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Weather Report - Night Passage [SACD Hybrid Stereo] Reviews for the product - Weather Report - Night Passage

[SACD Hybrid Stereo]

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3 Product Reviews - Average rating 5 / 5 (Best Rated | Worst Rated | Most Recent | Oldest)

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Fantastoc release

- 10/18/2018

Not only did this come with great liner notes, but a great stereo mix of the album! Top marks for this releae. Just ordered Tale Spinnin' and very excited to hear that in surround sound!

The definitive version of Night Passage

- 10/11/2018

Contrary to a number of reviewers, I believe this to be Weather Report’s last great album. This was the final release that had the all star lineup most people feel was their strongest. I feel Noght Passage has been generally neglected and underrated, perhaps because it doesn't have the “catchy” tunes of Heavy Weather, nor the innovation and raw power of the fantastic Black Market. Nonetheless, it’s a very solid effort, with great writing by Joe Zawinul throughout. Unfortunately there isn’t a single Shorter composition to be found here- perhaps that’s why it’s not as impactful as the previous albums; Wayne’s angular style always contrasted nicely with Joe’s more immediately accessible writing. Still, it’s a brilliant album, with great tunes like the swinging opener, Night Passage and the amazing Fast City, a tune that still sounds like it’s from the future even today. And we have Jaco’s gorgeous understated waltz, Thee Views of a Secret as well. One special thing about Night Passage is it’s a very dynamic album - I was hoping the good folks at Dutton Vocalion would take advantage of that and wouldn’t overcompress it.

The good news is, they didn’t compress the dynamics at all. In point of fact, the album is overall, anything but too loud, with plenty of dynamics, in fact way more dynamics than any previous version. I had to turn it up more than my customary settings to get a decent basic level, but that’s OK because it presents a very wide dynamic range, which makes for a more powerful listening experience.

It’s a tad bright in the highs, especially in the cymbals, but there’s also a whole lot of detail up there that I had previously missed. Even in the densest passages such as in the intense middle section of Port of Entry, Peter Erskine’s drums are clearly perceptible amidst Robert Thomas's energetic percussion parts.

Before this, the best version I had was probably the Japanese Sony Mastersound edition, which is very good indeed. But time and technology have moved on and, for this listener at least, this is a vast improvement in terms of depth, instrument separation and dynamics. Plus there’s a lot more tone pulled out of Jaco’s bass and overall, a wider soundstage than on any previous release.

Over the years, I have purchased this album multiple times, starting with the vinyl, the original crappy CD release, the Bob Belden 2002 remaster, (which was very warm, but not bright enough,) and besides the aforementioned Mastersound version, I also purchased the Mark Wilder remaster as part of the 2007 Japanese box set. That’s a very nice remaster indeed, but while possessing plenty of crispness in the high end, it really lacked low end balls.

This version has the high end detail, creamy mids and probably as much low end definition as one can milk from the original analog masters, which I suspect were inherently lacking in terms of bottom end detail. So, you don’t get that in your face power kick we hear in AudioFidelity’s beautiful recent remaster of Tale Spinnin', but I’m guessing that’s because it simply doesn’t exist here.

For those who simply can’t get enough of Weather Report, It will be interesting and exciting to check out Dutton’s new remaster of Tale Spinnin', which (finally!) includes the marvelous quad mix, which has never been commercially available before. (Say Goodbye to all those bootlegs!) It will be especially interesting to hear that stereo remaster side by side with AudioFidelity’s excellent remaster of one of the most underrated albums in the entire WR catalog.

As for this remaster of Night Passage, to put it succinctly, I won’t be looking for any versions to replace this one. My quest to find the best possible version of this underrated album is over.


Can't wait to hear this!

- 05/13/2018

Great album and Kudos to Vocalion. I don't have this yet, but I have ordered it and hope that there will be many more albums by Weather Report released on Vocalion. Would love to have them in Multi-channel as well if they were originally released that way. Can't wait to hear this.

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