Miroslav Vitous: double bass, keyboards; Gary Campbell: saxophones; Roberto Bonisolo: saxophones; Aydin Esen: keyboards; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Nasheet Waits: drums.
Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous deftly revitalizes the progressive jazz-fusion of his former band Weather Report, which he co-led with the keyboardist Joe Zawinul and the saxophonist Wayne Shorter during a few years.
The opening track, “Scarlet Woman Variations” leads us to tranquil landscapes surrounded by a placid spirituality, a mood that shifts completely in the more flustered “Seventh Arrow”, where our senses are caught in the provocative rhythm, dazzling keyboard sounds, and the expressiveness of the horns that juxtapose each other with jumpy phrases.
“Birdland Variations” takes on Report’s “Birdland” from the 1977 album “Heavy Weather”, dropping its playfully cheerful atmosphere in detriment of a more free and abstract approach peppered with strict unisons and frequent rhythmic disruptions set by two of the greatest drummers of our times.
Shorter’s “Pinocchio” was subjected to a radical treatment by Vitous, who displays his characteristic wha-wha bass sounds, inviting the reedists to embark on the same air bubble.
Truly powerful is “Acrobat Issues” where a saxophone ostinato brightens a funk-rock irruption. Campbell and Bonisolo play in a sort of ecstasy in their improvisations.
“Scarlet Reflections”, a lyrical and cogitating little piece transmits good energies, just as the last track “Morning Lake”, even if immersed in further abstraction.
Working as interludes, the three parts of the “Multi Dimensional Blues” are also loose collective improvisations.
Vitous continues thinking ahead. Here, he skillfully transforms Weather Report's old repertoire into a fresh and modern jazz album.
02 – Seventh Arrow ► 04 – Birdland Variations ► 07 – Acrobat Issues