Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weather Report - 8:30 (Live)

These live recordings offer an honest, well-rounded perspective of the Weather Report experience, and Joe Zawinul's relative prominence as their coleader and composer, circa 1979. On an arrangement such as "Brown Street," it's clear that Zawinul's vision of electronics was based in great part on his Austrian folk roots and in the varied native musics of South America, Africa, and the greater global village. This edition of Weather Report, featuring former big band drummer Peter Erskine and fretless bass innovator Jaco Pastorius, offered Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter a stable environment in which to fashion a group sound, although by this time, as witnessed by his solo turn on "Slang" and his prominence on every chart, Pastorius had attained cult status based in equal parts on his impeccable musicianship and his sometimes over-the-top flamboyance. Yet for all their forays into funk and the Third World, Weather Report remained at its core the most jazz oriented of all fusion bands. 8:30 is notable for the dancing, syncopated lines of Shorter's composition "Sightseeing," in which the composer lets it all hang out in a virtuoso turn on tenor saxophone that proves that the rumors of his creative demise were grossly exaggerated.

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Originally posted at Fusion_Brasil


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