“Recorded at the Berlin Jazz Days in 1976 and originally issued on LP while Pastorius was at the height of his tenure with Weather Report and playing an all-Mangelsdorff selection, this trio delivers an inspired performance that relies on timing, virtuosity, and a little humor for its bread and butter,” AllMusic reviewer Thom Jurek says. “The title track is the opener, and its slight abstraction is quickly replaced by Pastorius suggesting the frame of the melody to his counterparts, who pick it up and glide.”
Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981 is a monumental 4 disc boxed set of previously unreleased live concert performances from the groundbreaking electronic jazz-rock-funk ensemble whose revolutionary sounds continue to influence -generations of bands and music aficionados.
Recorded “completely, totally, unapologetically and insanely live” during Weather Report’s mythic concert heydays from 1978-1981, The Legendary Live Tapes showcases the group’s classic line-up of Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Jaco Pastorius (electric bass), Peter Erskine (drums) and Robert Thomas, Jr. (Hand Drums) at the peak of their collective powers.
This essential Weather Report collection of previously unreleased performances has been meticulously assembled, curated and produced by Peter Erskine and Tony Zawinul (son of the late Joe Zawinul.
When electric bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius joined the Weather Report lineup in 1976, the group’s sound evolved into even more adventurous and pioneering directions. The ensemble landed a crossover hit, “Birdland,” in 1977. Drummer Peter Erskine joined in 1978 with Weather Report expanding into a formidable electric quintet with the addition of percussionist Robert “Bobby” Thomas, Jr. in 1980.
Performance high-points from these quartet and quintet lineups are chronicled in Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981 and have been sourced from never-before-heard (outside the band) soundboard tapes recorded by Weather Report’s longtime mixing engineer Brian Risner, and bootleg recordings from the audience. Rather than attempt to recreate the ebb and flow of a Weather Report set list of the era, The Legendary Live Tapes presents a variety of key individual performances, each of them capturing the unique and dazzling musical directions Weather Report was capable of achieving.
The 4 disc collection includes extensive notes and song-by-song descriptions of the performances penned by Peter Erskine.
Pat Metheny’s and Jaco’s debut albums arrived the same year, 1976. This album, featuring the trio of Metheny, Jaco and drummer Bob Moses, was not only Metheny’s debut, it is also one of Jaco’s earliest recordings released to date (recorded in 1975).
Recorded live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, September 1979, Joni Mitchell once again assembles an incredible band – Pat Metheny on guitar, Lyle Mays on keyboards, Michael Brecker on sax, Don Alias on drums, and of course, Jaco on bass. The band plays Joni’s songs with renewed energy, each bringing their own unique sound. This concert was also available on video.
Charles Mingus had called upon Joni Mitchell in the last months of his life to work on a musical version of T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets, a project which ultimately was scrapped but served as the catalyst to Joni’s “Mingus” album. Initial recordings for this album were done with other musicians, but Joni settled upon an all-star cast of Jaco on bass, along with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Don Alias and others. Sadly, Mingus died before this album was completed.
Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter was released in 1977 as a double-LP, once again featuring Jaco’s lengendary bass work. Bringing in a group of jazz players such as Larry Carlton and Wayne Shorter, the album consists of many improvisational tracks. Shortly after the release of this album, Joni was contacted by Charles Mingus, which eventually led to her next album, Mingus.
Regarded by many to be the best Joni/Jaco collaboration, Hejira showcases Jaco’s lyrical bass lines along the same lines as “Continuum” and Zawinul’s “A Remark You Made”. This album was released the same year as Jaco’s solo album and many others he performed on with other artists, and was the first of four he performed on with Joni.