UG Nightlife Mingus
Join date: Dec 2002
139 IQ
Jaco Pastorius ? Jaco Pastorius

This week?s album is very much a jazz album, so for all you blues lovers, sorry, come back next week. Anyway, in 1976 fretless bass innovator was given a record contract with Epic. His debut release spanned dozen genres and tied them all together with tight improvisation, soaring harmonies, and a supporting cast that read like a who?s-who of the 70s jazz scene. (Contributors include Don Alias, Randy Brecker, Peter Graves, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Othello Molineaux, Lenny White, and on and on.)

1. Donna Lee. Jaco showed his roots in jazz by covering this Miles Davis (or Charlie Parker, the record is unclear) standard. A duet with Don Alias on congas, Donna Lee was the perfect introduction to Jaco?s sound and style, as his skill with harmonics, his fine improvisational skills, and his monstrous technique showed themselves all over this track.
2. Come On, Come Over. Jaco was just in his early twenties when this album was recorded and released and was familiar with the Florida funk/soul scene, having played in a few such bands in his teens. Come On, Come Over, a collaborative effort with Jaco?s good friend Bob Herzog, was an oblique nod to that style. It featured Jaco?s furious fingerstyle funk groove backed up by a swinging horn section, and vocals contributed by popular funk singers Sam and Dave.
3. Continuum. On this track, Jaco began to show the compositional skills and flair for fusion that would make him an integral member of Weather Report in the coming years. A soaring, dreamlike tune, Continuum features Herbie Hancock and Alex Darqui on Fender Rhodes electric pianos, lending the tune a far-out sort of feel.
4. Kuru/Speak Like A Child. Another frantic line from Jaco underlines this track, this time complete with a large string section.
5. Portrait of Tracy. Probably the most well-known track from this album, Portrait of Tracy is a beautiful composition full of natural harmonics, artificial harmonics, and gorgeous harmonic chords. It was on this track that Jaco really made a statement about the versatility, expressiveness, and sheer musical power of the electric bass, as he crafts a love song for his first wife out of his bass and his hands.
6. Opus Pocus. Another neo-funk tune, Opus Pocus has a bizarre atonal groove full of minor chords with beautiful steel pan lines overtop. Othello Molineaux and Leroy Williams play the pans.
7. Okonkole Y Trompa. This song has one of the most complex repeating bass grooves I?ve ever heard, as Jaco uses natural harmonics almost percussively to underscore the soaring French horn melody.
8. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha. On this track Jaco and co. just cut loose. A fast jazz boogie, Cha-Cha features some of the most intense soloing on the album, including excellent flute from Hubert Laws and a monstrous piano solo from Herbie.
9. Forgotten Love. The original album ends with this mini-concerto written for piano and a string section. A beautiful, contemplative tune.

Anyway, I hope some of you like jazz/fusion, and also bassists, ?cause otherwise this was kind of a waste of my time. Especially that portion of my time which was spent fixing Herbie's last name so as to avoid the autocensor.

Thanks to marchoso for reminding me that I had 'signed myself up'.
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UG Newbie
Join date: Jul 2004
10 IQ
Without a doubt in my mind, Jaco Pastorius is the best bassist I have ever heard. They say he is the best bassist post-60's but he has so much talent. I think he is definitely the best. He is a great influence on my group, I am friends with a bassist in my high school and he is playing Continuum to enter Berklee in NY.

I am glad you posted this.
I am a Jazz guitarist through and through. No rock, some blues, mostly Jazz and classical.
Join date: Oct 2003
313 IQ
It might be worth pointing out, seeing as you mentioned that the album was for fans of fusion, that Pastorius was a member of the Metheny-types club of jazz/rock haters: jazz rock being the most common kind of fusion. The fusion on the album is very funk and world music orientated, with many incorporations of caribbean style beats and instruments. But a great album, a brilliant showcase of Pastorius' groundbreaking playing and compositional talents.

There is also a new version of the record with two bonus cuts: an alternative take of (Used to be a) Cha-cha, and a new one called 6/4 jam.
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Official UG "Do It" Ref
Join date: Apr 2002
4,054 IQ
who are you gonna do rain?

i'm getting more interested in these threads.
Looking for my India/Django.
Thrash Jazz Assassin
Join date: Dec 2002
133 IQ
I think I might do Money Junge by Duke Ellington.
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