Monday, March 6, 2023

WEATHER REPORT – Weather Report Live In Tokyo (SX68Sound / 2LP-1972)

Label: CBS/Sony – SOPJ 12~13-XR
Series: SX68Sound
CBS/SONY Records Inc. ‹Tokyo Japan›
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: May 1, 1972
Style: Fusion, Jazz-Rock, Free Improvisation
Recorded Live at "Shibuya Kokaido Hall", Tokyo, Japan, January 13, 1972.
Design – Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi
Photography By – Tadayuki Naitoh
Engineer – Susumu Satoh
Producer – Kiyoshi Itoh
All selections published by Barometer Music (BMI) except "Doctor Honoris Causa" published by Zawinul Music (BMI)
Other (Cat# Disc 1): SOPJ-12-XR
Other (Cat# Disc 2): SOPJ-13-XR
Matrix / Runout (Side A, runout, etched): SOPJ-12A3 1 A 4
Matrix / Runout (Side B, runout, etched): SOPJ-12B1 1 B 1
Matrix / Runout (Side C, runout, etched): SOPJ-13A3 1 A 5
Matrix / Runout (Side D, runout, etched): SOPJ-13B1 1 A 13

side 1
A - Medley: Vertical Invader - Seventh Arrow - T. H. - Doctor Honoris Causa ........... 26:12
side 2
B - Medley: Surucucu - Lost - Early Minor - Direction ............................................... 19:08

side 3
C - Orange Lady ........................................................................................................ 18:10
side 4
D1 - Medley: Eurydice - The Moors ........................................................................... 13:42
D2 - Medley: Tears - Umbrellas ................................................................................. 10:26

JOE ZAWINUL / piano, electric piano
WAYNE SHORTER / soprano saxophone & tenor saxophone
MIROSLAV VITOUS / double bass, electric bass
ERIC GRAVATT / drums, percussion
DOM UM ROMAO / percussion

Very Rare Vinyl:
WEATHER REPORT Live In Tokyo (1972 / Original Japanese CBS Sony label 'SX68 Sound' issue 5-track double vinyl LP featuring the fushion outfit's first Live album, recorded at one of the five sold out concerts at the Shibuya Kokaido Philharmonic Hall in Tokyo. Comes with the Japanese sleevenotes printed insert plus the 'SX68' top obi-strip / SOPJ-12~13XR)

The only live release from the first era of WR, the Vitous-era, the one I consider the most essential and certainly the most adventuresome. Man, this is experimental with little in the way of melody, but with a lot of jazz. Brilliant..!!!...

On January 4, 1972, Weather Report launched its first tour of Japan with a concert at Shibuya Public Hall in Tokyo. It was the one of eight performances on the tour, five of which took place in Tokyo. The last of those concerts (January 13th) was recorded and released in Japan as the double-LP Live in Tokyo, parts of which also comprise the second side of I Sing the Body Electric, released later in the year.

Weather Report’s appearances were much anticipated by Japanese jazz fans. The group’s first album received several awards from Swing Journal (Japan’s leading jazz magazine), and CBS Sony rolled out the red carpet upon the band’s arrival at the airport, presenting each member with flowers and a limousine. At a press conference held the day of the first concert, the musicians were also given traditional Japanese umbrellas made of bamboo and oil paper—a nod to the band’s name.

Of course, one of the things the press wanted to know about was the band’s rather odd name. Wayne responded that it related to the their sound, which he said had no boundaries. Weather Report “can mean anything you want it to mean,” he said. “It’s sort of in neutral territory. It stretches and reaches into the imagination of the universe. It’s as boundless as the kind of music we play. It has a flow in the sound and it opens the doors for things to come. It’s not cramped.”

Without question the band was inspired by the first-rate music halls and large, respectful audiences for which they performed. “When we went to Japan,” Zawinul recalled, “we didn’t know what kind of a response we would get, but I couldn’t believe what happened. We thought, ‘What are we gonna do with these Japanese people, man?’ They’re so beautiful, such wonderful listeners, but laid back. That was their culture. So we said, ‘Let’s hit ’em hard, right from the first note,’ and we hit ’em hard.” Joe later told future Weather Report band members that their gig in Sapporo was the best one the band ever played.

In some sense jazz performances are always a bit of a ritual, but this seems like an immersive experience. A friend called this album “savage” Weather Report. And I always liked what Joe said later, “Let’s hit ’em hard, right from the first note.” Indeed, they did.

