The last album by the best line up Weather Report ever had. Zawinul, Shorter, Pastorius - and Peter Erskine, who was in my opinion the best drummer who ever played for the band. Erskine could keep up with any of Zawinul's long lines, shuffle, swing, and play with extreme sensitivity. He was (still is, I hope!) as much in charge of his kit as Zawinul was of his keyboard.
On some Weather Report albums, Zawinul feels too dominating. Here Wayne Shorter gets frequent look-ins and lead lines; there's huge variety in texture and in mood. Not quite as surprising, as Night Passage, but still experimental, with poky little bits of edgy modernity sneaking in, like the synth patterns underlying both Dara Factors One and Two. On NYC the ensemble is exquisite. Volcano For Hire is almost impossibly exuberant.
I found this album hugely rewarding when it first came out, and still do. It still amazes me that a band this good couldn't stay together for at least one more album.