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Author: Subject: Jaco Pastorius

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 06:11 AM
Was listening to a couple of my Weather Report CDs last night and was thinking what an amazing bass player. Was very lucky seen him play many times in person and in the studio.

Oteil said when he first heard Jaco it changed his life and when he first saw him he knew what his life calling would be. Oteil called Jaco a giift from God.

That pretty well sums up my feeling it was truly a relegious experience when you seen Jaco play live.
Would be interested to hear any Jaco stories
I'm going back and listen to Jaco's CDs again and again and just remeber.

 
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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 06:33 AM
I don't have a nice one . . .
Late in his life when he was in pretty bad shape he hung around Bleecker Street in NYC basically panhandling for booze money, telling anyone who would listen who he was. He came into the Bitter End (both the name of the club and the time of his life) when I was playing, maybe 2am one week night. No one in the club. Stood in front of the stage, long, thin dirty overcoat, looking pretty bad, drunkenly urging the bass player to play more.
He is one of those rare innovative artists who's influence was so pervasive that you almost wish he had never been, because every bass player and his mother imitated him for years afterwards, kind of like the Eddie Van Halen tapping syndrome. At the same time, his name has kind of disappeared from the general discussion of great electric bass players, Oteil's remarks notwithstanding.
I never got to see him play live (though I did see Weather Report before he joined) . . I know he was a remarkable performer. Since you did see him play live, maybe you can balance out my negative story with some positive remembraces.
He deserves it.

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 06:46 AM
Here's a Jaco stoy. Seen Weather Report play at the Westport playhouse in Westport Ct. in the early 70s The band hit the stage and hour and a half late there wasn't a warm up act.
This was my first live Jaco performance Really didnt hear of him No need to tell you Weather Report was loaded with talent but I couldn't take my eye's off of Jaco he was just incredable. He just tried to fit in to the context of the band but it was quite obvious to all we were all seeing a very special performer. Got his autograph after the show he was very down to earth and friendly.
From that point on I followed his comings and goings.
Like all great performers their studio work doesn't do them justice


It is very sad to see great performers like Jaco in that situation


 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 07:49 AM
I LOVE Jaco Pastorius!
It is very sad to hear stories of his own personal demise....but sometimes things have to be shared & remebered so that people can learn from it!
Here's a few clips that I thought would fit appropriately here:


Get this video and more at MySpace.com


Get this video and more at MySpace.com


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 08:51 AM
I really love Jaco's play too.
The last days of his life was so sad but we never forget his name, plays on many many sources.
His influence of playing bass is so huge on modern Jazz scene and there are many chasers I think.
I think there are only 3 vids related him which are officialy released, "Shadows and Lights" of Joni Mitchel, His tutorial video of bass playing (I forgot the title), Montreux Jazz Festival video. These are killer I think, so if you don"t have them yet, you should get them.
Also there are some cool footage circulated in trade world, they are really great and must have.
Weather Report at Montruex Jazz Festival 1976, Weather Report at Rockaplasta, Jaco Pastorius at Aurex Jazz Festival and some more short footage. Really COOL.



 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 08:58 AM
jaco was having a hard time downhere in south florida years ago b4 his untimely death, was fortunate to see him play often down here in ft lauderdale....what an amazing player, still some "other" pastorius's still play here in south florida.........

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 09:18 AM



http://www.jacop.net/HomePage0.html

[Edited on 9/4/2006 by Denza]

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 10:39 AM
All you Jaco fans need to be on the lookout for a new Weather Report box set coming out soon. I got an advance copy at Hittin' the Note, it's good stuff! There is a 3-cd overview of their career, including music with and without Jaco, from all periods of the group's history.

However, the real treat is that it comes with a DVD of Weather Report playing Rockpalast in 1978 I never had a chance to see Jaco live, and the first time I watched it, I was speechless. The sheer energy the man radiates is mind-boggling! There is a tune on there called "River People" that has some of the most fantastic bass playing I've ever heard. As a big Hendrix fan, I also enjoyed his bass version of "Third Stone From The Sun."

Not being that familiar with Jaco's work, I didn't realize exactly how big of an influence he was on Oteil. Now that I have been educated, I would say that any fan of Oteil's needs to acquaint themselves with Jaco in order to really understand where Oteil is coming from. Not taking anything away from Mr. Burbridge, in some ways I prefer his playing to Jaco, but there can be no doubt he stands on Pastorius' shoulders.

 
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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 10:48 AM
Beside his great technical ability, it always floored me that Jaco sound make his electric sound like a stand up bass.

A good read is "The Extraordinary and Tragic Life ot Jaco Pastorius - The World's Greatest Bass Player" by Bill Milkowski.




