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Weather Report

Live at Montreux Jazz Festival 1976 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

The Weather Report is in and the forecast is for clear skies and a cool breeze. This DVD from the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival finds the group in fine form. It showcases some exceptional musicians doing what they did best. The performance is really one of the best points of this disc. When you have a group of musicians this good, how can you go wrong? For my money they could have done without the drum solo, but that's just a personal bias. Otherwise, this thing is spot on in terms of the performers plying their trade. Where it really falls short, though, is in the production values. Don't get me wrong. For a 1970's recording this is nearly as good as it gets. It's just that with the modern age of technology we've gotten used to something more in terms of video and audio quality. Here is where the DVD falls rather short. While sound recording of live concerts in those days was good – it was far from great. The resulting sound seems a bit a lacking in the mix and just a little flat overall. The filming is very bare bones. While this has its merits, it also seems a little boring. So, the long and short of it, this is a rare gem in terms of capturing a legendary band in a great performance. It's worth the price of admission based on that fact alone. The limitations of the video medium in the days when this was recorded, though, mean that it won't hold up all that well in terms of modern expectations. So, in other words, it's a very good release, but makes one wish for something a little better, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at
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