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Weather Report - 8:30  CD (album) cover

8:30

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.25 | 36 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars This is my only experience of live Weather Report, but I assume there must be better live releases from this group. Especially recordings done with earlier line-ups. This live album was released when the group was at a commercial peak (but not necessarily an artistic one). A lot of the tracklist consists of songs taken from albums released after fretless bass legend Jaco Pastorius joined. I am familiar with the CD version which omits the song "Scarlett Woman" due to time limitations of having a double album on one CD. I've read that song was the highlight of 8:30.

There are four new studio tracks at the end but none really add anything. The sound here is generally good; it doesn't sound like any overdubs have been added or any kind of editing has happened. The performances contain a fair amount of improvisation. Zawinul's synth sounds are generally good and interesting. "Teen Town" features then current drummer Peter Erskine instead of Jaco, who played the drums on the studio version. "Slang" is a Jaco solo piece which incorporates the riff from Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone From The Sun." Included here is a version of the Miles Davis classic "In A Silent Way" which was written by Joe Zawinul. He plays the then brand-new Prophet V synthesizer on this track.

"Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz Medley" is probably the highlight of the whole thing. Zawinul comes up with great keyboard sounds here. "Brown Street" is both the longest and best of the studio tracks. Based around African styled snare rim centred drumming. Nice synths and sax work in this song. The brief use of vocoder by Zawinul is good. Jaco's bass starts off more buried in the mix but later becomes more noticeable and slight;y distorted. 8:30 was likely released to capitalize on the success of the 1977 album Heavy Weather and it's hit "Birdland" (also included here). Live they could still do magic but in the studio they were rarely on fire anymore. I would have liked to have heard Jaco on some of the songs before he joined. As it is this is a decent live album but nothing spectacular. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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