Zawinul claims that after listening to the Nefertiti album by Miles Davis (that features three of Shorter's compositions), he knew that he wanted to form a band with Shorter.  He basically had it in his mind that "that's the guy I should do something with."   During the recording sessions for 'In a Silent Way', an agreement was made to form a band, which was the starting point for Weather Report.

Zawinul first was exposed to Vitous when he was just 19 years old.  Vitous had just won the 1966 Friedrich Guilda International Competition, where Zawinul was a judge.  Three years later, both Vitous, Shorter and Herbie Hancock contributed to Zawinul's album, 'Zawinul'.   Using an echoplex and ring modulator with a piano were the early creative explorations in sound that would become more evident after the formation of Weather Report.

"Wayne hadn't been working for a year," recalled Zawinul.  "At the time he was writing a piece for a 22-piece orchestra.   And I had tons of music and it was just time.  And when it's time to quit certain things, it's time to quit.  Miroslav had made a very nice album for Atlantic.  I knew Miroslav for quite a while; I judged this contest in Europe where he came in a winner.  We had similar backgrounds culturally.  It was very easy to get into his music and understand it, so it fell together in one afternoon."

When asked about the name of the group, Zawinul said that initially they came up with "The Wayne Shorter - Joe Zawinul Quintet".  But it wasn't appealing to both Vitous and Shorter, so they tried to come up with a band name that would have more mass appeal.  They thought about what people do every day, and they agreed it was watching the news.  But "Daily News" didn't really ring a bell.  When the question came up of what do they want to hear, 'the weather' was mentioned.  Shorter then blurted, "How about Weather Report?"  Everyone all replied, "That's it!" - so that was how the name stuck.

Source:  Weather Report: The Annotated Discography


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