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Sportin Life

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 2, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 2, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002635
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,464 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For me, the most underrated Weather Report recording. Every time this group is mentioned the obvious choices are brought up. "Heavy Weather", "8:30", "Black Market', etc.

This recording, for me, is right up there with those. The playing is no less imspired, the world influences are legitimate and abundant. A very inventive and creative use of vocals. In truth I wish Pat Metheny, one of my favorite musicians had employed such interesting vocal effects in some of his group recordings.

This is as strong a line-up as any in the group history. You have Victor Bailey, Omar Hakim, Mino Cinelu, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and guest vocalists in ensemble passages with interesting harmonies.

"Hot Cargo" is an interesting, inventive, high energy piece, with those interesting, quirky vocal passages punctuated by driving percussion, interesting time signatures, Joe Zawinul's very interesting keyboards and Wayne Shorter in unison passages. This a very African feel to it. A unique time of feel. We're not talking in the typical percussive "Tin Tin Deo" kind of way. The vocals are much like tribal chants. At the same time this piece is very futuristic/progressive. Frankly as good as anything on

"Corner Pocket" - Has some strong Tenor Sax work by Wayne Shorter and driving beat propelled by Hakim and Cinelu. There are some very nice textures and embellishments laid down by Joe Zawinul on this. It cooks and it's funky. It makes you want to dance as well. All done in a unique way.

"Face on the Bathroom Floor" - is a melancholy ballad featuring atmospheric synths from Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter playing the melody in that unique slightly bitter way on soprano. It flows along and is a beautiful piece.
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The Zawinul Shorter fusion carnival is back in town and is running on high octane on this 1985 date,ending up as the next to last Weather Report album ever made.From the synclaviar bursts opening the festive groove opener of 'Corner Pocket' you already know your getting a great set of tunes.The great part is the "Hot Cargo","Face The Bareoom Floor" and "Ice Pick Willey" all have the same feel and vibrance."Confians" does too only it's one of only two Weather Report songs with vocals on it,heard here in Spanish I believe.

The song that stands out to me is "What's Going On"-Marvin Gaye's deserved classic that's oft covered by now.But Weather Report's music actually addresses the issues that Marvin's lyircs spoke about,only in the context of this instrumental cover expressing the bands musical virtues of an all world electronic fusion sound.Wayne Shorter's expressive solo backed by the ominous synth work of Zawinul conveys the need for beauty in the tortured,urban nightmare the original song depicts-it's perhapes the best version of the song.So if it can be found I highly recommend 'Sportin' Life' to any Weather Report fan-the songs are full of life and excitment and the pace quickens too often to mention.
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Yeah Yeah Yeah. Jaco Jaco Jaco. We all know he was an incredible innovator for the electric bass on the order of what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar. But these people that think Weather Report begins and ends with Jaco are just being silly. What did Ornette Coleman call that? Oh Yeah "The cult of personality", i.e., fanboys. Weather Report was already an incredible partnership between Joe and Wayne long before there was a Jaco and they were making AMAZING music. Jaco made them popular but I got to say this, Heavy Weather is one of the least satisfying Weather Report releases - in fact, I stopped listening after Heavy Weather and I'd read Downbeat's review of Mr Gone. Totally ignored from that point forward. Then I heard Night Passage at a friends and realized I was missing out on some good music. Anyway, I kept reading this goofy reviews that Weather Report was in decline after Jaco and Erskine left. Thank God for Youtube. I got curious about the Omar Hakim lineup because that dude has such monsterous talent. I picked up Procession and then Live in Cologne. Simply fantastic music. So I got around to ordering Sportin' Life last week along with the Legendary Live Tapes. I think Sportin' Life is just as good as anything else this band has done. It's a little different, a bit more laid back. The track Confians is just such a beautiful piece of music that my own band is going to cover it. Sportin' Life has some hip hop influence, nothing wrong with that. Is it my favorite Weather Report? Not today... I think Mysterious Traveler, Black Market and Tail Spinnin' rotate more than any others. But folks, this is great music. Weather Report in decline. Nonsense.
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This is the before last recording of this great band. Even if Jaco Pastorius passed away years before.
No group of musicians ever sounded like this. It is a shame they decided to disband. Joe Zawinul was a great creative force.
Unfortunately he now passed away as well.

Jaco's son, Felix, can be heard on his debut with the Yellowjackets: "A rise in the road".
He is clearly very talented and doesn't try and sound like his dad. Well done, I'd say.

The last recording of Weather Report is "This is this". underscoring what I said above. They shouldn't have disbanded.
There still was a lot of oompff there !
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