[Edited on 9/4/2006 by bluedad]

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 11:02 AM
Wow -- hadn't known that Jaco's end was as rough as it was -- sad.
I really like the "The Word Is Out!" CD that came out earlier this year -- Rob, the version of River People on this CD is excellent, with Will Lee playing bass -- for the last cut, Reza, they dubbed in Jaco's bass line & built the music around that, sort of like the approach they took on Hendrix's "Crash Landing" album of many years ago. This is a great CD, with killer bass playing from numerous players throughout, including Oteil, who plays a short, guitar-like intro to Three Views of a Secret.

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 11:16 AM
Not many people know Jaco played with the Harry Chapin band. Seen him at the Bushnell in Hartford Ct.. Late 70s
Had a back stage pass seen him back there if you ever seen him was this skinny unassuming guy with long dirty blond hair. Had to look twice. What a solo he put on that night. Once Jaco strapped on that bass OMG

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 11:35 AM
Rob I can't wait for that box set. Growing up in the seventies there were essentially only two bass playing role models Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius who influenced everybody. The Joni Mitchell Shadows and Light video is a must have not only for bass fanatics but for music afficianados as well.

Rob as always I enjoy your commentary, but always tend to have a slight difference of opinion. Hey I like Oteil's playing but he has still a long way to go to obtain the stature of a Stanley, a Jaco, or a Victor for that matter. He definately has the talent. And I for one would love to see him attain that stature, but ... would he even be considered in the top three Allman Brothers bassists yet? He is getting awful close. Hey just my .02.

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 11:43 AM
Thanks for that link, Denza.
Very interesting, moving stuff.
I'm ashamed I led off my post with a negative story.
We all have problems and do things because we can't help ourselves.
We know about Jaco's problems because he was Jaco.
No one will know about yours' or mine because we're not famous.
It doesn't seem fair.
Here's a link from the Jaco site that puts it into perspective:
http://www.jacopastorius.com/features/writings/daddy.asp

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 04:21 PM
quote:
All you Jaco fans need to be on the lookout for a new Weather Report box set coming out soon. I got an advance copy at Hittin' the Note, it's good stuff! There is a 3-cd overview of their career, including music with and without Jaco, from all periods of the group's history.

However, the real treat is that it comes with a DVD of Weather Report playing Rockpalast in 1978 I never had a chance to see Jaco live, and the first time I watched it, I was speechless. The sheer energy the man radiates is mind-boggling! There is a tune on there called "River People" that has some of the most fantastic bass playing I've ever heard. As a big Hendrix fan, I also enjoyed his bass version of "Third Stone From The Sun."

Not being that familiar with Jaco's work, I didn't realize exactly how big of an influence he was on Oteil. Now that I have been educated, I would say that any fan of Oteil's needs to acquaint themselves with Jaco in order to really understand where Oteil is coming from. Not taking anything away from Mr. Burbridge, in some ways I prefer his playing to Jaco, but there can be no doubt he stands on Pastorius' shoulders.



Rob beat me to it, and he is right about the new box set. I also got an advance copy of it a couple of months ago, and Jaco is amazing in the DVD. The three cd's also have a few never before released gems on it as well.

Rob is also right about sending folks who think Oteil is awesome back to Jaco, because Oteil would do the same thing. (And from my conversations with Oteil he would also send you back to Larry Graham, Alphonse Mouzon, Stanley Clarke, Miroslav Vitous, alphonso Johnson and the other greats). If you are not hip to Jaco, get hip. He broke the ground, and was almost too dominate in doing so.

quote:
This is Pat Metheny's liner notes to the 2000 reissue of Jaco's debut album, "Jaco Pastorius", a piece we feel captures what Jaco and his music is all about.
jaco pastorius may well have been the last jazz musician of the 20th century to have made a major impact on the musical world at large. everywhere you go,sometimes it seems like a dozen times a day, in the most unlikely places you hear jaco's sound; from the latest tv commercial to bass players of all stripes copping his licks on recordings of all styles, from news broadcasts to famous rock and roll bands, from hip hop samples to personal tribute records, you hear the echoes of that unmistakable sound everywhere. (it may even be more imitated at this point than the previously most pervasive jazz sound to escape into the broader culture beyond the local borders of jazz, the moody harmon mute stylings of miles davis). for all the caterwauling that has gone on about new musicians that have shown up in recent years being toted as the "next miles", or the "duke ellington of their generation", or whatever, jaco outranks all of them and all of that by being the one and the only of his kind, without predecessor; the only post 1970 jazz musician known on a first name basis with all music fans of all varieties everywhere in the world. from the depths of africa where he is revered in almost god-like status to the halls of most every music university on the planet. to this day, and maybe more than ever, he remains the one and the only JACO.

