Weather Report must have been one of the most important Jazz-Rock groups from the 1970s, founded by his two major instrumentalists Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter 40 years ago. Late 1970s Weather Report was at the very height of its success and featured, except Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, guitar legend Jaco Pastorius and drummer Peter Erskine. In September - October 1978 they toured along Europe and were scheduled for a dozen concerts; the live concert at the Stadthalle in Offenbach was recorded and is now available on a 2cd album and a DVD, which offers this complete concert. A must-have for all Weather Report fans. Keep Swinging loves to point you to this kind of historical concerts.
2007 five CD set, a great installment in Sony/BMG's Original Album Classics series that brings together rare and out of print titles with some best sellers from the Sony/BMG Jazz catalog. Many of these albums have been unavailable on CD for some time and are sought after by collectors. Each set is presented in a high quality, rigid cardboard slipcase containing five 'vinyl replica' mini LP sleeves. This collection from the Jazz fusion greats features the albums I Sing the Body Electric, Sweetnighter, Mysterious Traveller, Black Market and Night Passage.
The great Czech bassist returns once more to the music of Weather Report, the group he co-founded with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter in 1970. It’s the improvisational freedom of the early Weather Report that most interests Vitous, and he abides by their old rallying call “everyone solos and no one solos”. Well-known Report repertoire re-explored includes “Birdland”, “Seventh Arrow”, “Scarlet Woman”, “Pinocchio” and “Morning Lake” and Miroslav’s group also plays “Acrobat’s Issues” a piece which the first Weather Report line-up played but didn’t record.
Live and Unreleased is a compilation of live recordings of Weather Report. The tracks are taken from live performances that took place from November 25, 1975 to June 3, 1983. Since its skill at live improvisation made up a large part of the band's appeal, its perhaps surprising that this is only their third official live recording (the previous two were 1972's Live in Tokyo and 1979's 8:30).
These four discs offer completely unreleased performances by the Weather Report lineup of keyboardist Joe Zawinul, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Jaco Pastorius, drummer Peter Erskine, and a bit later, percussionist Bobby Thomas, Jr. It was compiled for release by Erskine (whose historical essay and annotated track notes are fantastic) and Tony Zawinul, Joe's son. These are mostly soundboard cassettes made by WR's longtime live sound engineer Brian Risner, with choice audience tapes and commercial mobile rig selections mixed in. While it (mostly) sounds like an excellent bootleg, the sound here is remarkable given the root sources. Similar to 2002's Live and Unreleased, the material is not arranged chronologically.
If you like Weather Report you'll probably like this music, though purists may say that it's late, missing Pastorius, and perhaps a bit mechanical by this stage (and certainly the medley of their most famous tracks does seem a bit like "they're expecting these so we have to deliver"). The energy and atmosphere are still there, and this a valuable - though very short - document of a unique moment in the history of music.
Weather Report's ever-changing lineup shifts again, with the somewhat heavier funk-oriented Leon "Ndugu" Chancler dropping into the drummer's chair and Alyrio Lima taking over the percussion table. As a result, Tale Spinnin' has a weightier feel than Mysterious Traveller, while continuing the latter's explorations in Latin-spiced electric jazz/funk. Zawinul's pioneering interest in what we now call world music is more in evidence with the African percussion, wordless vocals, and sandy sound effects of "Badia," and his synthesizer sophistication is growing along with the available technology. Wayne Shorter's work on soprano sax is more animated than on the previous two albums and Alphonso Johnson puts his melodic bass more to the fore. While not quite as inventive as its two predecessors, this remains an absorbing extension of WR's mid-'70s direction.
On Mr. Gone, Weather Report becomes merely a cover name for a Joe Zawinul/Jaco Pastorius jazz/rock/funk record production, with several guest drummers (Steve Gadd, Tony Williams, Peter Erskine), no resident percussionist, and Wayne Shorter as a still-potent solo saxophone threat. This album was denounced in its time as a sellout, probably on the reputation of Jaco's pulsating "River People," which is as close as WR ever came to outright disco.