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on 30 December 2016
Hi folks,

This was one of the last Weather Report legitimate recordings I came to hear. Apart from a few elements here and there, I did not especially like it until around the fifth or sixth listen. Then I started to get into it.

The recording quality is excellent and so you can hear all instruments very clearly at all times.

Zawinul creates some totally amazing soundscapes in LINKING sections of the "NYC MELODY" together!

As you will be aware, this was the FINAL studio collaboration of the Erskine/Pastorius rhythm-section.

Best,

Paul David Seaman (UK)
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on 21 March 2010
Weather Report - Weather Report

The second and last eponymous Weather Report album recorded with the same line-up as their previous disc - `Night Passage'. This was a first for WR, as all their other recordings had different group members apart from the central players and founders Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter.
`Weather Report' being the last one that Jaco Pastorius appeared leaving to go solo again with his One Truth Band.
This recording demonstrates Report at their peak in that genre of the early 1980s with probably the best group members and an epitaph the way people can play together.
Admittedly, there are similarities to the previous - `Night Passage' in this offering.

Like `Night Passage' this has moved away from the afro percussive sound, returning with nuances of traditional jazz and being a clever move by Zawinul after the `Mr Gone' album not complementing the excellent previous `Heavy Weather' in styles and sales perhaps. Maybe the route he and Shorter had to move into whether it be unintentional or contrived. Clearly, it was not going to happen twice and this work compliments `Passage' perfectly, unlike `Mr Gone' which never did justice to -or with - `Heavy Weather.'
The inclusion of Pastorius since `Black Market' was vital to the line-up and gave the band some pizzazz in their live performances as well and in the studio production process as a co-producer. Having seen them play myself I can vouch for his influence not just in the sound. But the persona. It is a shame his life was cut so tragically short later in that decade.

`Current Affairs' has similarities to Night Passage's `Dream Clock' despite being written by Zawinul and Shorter respectively.
The three-part `NYC' gives a feel to the big band sound and evokes the city's jazz music tradition and very effective with five separate instruments and lasting just over ten minutes, gives the listener an insight to bygone days when Zawinul and Shorter were playing the NYC clubs perhaps..?
It also shows the way Zawinul could orchestrate a band's sound
`When it was now' is a funky rhythm song written by Wayne Shorter of the toe tapping variety and well worth a listen. This is the only Shorter song on the mostly dominated Zawinul recording but Shorter is a great writer in his own right, let's not forget that, and it is a shame he only had this song plus the combined and last group written track - `Dara Factor Two', to his credit. There is nothing penned by Pastorius as a swansong to a great career in this band either.
Closing off with the aforementioned Dara Factor Two, marks the end of a successful and productive period for W.R. fans.
Drummer, Peter Erskine was also to leave along with the forgotten percussionist, Robert Thomas Jr.
Weather Report 2 as I think it ought to be called, has to be treated by its own merits and although it does not have the excellent closing `Madagascar' as on `Night Passage' could have joined with the former album as a double disc package.

The listener should not be too downhearted at a line-up break up, as the band was evolving all the time and yet after peaking in 1977, its potential never wavered or dropped too many notches.
Jazz aficionados of all ages will appreciate Weather Report and especially this one.
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on 2 March 2011
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.
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on 6 September 2013
The cover of this CD would have to be included in any competition for the worst cover of all time. But the album itself is badly served by this cover - it comprises well-constructed pieces in Zawinul's inimitable style, probably one of the first using his new digital keyboards. Not as good as his earlier works but still worth a long listen.
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on 28 July 2015
Prompt delivery as item as described
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on 12 November 2015
jazz at its best
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