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Friday, January 20, 2012

Weather Report Live In Cologne 1983

Weather Report
Live In Cologne 1983

Weather Report
Live In Cologne 1983
Art Of Groove

Those busily writing Weather Report’s musical obituary after the departure of the legendary Jaco Pastorius had to spike their copy when old hands Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter convincingly re-imagined the group with Victor Bailey (bass), Omar Hakim (drums) and Jose Rossy (percussion).

Supple and focussed, this appearance recorded for German TV  contains tracks like The Peasant and Blue Sound Note 3 which convincingly rekindle the air of smoky mystery and exploratory impulses that had prompted Weather Report's formation and much of their subsequent career, but which sadly had been missing for far too long. 

Fast City is a prime slice of straight-ahead be-bop that has Shorter’s tenor setting the air alight with racing choruses that skim and bounce off Bailey’s effortlessly rippling bass.

Keyboard wizard Zawinul, though ever-present, thankfully tones down the lava-like perma-coating of synths which often overwhelm or mar the original versions of these tunes. Away from fussy studio-induced stodge, the music here  really springs about with a welcome degree of lightness, subtlety and joy.

If Weather Report were blown off-course by their unexpected star-status in the late 70s, then this double album (and separately available DVD) is the sound of the band happy and animated at having rediscovered their raison d’etre. Most certainly a cause for celebration.


Will said...

Omar Hakim is the only drummer I've seen/heard playing an 11 minute drum solo that I would have listened to again. Can't wait to hear this album.

Sid Smith said...

He's a great drummer for sure, Will. I really enjoyed this live set.


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