Live and Unreleased
The various members of Weather Report loved the challenge of the live setting, because it forced them to live up to (and at times even exceed) the technical demands of their studio recordings. Therefore, Live and Unreleased is as essential as any of the group’s popular studio albums. Recorded at various dates with different lineups in the mid- to late '70s and early '80s, these familiar songs are made more exhilarating by the fact that they were played in real time, with no room for error. In concert, “Black Market” (recorded in London, 1977) and “Freezing Fire” (London, 1975) come off like organisms feeding on their own momentum. Because the music at times seems to simply materialize out of ethereal forces, it can be easy to forget that human beings are making the sounds. That’s what was so important about the role of Jaco Pastorius. For all his preternatural talent, the concerts encouraged him to emphasize his humanity. A gaunt and boyish figure, he would run and dance across the stage, while his solo performance of “Portrait of Tracy” (Michigan, 1977) gave everyone the chance to witness his instrumental magic without the veil of studio trickery.