Weather Report Live at Montreux 1976

Weather Report Live at Montreux 1976
The recent passing of keyboard master Joe Zawinul, who with transcendental sax man Wayne Shorter, co-founded the world’s first jazz-fusion "super group,” bears marking. This 84-minute refresher gives witness to the basis of Weather Report’s 15-year reign, providing insights into the band’s reputation for defining the category of jazz rock, incubating a newfound and insatiable appetite for world rhythms and unconventional structures. First formed in 1970, Weather Report peaked with this line-up, which went from here to record Heavy Weather. The emergence of Pastorius as a true melodic voice, complementing the lead of Zawinul and Shorter, is in full evidence here, his masterful fretless bass helming a sea of rich rhythmic patterns powered by the South American-schooled percussive team of of Manolo Badrena and drummer Alex Acuña. This pre-"Birdland” set is masterfully shot in close-up, revealing a swaggering stage presence, as well as a deep-set concentration that would serve the band well. For the fan, this is the much-bootlegged show to savour. For the uninitiated, this ’76 show explains what all the excitement was about. (Eagle Rock)