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Led by Miles Davis alumni Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, Weather Report incorporated elements of electronic, rock and world music into jazz motifs. This 3-CD set covers their entire 15-year (1970-1985) career with 37 tracks, highlighted by favorites like In a Silent Way; Super Nova; Milky Way; Birdland; Havona; Eurydice (Full Version) and more, plus unreleased tracks. And the DVD offers two full hours of live Weather Report in their prime, performing with Jaco Pastorius on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. The forecast is very, very good!
From 1970 to 1985, the jazz-fusion ensemble known as Weather Report reigned supreme as one the most distinguished and indefinable ensembles of the 20th century, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Joe Zawinul were the cofounders of this ever-changing group. This superb, three-CD, 37-track collection features the band's incredible cast of musicians: drummers Peter Erksine and Alphonse Mouzon; percussionists Airto Moreira, Alex Acuna, and the late Don Alias; bassists Miroslav Vitous, Alphonso Johnson, and the incredible Jaco Pastorius. The roots of their sound are heard in Zawinul's "In A Silent Way," and their greatest hits--from "A Remark You Made" and an unreleased version of "Nubian Sundance" to their 1976 mega-hit, "Birdland," are included here, along with the lesser known classic, "Indiscretions," a DJ Logic, hip-hop remix of "125th Street Congress," and a sizzling, two-hour DVD concert from Germany in filmed in 1978. This set is a powerful primer to their "folk music of the future." --Eugene Holley Jr.
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Weather Report was arguably the last great ensemble from the classic age of jazz when the music continually moved "outward." Born in the ashes of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew band, keyboardist Josef Zawinul and sax player Wayne Shorter, along with a string of great bassist/composers, continually tried to push their music in a forward direction, often abandoning entire styles in the interest of exploration. This set presents some of the best examples of their studio recordings.
As is to be expected with musicians of this caliber, the music is almost uniformly superb. Considering how much other Weather Report music could have been included here, the first few tracks featuring other artists doing proto-Weather Report music is an unnecessary waste of disc space (this music is easily available elsewhere). The jewel of the "rarities" is the energetic live rendition of Nubian Sundance. After listening to these songs as presented in chronological order, it might seem that the loss of superman bassist Jaco Pastorius left them somewhat adrift. The last few tracks seem to rehash older ideas, leading to the inevitable dissolution of the band.
For the Weather Report neophyte, this is an excellent career overview. For the collector who has this music on the original albums, the point of interest is the DVD. It captures a live performance from the Mr. Gone tour, with Jaco, at possibly the peak of the band's peforming career. The cameras focus on Zawinul for the most part, and you get a great view of the man's hands pumping out melodies like there was no tomorrow (I was reminded of watching Jimi Hendrix, whose hands often seemed to move over the guitar with a mind of their own). Jaco performs here before his mental powers began to decline, and he proves a worthy foil to Zawinul and Shorter, providing inventive support work and showing off his considerable talents during solos. I found Shorter's Zen-like meditations somewhat of a surprise, but when you're playing with busy stylists like his bandmates, his minimalist, repetitive sax ruminations are the perfect counterpoint. Which isn't to say Shorter doesn't rip off a heated solo now and again!
If you are a Weather Report fan already, you might want to consider if the cost justifies the few musical rarities or the DVD (the book included is of small interest; mainly it's a gushing ode to Zawinul and Shorter with the occasional biographical fact tossed in). If you are a jazz fan who wants an instant Weather Report collection for their library, it is definitely preferable to the other greatest hits collections. I dock the box set one star for the weakly written book and the lack of more rarities (how much live material must be out there?!), but overall a strong look at a complex band.
I have heard some of the original albums and was intent on collecting them at some stage, but this anthology captures the band perfectly on this 3 cd set, covering many of the popular fan tunes as well as many points of interest along the way. Utterly intriging and fascinating to hear, you can completely lose yourself in this music at times.
The live dvd is a great addition to the 3 cd set, and I'm lucky to have it in my collection. It could have been remastered a little with today's technology (aka Cat Stevens' Cat Stevens: Majikat Special Edition) as the picture is a little grainy at times, but the sound quality is still good.
This anthology is a worthy addition to your music collection, and saves you trying to hunt down the Weather Report albums. Unless you have a particular album in mind then you will not find yourself lacking with this purchase, as this collection is quite extensive and stands as testimony to a great collaboration of musicians.
Sound is good throughout - could've boosted the bass a bit more in the mix.
And the cover is just silly. 4 stars tho.
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Excellent, thanks a lot! I really enjoy buy it!
Excellent, thanks a lot! I really enjoy buy it!