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.
A new Weather Report lineup makes its debut here, with Victor Bailey filling Jaco Pastorius' shoes, Omar Hakim on drums, Jose Rossy on percussion, and Joe Zawinul now thoroughly in charge. But contrary to the conventional wisdom which claims that WR went downhill after the departure of Pastorius/Erskine, the new lineup actually recharged WR's creative batteries; the material here is superior to that of the previous two albums at least. Bailey, while not Jaco's technical equal, is mobile enough to project through the texture, and Hakim has the versatility and swinging Third World rhythmic influences that must have appealed to Zawinul. "Procession" itself is a masterly Zawinul tone poem, with moody electronics and voices building to an emotional crescendo and ebbing away, a high point in WR's output.
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
Free Form Jazz Fusion at its Best
Weather Report’s I Sing the Body Electric is an album that I’ve only recently been able to handle and appreciate. It’s extremely free form, pulling in sounds ranging from low spoken murmurs to more classic jazz soloing to strange atonal feedback. The album is custom made for lying back with headphones, as the mix is very open and airy. I feel like I’m floating in a spacy dream. The tonality will slide from pleasant melodic major phrases to chaos almost seamlessly, tricking you into thinking there was planned structure for just a moment and then flying off again into the stratosphere.
Or shall we say, that is that, the final album by a group called Weather Report, now captained and guided by Josef Zawinul. The photo of Zawinul and Wayne Shorter shaking hands on the back cover of the LP is definitely a farewell gesture, for Shorter turns up on only three of the eight cuts (having left the band while this record was being made), and the record's world-music slant gives it a closer kinship with Zawinul's subsequent albums than with WR's earlier output…
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.