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This review is from: Live In Offenbach 1978 (Audio CD)Just over 12 months before this recording was made I was present when riot shields were used for the first time in England. Music at the time meant The Clash and reggae, which provided a theme tune for the times. But shortly after the release of Give `Em Enough Rope I was reintroduced to the music of Joni Mitchell, who by then had progressed from folk to a more jazz-inflected style, with members of Weather Report providing support and Jaco in particular guiding the unique sound of that period.
It was, however, a couple of decades before I acquired anything labelled Weather Report, although I did own a complete set of Joni, a couple of Jaco solo releases and Trio Of Doom (along with a shedload of 70s Miles), and this is the first live recording I have heard by the band.
Where some of the Miles of a few years previous still sounds quite daring, Weather Report now sounds a little "safer", although I dare say that wasn't the case at the time. As I'd expected, the musicianship is excellent, and there are numerous passages which have no shortage of excitement, as with Teen Town, which is fast-paced and sees Shorter's soprano firmly underpinned by Zawinul's solid comping on electric piano. There's also plenty of exuberance on the classic Birdland and the opener, Black Market.
The four band members each get a chance at a solo track. Zawinul's, which opens and closes on grand piano, gets some accompaniment from Shorter when he switches briefly to electric. Jaco's medley features pieces from his own solo albums and Trio Of Doom, and he also drops in a little of the riff from Them Changes. Erskine's solo opens the long encore section, which finishes with maybe the best track of all, Badia, which at 13 minutes gives all a chance to exercise their chops, with some especially characteristic Jaco bass and a thunderous climax from Erskine's drums.
In the background, but sometimes not far enough, there's a slightly overenthusiastic crowd, which at times sounds almost regimented, and one guy who seems to have had his fingers caught in a mangle.
Fortunately they don't crowd out the music, which is first class, even if not quite the stuff of riots.
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Initial post: 10 Feb 2013 07:18:41 GMT
C. Chonka says:
I agree totally! Superb musicianship all around! I saw WR in 1974 and they were good then. Also live in Tokyo is excellent as well. There is always some idiot in the crowd who cannot just listen to the music and then shout and/or clap after the song is finished! It is great to be able to experience WR the 1978 edition and inspite of what some may say Jacob was a good electric bassist and composer. Alphonso Johnson and Victor Bailey and Miroslav Vitous were all excellent musicians as was all who graced the band known as Weather Report!
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