This CD was a real disappointment, to say the least. I understand that this was the brainchild of Jason Miles, who I believe contributed drums and keyboard parts to the project. I assume these were his arrangements as well. While it is clear from the liner notes that this was a labor of love for Miles, it couldn't have been a more misguided project. The music sounds as if most of it was recorded with a click track, which Weather Report never did. Thus from the start, the feel is hobbled by the shackles of metronomic time. This took most of fire out of the project, which left it feeling bland and pedestrian, a sailboat with no wind in its sails, adrift in an ocean of mediocrity.
Even with a stable of impressive names, the music often feels like a pale imitation of the robust gems it tries to give hommage to. For the most part, rather than finding inspiration from the source material, Miles has chosen emulation and the results on those tracks are disastrous, as they cannot avoid comparison to their fiery predecessors, which are superior in every way. On the other hand, the new arrangement of The Man in the Green Shirt had me rushing for the remote to squelch the banal travesty that was assaulting my ears. How anyone could've come up with this watered down, tamed and cutesified, coy and oh so "caribbean" version is beyond my understanding. What a waste of Andy Narrell's steel pan talents! IWhat a waste of son many major talents! haven't had the intestinal fortitude to approach it again.
The good news is, once again Sony is putting out a newly remastered set of WR CDs on their japanese Mastersound label. There will be 10 in all, remastered with the dsd process. I recently got the Mastersound version of Night Passage (unfortunately not included in the new series,) on the Mastersound label and was very impressed-these may very well be even better. I intend to purchase many of the new WP re-releases, which incidentally will be available at Amazon. They have a street date sometime in March 2007 so be on the lookout for them.
In summary, life is too short for mediocre music. Your money will be better spent on picking up one of these re-vitalized new releases. Weather Report is still one of the greatest bands of all time. Accept no substitutes!