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Weather Report: Live at Montreux 1976

4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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(Apr 17, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Weather Report was founded in 1970 by musicians who had met while playing with Miles Davis. This Montreux Festival show from 1976 follows on from the release of their album "Black Market" but features the line-up that would release their most famous and successful album "Heavy Weather" in 1977. This line-up features Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Wayne Shorter (saxophones), Jaco Pastorius (bass), Alex Acuna (drums) and Manolo Badrena (percussion). Previously only available as a bootleg of a TV broadcast, this new DVD release is fully authorized and has been restored to its full length.

Tracklisting 1) Elegant people 2) Scarlet Woman 3) Barbary Coast 4) Portrait of Tracy(bassolo) 5) Cannonball 6) Black market 7) Drum & Percussion Duet 8) Piano & Saxophone Duet 9) Dr Honoris Causa/Directions 10) Badia/Gibraltar

The chance to witness world class musicians and a great band at a vital point in its evolution is the appeal of Weather Report: Live at Montreux Jazz Festival 1976. Joe Zawinul (keyboards) and Wayne Shorter (saxophones), co-founders of the enterprise that many would call the greatest jazz-fusion group ever, had recently been joined by a player of almost equal stature: Jaco Pastorius, who at age 24 was busy re-defining the fretless electric bass for generations to come. Pastorius had played on some of Black Market, the most recent Weather Report recording, but he'd only been touring with them for three months when they appeared at the Montreux event; though not yet fully integrated, his playing here frequently backs up his self-description as "the greatest bass player in the world," not only on Black Market material like Shorter's "Elegant People" and Zawinul's "Cannon Ball" and title song (two of his most melodic and enduring tunes) but on earlier items like "Badia" and "Scarlet Woman" as well. With Manolo Badrena on percussion and the explosive Alex Acuna on drums, this was the quintet that would go on to release the landmark Heavy Weather album a year later (you can hear Zawinul noodling on the melody that would become "Birdland," their breakout hit, during "Dr. Honoris Causa"). This gig, which clocks in at slightly under 90 minutes, is smoking from start to finish. The band expands on (and, in the case of "Black Market," slightly speeds up) the recorded versions; as always, the balance of composition and improvisation is brilliant, underlining Zawinul's description of Weather Report as a band that "never solos, but always solos." Although one might wish for a better audio mix (the drums and percussion are too loud, and the overall sound is on the shrill side), this is a welcome addition to the catalogue of a wonderful and important band that's woefully underrepresented on DVD. (Note: Fans will also want to check out the DVD of a '78 performance that's included in Forecast: Tomorrow, Weather Report's 2006 boxed CD set.) --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Tracks: Elegant People, Scarlet Woman, Barbary Coast, Portrait of Tracy, Cannon Ball, Black Market, Drum and Percussion Duet, Piano and Saxophone Duet, Dr. Honoris Causa and Directions, Badia, Gibraltar

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,560 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Whistler VINE VOICE on April 21, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For many of us Weather Report fanatics this is the Holy Grail of WP live videos. If you're like me, you already own a bootleg of this show. I have two, the second being slightly better in quality to the first, with even a hand held audience camera (horrible quality) filling in Dr Honora ex Causa/Directions tune which was missing from the television broadcast from whence the bootleg was born.

But this is a whole other level of quality. The good folks at Eagle Vision should be commended for taking the original filmed concert and lovingly restoring it to its full length. Even more impressive than the crystal clear video and continuity is the superior sound. We are given no less than three formats to choose from, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS(!) and PCM stereo. The DTS sounds great on my system, putting this outstanding performance under an aural magnifying glass. One can hear so many details that the first viewing/listening was startling, even though I have viewed the bootleg countless times. The PCM stereo version is also superb-encoded as it is @48k and 16 bit, it surpasses CD specs and sounds it too, considering the 1976 concert quality source. I should note that the balance of the band is a little off at the beginning, but quickly adjusts to a satisfactory mix for most of the show. Overall , the bass is a bit weak and the percussion a little too forward for my tastes, but its close enough to not get in the way of really enjoying the music.

