(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
For many years this had been the only Weather Report live album, and even for a brief time, the album had been in limbo, finally being re-released a number of years ago, 8:30 is a great sonic achievement and often considered by many jazz critics and fans of the band to be their favorite album.
Originally a double album, in the similar vein of Genesis with Three Sides Live, 8:30 boasted three stunning sides of live material, featuring songs such as "Black Market", blistering version of Jaco's "Teen Town" (which is just ridiculous!) and solos by Jaco on "Slang" and Wayne on "Thank For The Memories" which are first rate, the R&Bish "A Remark You Made" and Zawinul's standard, "In A Silent Way" are performed and record well on this album.
While the first three sides of 8:30 are generally considered where the strongest material is at, the fourth side, contains the erratic studio material. The songs are not bad, but considering the line-up's potential, there was more experimenting, therefore most of the material did not age well. One song from side four that is genuine, Wayne Shorter's hard-bopish last track, "Sightseeing" which throughout most of the song is pure Wayne via the early Sixties, than the song would do an about face, and would jump right into a Funk vamp with noises galore. Great song.
Another footnote on 8:30: On the latest version of the album, in order to fit the album onto a single disc, the phenomenal "Scarlet Woman" is left off the recent re-issue.