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8:30 (Live)

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iTunes Review

Following the excesses of Mr. Gone, the 1978 live album 8:30 presented Weather Report as a lean quartet: Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Jaco Pastorius on bass, and Peter Erskine on drums. The recording comes from a November 1978 concert in Long Beach, Calif., that Zawinul later called “magical.” It heightened the group’s intensity when there were just four people responsible for the multitude of sounds required by “Black Market,” “Birdland,” and “Boogie Woogie Waltz.” Erskine was arguably the greatest of Weather Report’s many, many drummers, but at this point the group got most of its rhythmic force from Pastorius, who moves through the songs like a comet through outer space. Jaco’s bass solo “Slang” is a career performance that merges the virtuosity of Charlie Parker with the funkiness of James Brown and the tectonic release of Jimi Hendrix. Though many fans argued that Wayne Shorter was being edged out of the group, here he's the centerpiece of some of the album’s most lyrical passages, like “In a Silent Way,” which Zawinul and Shorter first performed in 1967 as members of Miles Davis’ band.

Customer Reviews

Best sampling of their work from the 70s

When I got this album in my college years the fusion jazz scene had been long dead. Even what the 90s termed "Cool Jazz" was on the out and it was right before Sony re-released Miles' 70s electric live albums, much of which had only been previously released in Japan. "8:30" is what I subsisted on in this nether world between Pat Methney and the rebirth of Miles electric period ala' Sony remasters of the late 90s.

This album is a non-stop expose of the Weather Report and all of their fusion glory with the best personnel the group ever had. The rhythmic interplay between Erskine and Pastorious is all tied together and supplemented by Zaniful/Pastorius/Shorter's fanciful and piercing melodies with Wayne chiming in on rhythm occasionally playing bursting sax percussion at times. The talent of both Shorter and Pastorius is an amazing thrill ride while Zaniful's amazing craftsmanship of melody touches the soul. It is a must in any Jazz or Jazz Fusion collection.

Pick it won't be disappointed. It's better than any greatest hit album out there for this powerhouse act.


Formed: 1970

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Weather Report started out as a jazz equivalent of what the rock world in 1970 was calling a "supergroup." But unlike most of the rock supergroups, this one not only kept going for a good 15 years, it more than lived up to its billing, practically defining the state of the jazz-rock art throughout almost all of its run. Weather Report also anticipated and contributed to the North American interest in world music rhythms and structures, prodded by keyboardist/co-founder Joe Zawinul. And WR, like many...
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