and how odd it is to see this era of historical revisionism in jazz how this accomplishment is often relegated by people who should know better as being "not jazz" or as "fusion" (possibly the single most ignorant and damaging term ever invented to describe (discount) an important and vital branch of the jazz music tree). jaco at his best, as on this record, defines what the word jazz really means. jaco used his own experiences filtered through an almost unbelievable originality informed by a musicianship as audacious as it was expansive, to manifest into sound through improvisation a musical reality that illuminated his individuality. and besides all that, he simply played his ass off - in a way that was totally unprecedented on his instrument, or on ANY instrument for that matter.

because jaco's thing has been so fully assimilated into the culture and the musical vocabulary of our time, i notice that it is difficult for people who weren't around at the time of his emergence to fully weigh the impact of his contribution. as a young musician who met jaco in his prime when we were both just starting out, i can only say that my reaction upon hearing him for the first time (with ira sullivan in miami, florida in 1972) was simply one of shock - i had literally never heard anything remotely like it, nor had anyone else around at the time. and yes, as is so often noted in his case, the way he was playing was unprecedented in technical terms, but that wasn't what made it so stunningly appealing to me. there was a humanity to jaco's thing, built into those relentless grooves was that rare quality that only the most advanced jazz musicians seem to be able to conjure up - with jaco, you were hearing the sound of a time, of an entire generation at work, on the move.

our musical relationship was immediate. we recognized in each other a kind of impatience with the status quo of our respective instruments and jazz in general and found an instantaneous rapport from the first notes we played together. we also became really good friends. during the short time that i lived in miami (near jaco's hometown of ft. lauderdale), we played show gigs together and occasionally played at his house (he was living on top of a laundromat at the time) and spent a lot of time just talking about music, much of it about how intensely we both disliked the so-called jazz/rock of the time. ( how ironic that we are both now associated (inaccurately) with that movement). shortly after we met, i wound up moving to boston to join gary burton's quartet. during this period, jaco and i spent time working together in new york with pianist paul bley and began a trio that lasted for several years with drummer bob moses (that group later went on to record what became my first record "bright size life".)

in the middle of this period jaco recorded this album. when jaco got word that herbie hancock (a major hero of both of ours) had agreed to participate, i think his already inspired vision of what he could be as a musician and what he could do with this record in particular went to a whole other level. listening again to this record, and the way that he and herbie hook up on the original and the alternate takes of "used to be a cha-cha" we are hearing improvised music at it's highest level - but with a difference. jaco restructured the function of the bass in music in a way that has affected the outcome of countless musical projects to follow in his wake - an innovation that is still being absorbed by rhythm section players to this day - he showed the world that there was an entirely different way to think of the bass function, and what it meant. for this alone, jaco would earn a major place in the pantheon of jazz history. but, of course, there was so much more.

his solo on 'donna lee', beyond being astounding for just the fact that it was played with a hornlike phrasing that was previously unknown to the bass guitar is even more notable for being one of the freshest looks at how to play on a well traveled set of chord changes in recent jazz history - not to mention that it's just about the hippest start to a debut album in the history of recorded music. that solo, along with his best compositions like "continuum" reveal a melodic ingenuity (that rarest and hardest to quantify of musical qualities amongst improvisors) that comes along only a few times in each generation. and then there is just his basic relationship to sound and touch; refined to a degree that some would have thought impossible on an "electric" instrument.

jaco's legacy has had a rough go of it - a horribly inaccurate, botched biography, endless cassette bootlegs of late-life gigs that do nothing but devalue the importance of his message through greed and overkill, and a mythology that seems to thrive on the stories that surrounded the lesser aspects of his lifestyle over the triumphs of his early musical vision and wisdom.

but you know what? you put this record on, and none of that matters. it is all here, in the grooves; everything you need to know about the guy. jaco pastorius was one of the most important musicians of our time - the fact that this was his first record is simply astonishing, there is no other way to put it. that this is without question the most auspicious debut album of the past quarter century is inarguable. as with all great recordings, the force of it's value becomes more evident as time passes.


 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 05:04 PM
Saw Jaco at the Berkeley Jazz Festival where he played both with Weather Report and Joni Mitchell (with Pat Metheney) and it was an amazing day of music. At one point in Jaco's solo spot with Weather Report he had a pattern he created repeating on delay while he played against it. He got a roaring pattern going, took his bass off and laid it on the stage floor where it fed back and screamed while he walked off, leaving an empty stage with a jazz bass blasting. After about thirty seconds, crowd screaming their lungs out, he runs onto the stage, does a forward somersault which lands him right at the bass which he puts back on and resumes playing. Crowd roars itself into the stratosphere.

 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 06:05 PM
Only Jaco could do something like that What a great memory
 

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  posted on 9/4/2006 at 06:16 PM
I love his work with Weather Report.

I believe he has twin sons that are musicians and play in the Florida area...(giant shoes to fill)

 
 


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