Weather Report - Live in Offenbach - September 28, 1978

This is my listening assignment so it's not really structured like a review. Still, for your perusal. The music beats my writing hands down.

Weather Report - Live in Offenbach - September 28, 1978
http://youtu.be/ehXUyW4-hA8

Artists:
- Joe Zawinul (keyboards)
- Wanye Shorter (tenor and soprano saxophone)
- Jaco Pastorius (electric bass)
- Peter Erkskine (drums)

Tracklist:

01. Black Market
02. Scarlet Woman
03. Young and Fine
04. The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat
05. A Remark You Made
06. River People
07. Thanks for the Memories
08. Dolores / Portrait of Tracy / Third Stone from the Sun
09. Mr. Gone
10. In a Silent Way
11. Waterfall
12. Teen Town
13. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good / The Midnight Sun Will Never Set On You
14. Birdland
15. Introductions
16. Fred & Jack
17. Elegant People
18. Badia

Previously unreleased recordings from pioneering fusion band Weather Report playing live in the 1970s

Black Market

Starts with laughing or cawing. Electric keyboard solo with comping. Bass and sax then with keys. A head part. Sound like sax multiphonics or the keyboard could be harmonizing. Simple repetitive part. Free jazz sax solo with just sax and drums. Bass and keys back and we're back on the repeating head. Great single line solo from Zawinul on organ/synth. Bass solo with harmonies. Everyone playing short bursts. Out.

This is great playing and every part of it is experimental except for the overall arrangement which is kind of definitely solos and ensemble work. They do, however improvise throughout even during the ensemble work and they don't hesitate to enter on someone else's solo. The most powerful part was the minimalist sax and drums solo. So free.

Scarlet Woman

Starts on keys. Kind of a flute sound. Vocal countdown and thunder. Countdown electronicized somehow. Drums. A motif on bass and keys. Bluesy and then some scale excerpts. Wayne shorter on soprano sax. Spacey solo keyboard work. The return of the motif on bass. Keys answering with melodic improvisation. Again the scale excerpts with soprano sax and it ends.

A keyboard feature with a very small skeleton. Quite experimental really. and listenable throughout.

Young And Fine

Short intro and the tenor on the head. This is a Weather Report classic. Instantly recognizable. The head repeats modulated down. Free jazz sax solo over drums bass and keys modal accompaniment. The head short version. Keyboard solo. vi-ii-V-I accompaniment. Sax and keys on outtro.

Extremely good work on a concise version of a great song.

The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat

Arpegiatted piano intro. Blues riff on bass. Melody on soprano sax. Zawinul is cueing a change. Drum fill and then funk bass. R&B bassed modal jazz. Whoa oh oh vocals. Jaco and Joe. Shorter improvising on soprano sax.

Generally speaking not enough harmonic content for my taste but they do pull it off.

A Remark You Made

Acoustic piano intro. A real song with a change. Tenor sax on the melody. A sparse keyboard interlude. Back to sax. Jaco playing the melody on bass. Keys and sax trading melodic lines. This is a classic jazz ballad sound presented in a different way. Bass repeating a melodic fragment. Out on sparse keys improv.

This is a Joe Zawinul song and as far as I'm concerned it's all the way there. The album "Heavy Weather" started with two Zawinul compositions, "Birdland" and "A Remark You Made". This is a very successful jazz album commercially as well as artistically.

Weather Report is an outstanding band for their writing, performance, and innovation. This particular lineup with Jaco on bass is one of the best bands in jazz history. Hearing a live show like this brings that out. The studio recordings are great but sometimes we all need another take on things and live is live. It's the unpredictability of live music that makes it so compelling.

This is the first 40 minutes of a 2 hour concert. The whole concert is on YouTube. Recommended.