(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
There has been a talk of legend of Weather Report's live shows, but until recently with the release of an upcoming double compilation in Oct. of 2002, the only way we got to hear glimpses of Weather Report's genius, was the albeit chop job on the second half of the band's second album I Sing The Body Electric and the studio enhanced 8:30. Live In Tokyo is the entire concert that was briefly featured on I Sing The Body Electric. This album features stunning renditions of three songs on their debut and five from I Sing, plus two originals from Wayne and Joe.
The percussion is handled wonderfully by the great Jazz oriented drumming of Eric Gravett and assorted percussion of Brazilian vet Don Um Romao, whom both are the driving force behind the three front members, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Miroslav Vitous. The songs here work better under a live setting, as for the band seemed highly inspired on this date, and proceedings and the crowd is very patient allowing the band to weave its spell over them.
For those whom do not believe how great Wayne Shorter was, listen to his renditions of "Surucucu", "Directions", "Orange Lady" as he plays the Soprano Sax. Stunning is all I can say. Joe Zawinul experiments with odd meters and intonations on keyboards that further distance him from his peers throughout these recordings.
Live At Tokyo might predate future 8:30 and might not have the same fanfare, but this is prime material, that for years was only available via "import", But now finally available as a Columbia Records re-release. Buy it before it disappears, because this also a "limited release".
This album is for those that like jazz-rock, but with the emphasis more on jazz and avant-garde.
Album Review: Five Stars