(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
The irony of this is that I purchased this boxset exactly one year to the day that it was commercially released.
All of the years that Weather Report were around as one of the pacesetters for the jazz-rock movement and even more years since they disbanded the group, it was just recently within the past few years that Weather Report began to open up their vaults and expose their fans to what has been hidden for years.
The set Forecast: Tomorrow is a compilation of songs (and a DVD of Weather Report during the Jaco years which will be harkened upon later) that showed both Zawinul's and Shorter's vision for the band before they became Weather Report with songs from Miles Davis In a Silent Way without Miles' "It's About That Time" attached to it, Wayne's blazing "Super Nova" from the same title album and Zawinul's composition from his time with "Cannonball" Adderley "Experience E".
Next would begin the tracks that would constitute the brilliance of a band that was probably "fusion" at it "truest" form where Weather Report would fuse European gypsy folk, with urban funk, classical, avant-garde, rock and latin grooves with being overtly bombastic like their peers.
Like many box sets, it is hard to fit many songs that made the band great, but many of them are here with the best from each of the band's studio album are represented here.
The only drawback to true Weather Report fans is that the Forecast: Tomorrow does not have enough surprises for an addition to their musical collection, with the majority of the songs having already have been released properly on their respective albums. The only songs that might be of interest are the following; the stunning studio version of "Directions" which was recorded during the I Sing The Body Electric sessions and until now had never had a proper release. The entire studio version of "Eurydice" is displayed here, and a "live" version of "Nubian Sundance" and updated "street" version of “125th Street Congress” ( a song that has been heavily sampled in the hip hop community) is a "pleasant" surprise.
The real gem is the stunning and clean-up concert filming of Weather Report during their Mr. Gone tour and their legendary line-up of Zawinul, Shorter, Jaco on bass and Peter Erskine on Drums and the results are astounding. Worth the price of the Box set alone.
Altough most Weather Report fans will balk at adding this set to their collection with very little that might not pique their interest, neophytes to this band will see how amazing this band was in their heydey and how they have come to be so revered not only in the Jazz world but within the Rock and R&B world as well.
In dedication to a keyboardist that paved the way for the Chick Coreas, Jan Hammers, Herbie Hancocks of the world. Josef Zawinul may you rest eternally in peace and the music you left for me and others who adored you live forever