Search - Weather Report :: Live in Tokyo

Live in Tokyo
Weather Report
Live in Tokyo
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (2) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #2

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.


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CD Details

All Artists: Weather Report
Title: Live in Tokyo
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Columbia Europe
Release Date: 1/23/1998
Album Type: Import, Live
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.

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CD Reviews

Essential listening
C. Oberst | Arlington, VA United States | 04/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you like your fusion jazz to be extended, challenging, and bold, you simply must own this album. Nothing Weather Report ever did in the studio compares with this, in my opinion, and I love their early studio releases. Live, they were a whole different beast, especially in the early days.

The later "8:30" live album has its moments, but the late '70s Weather Report material was not as challenging or as suited for further exploration on the concert stage, even though Jaco Pastorius was certainly a willing explorer.

But "Live in Tokyo" shows a band that could combine the most ethereal, searching sounds with jaw-dropping heaviness and chops, all in the space of a few minutes. And they could turn on a dime, as if it was all planned out in advance--which it certainly wasn't. This is clearly what all the fuss was about.

Miroslav Vitous' live playing? You've never heard a stand-up bass growl and cry like this, I guarantee it.

This album shows the amazing results Joe Zawinul could achieve with a Rhodes electric piano and a couple of effects devices. Far more interesting, to my ears, than when he got fancy synthesizers to play with. He still had a "voice" with the Rhodes, so to speak.

Wayne Shorter? Oh hell yeah, he's playing his a** off here like he never did in the studio with Weather Report.

Eric Gravatt and Dom Um Romao brought the percussion fireworks on the stage, big time. No easy listening Fuzak, here.

Just get it."
Weather Report Cooks Hot in Japan!
Michael H. I. Borger | Nappanee, Indiana | 01/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Weather Report really cooks in this concert that is both groundbreaking and barrier shattering. The music is definitely seventies Miles Davis styled fusion, but that's the only thing this album has in common with what you have heard from that era. It is interesting that keyboardist Joe Zawinul has stated that he had the whole electric jazz idea in mind when he joined Miles Davis to record the classic album "In a Silent Way." If you listen to this album and understand that this is a Zawinul driven band completely separate from any Miles David ensemble, it is obvious that Zawinul's claims about "In a Silent Way" are well founded and justified by facts and the passage of time.

There is a lot to recommend the music found at this live concert event. For one thing, Weather Report's sound was often forged at concert dates and then recorded in the studio. The real essence of Weather Report, one could observe, is that of constant live composition and improvisation that thrives on the spontaneity of the moment. Weather Report was founded on the notion that everyone solos while no one solos, and it was an ongoing collaborative effort.

That was in sharp contrast to most of the music of the time. Whether listening to popular music, blues, or jazz of that time period, the majority was primarily based on song composition. That is, the music was first a song with the structure of verse, chorus, or bridge - and it was recorded or performed live in that format. Weather Report pioneered the ongoing sound that was based on a riff or melodic fragment, rhythm or bass line - and was ongoing without clear definition of compositional structure. That was a real contribution to the evolution of music in general and jazz in particular, one that is still being explored today in the musical idioms that followed.

In addition to all the analyzable elements, this album rocks! There is a lot to recommend this album for rock, funk, soul, and jazz audiences - and every bit of it moves and grooves and just kicks hard. There is a lot of experimental, even avant garde sound here as well. The sonic experimentation is awesome, and those with renewed interest in classic synthesizer sound will be thrilled and amazed.

Wayne Shorter excels as always in the saxophone department. His sense of melody, harmony, rhythm, and improvisational flair are unequalled. He truly tells a musical story with every song, every solo. His collaboration with Joe Zawinul's keyboard work is legendary and does not disappoint here. He also succeeds in taking many of the songs in unexpected directions as he spins his musical contributions throughout the concert.

This is a really excellent album. If you are a Weather Report fan already, it is worth the price of admission to get a really different and unique listen to the ensemble in its formative stages. He live performance is equally interesting and outright fun. Get this CD today for a great Weather Report ride!"
Innovative Yet Ambient
directions | Space Time Foam | 11/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I can't identify as a huge fan of Weather Report though I always felt with the line up they had of Miles alumni that they could have taken their music in more directions. With "Live in Tokyo" one sees that live, early on, that it did indeed occur. I agree with the points some other reviewers made but the keyboard playing of Joe Zawinul is essential, especially the ring modulator used on the electric piano as mentioned, creates an effect commonly used on synthesizers and more importantly similar to the keyboard more that Chick Corea was using on Miles Davis "Black Beauty". Of course by that album Wayne Shorter had departed the group for Weather Report and was carrying over the song "Orange Lady" that can be found on the "Complete Bitches Brew Sessions". Basically you have a more ambient version of Miles live at that time (not that "In a Silent Way" wasn't proto-ambient music in itself) with aspects of jazz funk that would later predominate what would become the group's sound that was over commercialized. But Joe Zawinul was one of the originators of fusion (his album "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" was one of the first jazz albums to use an electric organ and Miles was influenced by this to go electric) and Wayne Shoter was an essential post bop musician and highly influential. Rather than my concerns about what went wrong, I am more interested in what could have been the possibilities and here they are fully explored. Fusion early on was innovative and it should be noted that Chick Corea who later on had a quite commercial sound was in the free jazz group Circle (many of their recordings go in and out of print) with Anthony Braxton on saxophone. So fusion was by no means a "sell out" genre nor were the musicians in it originally. Just listen to Miles "On the Corner". Of course this is nowhere the equal to it but "Live in Tokyo" is intelligent and yet not dischordant but certainly innovative and the improvisation is focused yet has depth. If Weather Report had continued in this direction and focused more on improvisation and innovation as Miles did I believe they would have remained a noted jazz group today. So for fans of Miles 70's music I think "Live in Tokyo" is worthwhile listening and if someone enjoys the slick commercial sound of Return To Forever, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Herbie Hancock (although I will give some credit for the hard edged funk that Herbie Hancock was producing then)but isn't ready for a true masterpiece like "On the Corner" then this might be a tentative first step and for all Weather Report fans a must."