This double vinyl, Japanese import, contains frenetic performance of the group from that concert -- and as such, it is a revelation. Now we can follow the wild, stream-of-consciousness evolution of early Weather Report workouts, taking the listener into all kinds of stylistic territory -- from Joe Zawinul's lone acoustic piano to dissonant free form and electronic explosions -- with lots of adjustments of tempo and texture. The pulse of jazz is more evident in their work here than on their American albums, and the example of Miles Davis circa the Fillmore concerts directs the fierce interplay. In his subsequent recordings with Weather Report, and as a leader, Wayne Shorter would rarely equal the manic intensity he displayed in Tokyo. All of the music is encapsulated in five lengthy "medleys" of WR's repertoire, three of which contain elongated versions of themes from the group's eponymously titled debut album from 1971. This would be the radical apogee of Weather Report on live records.
A masterpiece, surely Weather Report's best album ever.

All in all, it was a far cry from the club scene where most of Weather Report’s early U.S. appearances took place. There’s more about this tour in book "Elegant People: A History of the Band Weather Report" (Curt Bianchi), which I recommend in a friendly way.

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. WEATHER REPORT – Weather Report Live In Tokyo (2LP-1972)
    Vinyl Rip-FLAC-192+Artwork (1.25 GB)

    You can get the download link exclusively through:


    1. Thank you for this gem. I have been taken my time listening to it and have to say that indeed it is different from other Weather Report outings. I still have some more listening to do, but so far, the raw power that is always present has taken me on a trip of delight and fright; a musical and spiritual journey that offers an altered state of consciousness.

    2. I have now listened to the whole output and it truly is a spectacular outing. People at the concert were privileged to witness an amazing event. For some reason, Orange Lady always gives me problems with playback, I tried transcoding, converting it to a different formant and it still does not track correctly. Besides that, I am glad I was able to listen to this moment in music and thank you for posting it.

    3. I found an app for Mac called VOX and it played the whole album without any issues. Thank you again for this post.

    4. Thank you! I am not the biggest Weather Report fan on the planet, but I like the atmosphere and the raw sound of it. As already mentioned, there is a problem with Orange Lady: The flac has 6 errors in it - maybe a glitch when packing together.
      But - fine work, as ever!

    5. I don't know what happened to you during the download? Now I have checked everything and everything is fine, including the "Orange lady".
      Try a new download

  2. Many many thanks Vitko !!!!!!

  3. Wonderful music! Thank you very much!

  4. GREAT MUSIC!!! Fresh today as 50 years ago...THANK YOU VITKO veryVERYMUCH! ermanno

  5. Thanks for posting. It's criminal that the only way to get this recording in the USA on either LP or CD was to find stores that carried imports and pay a premium price for it. It's so good, that when I listen to "I Sing The Body Electric" I only play the studio half because the live half not only omits some of the songs found here, it also edits what is there. My favorite WR album.

  6. Many thanks, completely agree with your assessment that they peaked with this LP and its earlier studio version, don't know if it was pressure from CBS or a desire to move away from the Miles Davis sound but there is a noticeable change of direction after this.

  7. Hi Vitko, thanks a lot for tis one. Wether report at their best. i have have the vinyl lp. Your work here is appreciated too. Superb ... ! MacFrisbee

  8. I have always been reluctant to deep dive into WR but this live in Tokyo may well be my PADI license into the abyss. Very grateful Vitko, your work and impeccable taste contribute to broadening my perspectives!!! Peace, SD.

  9. Thanks to Vitko for this interesting live concert! Marco

  10. Thanks for the chance to hear this Vitko.

  11. thanks for this (I contacted with my verizon email but this is me). I saw WP in that era and enjoy refreshing those memories

  12. I saw Weather Report in Montreal in 1983, still one of the best shows I've seen.
    thanks for this

  13. Many thanks for this, a pleasure to listen to, great work ,cheers, John C.

  14. Thank You, Vitko. This exceeded my expectations. Tofrei

  15. Excellent! Thank you, Vitko!

  16. Thank you Vitko. THE best era of Weather Report.

  17. Also my favorite WR album. Eric Gravatt is on fire throughout!

  18. Thank you so much for a rip that captures just how much FIRE the early lineup could cook with!

  19. Thank you sir. First time seeing this Weather Report.

  20. many thanks, looking forward to hearing this!

  21. Many thanks, Vitko. Excellent jazz music.

  22. Thank You. I know this one. The joy of great FLAC is real excitement.

  23. Thank you on behalf of (Dr) P Zappa

  24. Thank you, Vitko. It's an excellent rip of a fantastic performance. -Joe E