As for the performance, well, if you don't know why WP was considered such a big deal ,this document should convince you of their importance in modern jazz history. This was before they played the big concert venues and added all the lights and smoke.
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Format: DVD
The main feature film from 1976 is overwhelming. The performance itself is incredible, but the filming is especially unique. The camera is focused for nearly the entire performance in a close-up on Nina's face, with great clarity and detail. The shots of her piano playing are also very well done. Nina's interaction with the audience is riveting. This is an absolute must.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I experienced the great Dr Simone in 1978 and 1979 in London and she was well - just Nina - totally eccentric and yet riveting.

The 1976 Montreux concert is a great experience - yes the diva is so great it defies description. She lives life (I got life) OK. I Wish I Knew and Feelings are so stellar in emotion that it is difficult to convey how great the interpretations are. Lets just say that they take your breath away.

The 1987 and 1990 bonus tracks are OK but they are too edited - Nina is best experienced in totality which the 1976 concert is. I thoroughly recommend that you buy this concert DVD and trust that Dr Simone's estate release many more of her concerts on DVD - once you see her live you can never forget how great she was.

A Diva supreme
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Format: DVD
Simply an amazing show!!! Many WR fans have had this one from their bootleg collection and it ranks up there with one of their favorites. The Montreux Jazz Fest and Mr. Claude have done a wonderful job in restoring these historical concerts. Why have I seen this show over hundreds of times and still left shaking my head in disbelief. I hear that they are going to release the Mahavishnu 1974 show as well as the 84 band. I say bring them on all of them (even Stanley Clarke 1980), because Sony (baloney) aint doin a thing. In this particular show Shorter is the star, his solo on Black Market is mesmerizing as well as on Pastorius's Barbary Coast. Shorter is one of the best improvisers of all time, and here he is given so much space to play. Jaco actually was playing in the band for 3 or 4 months and he is killer all the way through. I wish this remastered version would have shown more camera angles with him playing, because he is spectacular. Nobody sounded like him at that time and no one sounded like the wizard Joe Zawinul on synths. Joe Zawinul is Weather Report!!! One of my favorite moments is when Jaco gets into the River People rift on Gilbraltar and you can see Zawinul start to hold in his drool from his mouth because it sounds so good. Then they take it to another level when Wayne comes in and they freak the music into another dimension. It's also great to see Joe and Jaco stare each other down, because it's a beautiful competitive collaborative effort. With this concert I can see why Jaco choose Alex Acuna on drums instead of Chester Thomas because they fit so well. This 76 show is better than the 78 Germany on Forecast Tomorrow in so many ways. I agree with fellow fans to release more Weather Report shows live because it was an event like no other.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
What a great surprise, to find out that jazz/funk super group STUFF has finally seen the light of day on an official DVD release. During the seventies and eighties, this group of super session artists, were the most in demand studio musicians on the planet. Everyone from Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Art Garfunkel, George Harrison, Grover Washington JR, Dianne Schurr, and Joe Cocker to name a few, used these guys in some shape or form on their records. When not recording for others, Stuff made their own brand of high octane Jazz/rock fusion, releasing several successful albums along the way. This DVD captures STUFF in 1976, live at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. They gained world-wide popularity, especially in Japan and of course New York, where they not only lived, but played all the big jazz clubs on a weekly basis. Big Gordan Edwards-Bass guitar, Steve Gadd-Drums, Cornell Dupree-guitar, and the late Richard Tee and Eric Gale on keyboards and guitar, made some of the finest funkified jazz/fusion ever waxed. This concert features some of their most intense instrumentals ever. Their sound is like no other, as we get to hear and see the late Eric Gale trade guitar licks with the great Cornell Dupree. As I have said before, they are the equivalent of Clapton and Allman, only in the Jazz/funk mode. Richard Tee's driving piano along with Steve Gadd on Drums provide the viewer with performance they will soon not forget. And anchoring that great rhythm section, was Big Gordon Edwards, who comes across like a captain running a flawless voyage. Such tunes as "Foots", "Signed Sealed Delivered, "How Long Will It Last", "Stuff's Stuff", and "Boogie On Reggae Woman", will put the listener into overdrive, like a well tuned sports car.Read more ›
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