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Weather Report - Night Passage CD (album) cover

NIGHT PASSAGE

Weather Report

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.09 | 96 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars By the turn of the decade, WR was simply in the habit of doing one more album (this is the ninth or tenth studio, not sure exactly), and this was no more an event, nor was eagerly awaited by fans, for everything the group had to say was a long time exhausted. Although not a bad album (certainly better than the atrocious Mr Gone, but nothing compared to their early works), Night Passages is nothing to stand up and take notice: just business as usual. So much so, that NP could almost be regarded as regressive for their music had become so formulaic by now (from Black Market onwards), that it becomes so "safe" (and boring), no matter how tricky and flawlessly played. I realize I sound rather negative, but I can't find much positive to say (well I could rave upon the individual virtuoso qualities of every member of the group), especially regarding the energy level. When the group eventually manage to raise their music above the soporific level, they can't hold it up long to get the listener's attention and wake him, and with the next track, WR lets him plunge back in his lethargy, from which it was even inconsiderate to pull him from for so few reasons.

Whether the boring opening title track, or the big band-style of Ellington's Rockin' In Rhythm to the uber- uncool show-offy Fast City (Pastorius in insufferably overdoing everything as usual), to the soporific Forlorn and finally the overlong (11 mins) Madagascar overstaying its welcome already halfway through, this album exudes boredom through every pore and groove of the disc. Zawinul's keyboard choices are better than in Mr Gone and Sporting Life, but this is about the only positive point, because Shorter is almost invisible (bar an excellent solo in the last track), while Erskine (still the new kid on the block) does pretty well what he's told. This should be one of the last album Pastorius played on, before his untimely death, but it's really not making it a better album.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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