Weather Report - Live In Cologne 1983 (3 stars)

Decent but inessential instalment of the legendary jazz troupe's back catalogue

Weather Report - Live In Cologne 1983

(Art of Groove / Birdjam)

This is the third in a previously unreleased sequence of very well recorded concerts featuring the band in Germany, and arguably the least essential, if only because the later phase of the band’s history was generally less compelling – inspiration had to do battle with bombast and/or noodling a bit too often (and when it’s bad, it’s pretty awful).

That said, a band consisting of Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Victor Bailey, Jorge Rossy and Omar Hakim is going to come up with some compelling action, and they do. One for fans rather than a starting point for newcomers. Also available on DVD.

Weather Report Sartory-Säle Köln 13.05.1983 "Fast City"

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: the Music of Weather Report with Peter Erskine

Jazz-rock is if no longer a dirty word, still a somewhat grubby one, but Weather Report were always the sharpest, liveliest and most protean of jazz-rock groups, and thanks to composers like Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius, they also had by far the best songbook. Tommy Smith and his crack ensemble celebrate…

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