Recent listening, current

Friday, February 10, 2017

212. Weather Report / Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981 (2016)

On point! Four discs of hitherto unreleased live material from Weather Report's finest lineup. Pastorius recorded a healthy parade of studio LPs with the group and played dozens of gigs. His tenure is my touchstone for the Weather Report discography (I'm a native South Floridian, and admit heavy local partiality). I never saw them live, and I wore out the 8:30 album. That album's cushy overdubs and post-production soften the raw, affirmed talent in evidence on the live document. Given the Report's rep for slick and innovative studio work, I concur and take no issue there. But needless to say I am very happy that these tapes were assembled and released so we can hear them in the buff. Without hitting trading circles for soundboards and audience tapes, it's enough to pore over for a few years. Working through the first disc, my ears perk at Erskine's sparkling and aggressive work behind the drum kit, and his interactions with Jaco. Half the total sound is the rhythm section, hard to believe that only two people are carrying that. Nice notes are also included. While you wait for these to arrive in your mailbox, I heartily recommend the aptly titled Trio of Doom live disc with McLaughlin and Tony Williams.

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