Jason Miles

Celebrating the Music of Weather Report

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Telarc and producer Jason Miles brought in a boat-load of contemporary jazz heavyweights to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Weather Report's formation with this recording, and quite a celebration it is. Miles and his all-star cast have managed to remain true to the original music, while updating and opening up the arrangements. Tenor saxman extraordinaire Michael Brecker smokes up "Elegant People," while alto superstar David Sanborn teams up with the final Weather Report rhythm section of Victor Bailey and Omar Hakim to take a scrumptious, synth-soaked stroll through "Cannonball." Lesser known saxophonist Aaron Heick comports himself well as he fills Shorter's shoes on "Mysterious Traveller," and Spyro Gyra's Jay Beckentein turns in a lovely soprano sax lead over Joe Sample's distinctive piano on the ballad "Harlequin." "The Man in the Green Shirt" journeys to the islands courtesy of steel pan man Andy Narell. Randy Brecker's trumpet gives a new dimension to "Palladium," while Marcus Miller and John Scofield take a loping, funky trip through "Cucumber Slumber." In fact, the only complaint about this recording is that the modern synthesizers, employed a little heavy-handedly at times by Miles, have a much cheesier sound than did Joe Zawinul's bank of organic keyboards and early synths in the band's heyday. Nonetheless, this celebration offers a bevy of delights to remind old-time Weather Report fans of the band's greatness; it may even help introduce a new generation of listeners to this superb music, hopefully enticing them to check out the originals.

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