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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 September 2012
'Proper' jazz fans seem to shun the 'fusion' style that Weather Report are masters of, maybe because it's a mongrel mix of jazz, rock and latin and other world influences, but hey, what is their loss is our gain!

To me, it's more an orchestra of jazz, WR evoking many moods and ethnic influences - you often feel that you are under the Moroccan stars at times, chillingly relaxed at others and then bombarded by heavy and funky bass and percussion at others. If you like Santana, you may well enjoy WR, too, as there's a certain cross-over in what they do, but please do not think that they sound the same!

I had a few old WR LP albums that don't get played any more, plus a couple of CDs that are updates of my favourites. Aware that there's the other Original Album Classic set available, it basically came down to a choice between the two 5 CD sets.

MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER had to be in, as it was an LP and a real favourite of mine and I wanted to play it again, properly, with such gorgeously well-played tracks such as Nubian Sundance, the title track and Scarlet Woman, this was Zawinul, Shorter, Johnson, Um Romao, Wilburn and Vitous on a more dark musical journey, with more deep, sophisticated melodies and as always their exemplary playing.

SING THE BODY ELECTRIC was unknown to me and though I've played it once, it didn't come across as one I liked as much as the others.

SWEETNIGHTER was also unknown to me but the opening track (Boogie Woogie Waltz) has that great spatial build up of rhythms and percussions of the best WR, the sax, keyboards and bass all sparring off each other, darting about like swifts at sunset.

BLACK MARKET was an eagerly anticipated addition, the title track so beautifully and evotically opening one of my all-time favourite live albums, WR's 8:30. That version's probably longer (& better) as they've fleshed it out and improved it over the years but it's still great stuff as the original. The (admittedly small) CD sleeve with the original album artwork shows a painting of a lively African market scene that very aptly sets the musical scene for us.

NIGHT PASSAGE is also a previously unknown and again, isn't one of my favourites, here. It just doesn't hit the dizzying heights of Mysterious Traveller or Black Market, or the more I listen to it, Sweetnighter, which is fast growing on me.

True, I've only touched on maybe a few tracks from each but time is often our enemy in enjoying all this great music and to do it justice, following the nuances and patterns created by the music. I'm glad I got this set, its price meant I could get five full albums for the price of two secondhand ones but also expanding both my library and jazz repertoire at the same time.

So, if you're a bit into Weather Report and want to expand, you can't do it cheaper and that way, if an album or two isn't as great as the others, you've haven't lost out so much plus the space taken up is about the width of less than two jewelled-case CDs, meaning less clutter.
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on 7 February 2009
Weather Report, stunning...

This had to be a viable way to replace worn out LPs at a cost that didn't break the bank.

I love Weather Report even in the pre and post Jaco Pastorius periods. They are simply the musician's musicians. I cannot put into words just how much of a tingle factor these albums give me on playing.

Get them at all costs.
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There seems to be some arguments over what's included and what isn't over these bargain basement set of 5 CDs so I thought the track listing would help people make up their own minds and check out if the tracks are what they want.
Motto Look before you Leap..
Check out the second 5 CD boxed set too which contains
Weather Report / Tale Spinnin' / Heavy Weather / Mr. Gone / Weather Report]

Original Album Classics: Weather Report / Tale Spinnin' / Heavy Weather / Mr. Gone / Weather Report

CD 1 SWEETNIGHTER

1. Boogie Woogie Waltz - Album Version (13:03)
2. Manolete - Album Version (5:55)
3. Adios - Album Version (2:59)
4. 125th Street Congress - Album Version (12:13)
5. Will - Album Version (6:20)
6. Non-stop Home - Album Version (3:52)

CD 2 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER

1. Nubian Sundance - Album Version (13:05)
2. American Tango - Album Version (3:39)
3. Cucumber Slumber - Album Version (8:20)
4. Mysterious Traveler - Album Version (7:21)
5. Blackthorn Rose - Album Version (5:01)
6. Scarlet Woman - Album Version (5:43)
7. Jungle Rock

CD 3 I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC

1. Unknown Soldiers - Album Version (7:57)
2. The Moors - Album Version (4:40)
3. Crystal - Album Version (7:16)
4. Second Sunday In August - Album Version (4:09)
5. Vertical Invader / T. H. / Dr. Honoris Causa - Live: Vertical Invader - Live / T. H. - Live / Dr. Honoris Causa - Live (10:39)
6. Surucucu - Album Version (7:42)
7. Directions - Album Version (3:35)

CD 4 BLACK MARKET

1. Black Market - Album Version (6:33)
2. Cannon Ball - Album Version (4:38)
3. Gibraltar - Album Version (7:49)
4. Elegant People - Album Version (5:04)
5. Three Clowns - Album Version (3:25)
6. Barbary Coast - Album Version (3:05)
7. Herandu - Album Version (6:39)

CD 5 NIGHT PASSAGE

1. Night Passage - Album Version (6:31)
2. Dream Clock - Album Version (6:28)
3. Port Of Entry - Live (5:07)
4. Forlorn - Album Version (3:52)
5. Rockin' In Rhythm - Album Version (3:01)
6. Fast City - Album Version (6:17)
7. Three Views Of A Secret - Album Version (5:53)
8. Madagascar - Live (10:53)
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on 29 September 2009
Wao, 5 great albums for a knock down price, how cool is that.

Weather Report have produced astonishing music over the years appreciated by everyone from classical composers to folk singers. The sadly late John Martyn stated they were one of the greatest influences on his music and no wonder. A supergroup who deserved the title as every one of the line up were simply awesome musicians with only Return to Forever coming close to their consistent quality and innovative music.

Every one of these albums are excellent and well worth listening to over and over again. Buy this set and it may encourage the distributors to produce more. Who cares they are not in numerical order, the music is sublime.
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on 9 March 2011
Exceptional value: very hard to read sleeve information, but look at the price and the range! I'd add the first album and Tale Spinning (and no doubt others would add Heavy Weather), but really, what a fantastic set.
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on 23 December 2015
Five classic albums at a bargain price. No frills packaging-wise but the music is all there. Tip-top jazz fusion from the masters.
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on 10 September 2015
perfect set of 5 albums. Hadn't heard all of them before but well worth the punt Cheers.
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on 6 February 2015
Great albums and great value too. Nice way to discover bands like this.
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on 14 September 2015
Great stuff lovely insight into WRs early history
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on 6 April 2016
Marvellous sounds and rhythms to sooth the mind.
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