Volcano For Hire – 1982
A spirited performance at the Playboy Jazz Festival
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The Playboy Jazz Festival (a successor to the one-time event that took place in Chicago in 1959) was a fixture at the Hollywood Bowl during 1979-2019 before the COVID pandemic caused it to be cancelled for two years.
The 1982 edition was filmed and highlights have been released in piecemeal fashion through the years.
“Volcano For Hire” features a later edition of Weather Report when the co-leaders (keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter) were joined by electric bassist Victor Bailey, drummer Omar Hakim, and percussionist Jose Rossy.
After Hakim and Rossy begin the number by playing with ferocity, the full group joins in; Shorter on tenor is in the lead but in reality all of the musicians make equal contributions with Zawinul and Bailey really pushing the group.
The fine performance reminds one that Zawinul once said of Weather Report that everyone and no one soloed; it was very much an ensemble-oriented band filled with tight interplay.