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Celebrating the Music of Weather Report

Review by Karl Lozier
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Celebrating the Music of Weather Report

Stock Number: Telarc DVDA-73473


  Here is the other and the last Telarc DVD-Audio recording. The only possible way to get more of these excellent sounding recordings is to let the company know you want them and are willing to shell out the money to purchase your favorite choices. Companies tend to respond to overwhelming demands for their products. Are you willing to help create part of that demand? Weather Report is certainly one of the finer groups ever assembled. They were founded by a couple of Miles Davis's participants, Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul.

They started out solid within jazz structures. As time went on they started borrowing from rock influences. This was particularly true when the upright bass (my favorite) gave way to an electric bass and the piano finally was replaced by synthesizers. As time went on they became a bit more pop oriented and were among the earlier groups that helped fusion get started. Their compositions and musicianship always kept them at least a couple of steps above most other groups. I Sing the Body Electric was a fine album representing the days when they were a serious jazz band. It was released around 1970 or 1971. Mysterious Traveler released about a dozen years later was almost as popular! They certainly were no flash-in-the-pan group.

Jason Miles produced this anticipated studio recording featuring some new sounds, creative updated arrangements and a lineup that includes a couple of old Weather Report regulars Omar Hakim and Victor Bailey. They decided not to try to make the tracks simply clichés of nostalgic remembrances. They tried to highlight various phases in Weather Report's evolution starting about thirty years ago. This contemporary group of more than twenty musicians has Jason Miles producing, arranging and playing keyboard for this celebratory album. As you would assume, different players are featured on various selections.
One of the songs that was not originally scheduled to be performed was "Birdland". However so many people associated with the project felt it had to be included that eventually it was. Others included "Cannonball", "Mysterious Traveller", "Palladium", "Harlequin" and five others.

Telarc's fine recording leaves nothing to be desired; it is definitely full range and mellowly dynamic. Unlike their other DVD-Audio release, 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, this one is cut at a typical level. Only the individual listener can decide whether a recording such as this one is as good as the original group, or just similar, but definitely different. I do not think I can decide that for you. So, lets call it a quality product with high ideals, fine performers using new arrangements and wrapped up in the latest sound technology by Telarc, DVD-Audio and also available as a regular CD.












































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