as "plain bad." * * * * *
- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.
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