3.N.Y.C.: 41st Parallel / The Dance / Crazy About Jazz
4.Dara Factor I
5.When It Was Now
7.Dara Factor II
After establishing themselves as the premiere fusion group of the '70s, Weather Report achieved legendary status with albums like HEAVY WEATHER, BLACK MARKET and MR. GONE. This self-titled disc from 1982, though often overlooked, is one of their strongest efforts. This is due in large part to the stirring interplay between bassist Jaco Pastorius and drummer Peter Erskine. Though the group's leadership was handled expertly by co-founders Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, it was the musical relationship between Pastorius and Erskine that clearly defined this period of Weather Report's existence.
The dynamic drumming that opens "Volcano For Hire" supports agile melodic lines by Zawinul and Shorter and the rumbling bass figures of Pastorius. Changing scenes, the serene "Current Affairs" features Shorter's wailing tenor in a beautiful ballad setting. The album's centerpiece is the three-part suite "N.Y.C." Its opening section, "41st Parallel," is a bouncing groove that features Erskine's sensitive yet powerful touch. The second part, "The Dance," is a very traditional swing feel but with Zawinul's heavy synth overlay. The third, "Crazy About Jazz," is a happy shuffle that aptly reflects its title. Other standout tracks include the funky "Dara Factor One" and the gorgeous "Speechless."