By Carlo Wolff | Published August 2017
Gerry Gibbs pairs Weather Report tunes with 16 of his originals to deliver more than two hours of passionate, daring music. This two-disc set bursts with virtuosity and power, and while the Weather Report tunes are more familiar, drummer Gibbs, keyboardist Alex Collins and bassist Hans Glawischnig bring fresh perspective to them.
Unusual touches abound, like Collins’ falsetto on Weather Report’s sensual “Black Market” and Gibbs’ romantic “I’m Simply Waiting,” as well as Collins’ ambidextrous soloing. The first CD ends with Joe Zawinul’s devilish “Directions,” a thrilling contest between Collins, on percussive piano and swirly Hammond B-3, and Gibbs, who offers a punchy solo; Glawischnig’s walking bass keeps the fever down.
The originals touch on various styles, including a driving Ron Carter homage, a synthesizer nod to soft-funk star Patrice Rushen, a bow to Telly Savalas’ “Kojak,” and “Paul And Sid’s Blues,” which sets Collins’ breakneck comping against Gibbs’ goosing drums.
Weather Or Not: Disc One: Teen Town; Palladium; Mr. Gone; Young And Fine; A Remark You Made; Black Market; Sightseeing; Punk Jazz; Scarlett Woman/Boogie Woogie Waltz; Elegant People; Birdland; Directions. (58:19)
Disk Two: Maestro Ron; Just Glad To Be Anywhere; Kojak; Road Trip; Joaquin And Pinky; We Are So Free; The 70s Song/aka Patrice Rushen; Only In Dreams; Paul & Sid’s Blues; I’m Simply Waiting; When I Close My Eyes (Part 1); St. Marteen; The Caribbean Song; Her Last Words (R.I.P.); It’s A Good Day; When I Close My Eyes (Part 2). (61:52)
Personnel: Gerry Gibbs, drums, percussion, electronics, voices; Alex Collins, piano, rhodes, organ, vocals; Hans Glawischnig, acoustic, electric bass.