Personnel: Carl Andersson (vocals); Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Joe Zawinul (keyboards); Omar Hakim (drums); Jose Rossy (percussion).
Recording information: Kosei Nenkin Hall, Osaka, Japan (1983-1984); The Music Room, Pasadena, CA (1983-1984); The Sound Castle, Los Felitz, CA (1983-1984).
Here's more proof that Weather Report actually became a more potent, life-affirming musical force after the departures of its best-known sidemen. Things begin on an oddly commercial note with a pop song "Can It Be Done," sung by Carl Anderson, that actually lays out Weather Report's credo, searching for sounds never heard before. Then Joe Zawinul and company get down to business with the funky "D-Flat Waltz," marked by Omar Hakim's flamboyantly complex drumming. Zawinul's synthesizer textures become thicker and more flexible with the help of newly-introduced digital instruments, and the funk element in general becomes more pronounced than on any record since Tale Spinnin'. Victor Bailey (bass), who spins his wheels on the title track, and Jose Rossy (percussion) remain on board (though Rossy left shortly thereafter) and Wayne Shorter's tenor sax has a rawer, tougher edge than it has in awhile. Though not quite as triumphant as Procession, a triumph nonetheless. ~ Richard S. Ginell