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Weather Report - 8:30  CD (album) cover

8:30

Weather Report

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This double LP live album represents the cornerstone of Weather Report as well as a new dimension in jazz fusion music that was prevalent in the nineties. I had no idea about the band at time of the release but one of my prog mates told me that the band had a talented bass player Jaco Pastorius, also great keyboard player Joe Zawinul. So, that was the main reason to have the album. Well, I remember vividly that during late seventies or early eighties I also loved some of jazz fusion music with bass players like Stanley Clarke, Ralph Armstrong (contributed to Jean Luc Ponty) or Marcus Miller. So I was curious about Jaco.

This live record not only give you a good exploration of progressive or probably contemporary music using jazz as the tagline or as the foundation, but it also gives you a nuance of dynamic live performance through the recorded crowd applaud that is really dynamic and lively. The opening track "Black Market" (9:47) provides a good example on this. This track is by composition is a masterpiece as it combines great bass- playing that serves two purposes: as beat fillers as well as soloist. Yes, I admire the the talent of Jaco in providing improvised bass playing throughout this dynamic opening track. Wayne Shorter also is a great sax (soprano & tenor) player who has unique style and contributes dynamically throughout this track. Joe Zawinul provides great rhythm section at the background with his unique melody keyboard and at the same time serves as soloist to the track presented here. Peter Erskine drumming reminds me a bit of combination between Steve Gadd and Lenny White. One of key attractions this track offers is the solo sax accompanied with drumming. WOW! What a great performance. Top notch arrangement!

Songs like "Scarlet Woman", "Slang" and "In A Silent Way" provides an exploration of solo work, eg Slang for bass solo, reminiscent of avant-garde music. To fully enjoy these kinds of tracks you may need special time where you can accept this with an open mind. So is the case with me, sometime when I'm not ready with it, I just skip it. "Thanks for The Memory" is a slow jazzy track that may favor those of you who love jazz music. Another great fusion with great bass-playing combined with stunning sax and keyboard is "Birdland" (7:13). Zawinul gives the work of piano as well in between the punctuated beats of the music. Jaco is one of the world's best bass player, I think. He demonstrates how inventive his style through this track as well. He plays the bass like playing guitar melody, sometimes. Really cool!

Overall, this live album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you like bands like Brand X, Return To Forever, or solo albums like Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, etc. you may enjoy this album as well. Keep on proggin' ..!

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#46267)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

First live album that came out after the two most popular WR albums (BM and HW) and obviously focusing on those two, with a predominance of HW. If you read my studio albums reviews of WR, you'll know that I am not much of a fan of their jazz-funk period (from Mysterious Traveller onwards) as opposed to their jazz-rock era (the first three albums), but this doesn't mean that I dislike it. Let's just say that from Black Market onwards the group became very prone (much more than before) to showing off their virtuoso skills, and I attribute this to Pastorius arrival in the group, because when Alphonso Johnson was there before him, I hadn't really detected this "flaw". Line-up-wise the only new arrival is Zawinul's brother, Erich, on percussion. Graced with a typical Afro-American artwork of the era, this double live album

From the first disc, the only track I would pull is MT's best track, Scarlet Woman, the rest leaving me fairly cold. Indeed, with Pastorious' Teen Town and then Slang (an excuse for a lengthy bass solo), this is exactly what I don't appreciate much, and this comes from a would-be bassist. Not only do I moderately appreciate those albums, but I also happen to disagree with the track selected on this one. Least of all the Zawinul-penned straight jazz Birdland and Remark You Made.

The second disc isn't much an improvement if you ask me the highlight being the Badia/Waltz medley), and it is completed with four out-of-context tracks (on the Cd version, since I've never seen the vinyl), none of which click with this writer, Brown Street actually reminding me of the rather poor Mr Gone album, then just released. Also completely off the bat is the weird Orphan track where the Zaw-Shorter duo play with a ten kids choir. Best avoided, if you ask me, and if you should indulge into some live WR, there are a few later releases that are available and will be more representative of the band's live shows.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#135427)
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#569644)
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Review Permalink

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