"Birdland" essentially marked the peak of Weather Report's career with the release of Heavy Weather. With the addition of Jaco Pastorius, the band was able to push its music to the “height of its popularity”, and with that came "Birdland." Weather Report's most commercially successful composition, "Birdland" served as a tribute to the New York jazz club on 52nd street that housed a countless number of famous jazz musicians. However, not only was the song named in honor of the legendary jazz club, but also after the man whom the club was named after, Charlie Parker, the ‘Bird’ himself. It was this club, that he frequented almost daily, that inspired Zawinul to write the song. Looking back, Zawinul claimed, “The old Birdland was the most important place in my life.”1 And according to Pastorius in a 1978 interview, the studio version featured on Heavy Weather was recorded in just one take.citation needed
Following the release of Heavy Weather, the Weather Report gained a number of awards and honors in recognition of their musical achievements related to Birdland. These include2
Grammy Nomination, Best Instrumental Composition, "Birdland"
Grammy Nomination, Best Jazz Soloist, Jaco Pastorius, Heavy Weather