A Tribute To Jaco - Brecker, Scofield, and Methany Remember Jaco Well

Discussion in 'Features' started by TalkBass, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. erikjfreed


    Sep 23, 2005
    oops -- substitue 'arpeggio' for whatever mess I put above!
  2. PartlyDave


    Dec 28, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Well said Erikjfreed. I too had the oportunity to meet Jaco at a gig in Temp, AZ and found him to be a great guy.
  3. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    I'm a 50y/o bassist still living near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I knew JP, played same venues, played fretless (embarassing with him around) and his brother-in-law was my drummer for many years.
    A lot of the jazz players in town also dealt blow and large quantities at that. We would split kilos up and spread the scrappings of the bag on my amp head every break. It was the times but most of us lived. Made more money than playing, that's for sure.
    Jaco had an arrogant attitude from the start and he was a mean drunk. I pulled our keyboard player off him more than once.
    But there was this most incredible music scene in south Florida. Bebop on one corner, R&B on another, Latin jazz, everywhere every night.
  4. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    BUT, all the positive things said above are also true. There have been a lot of geniuses with mental disorders. There very well could be a correlation.
    It was true. There was a presence - charisma, whatever. When he took the stage the whole dynamic changed. People shut up and listened. There was a sense he was in a room and every bandleader in the area (forget style) would have him sit in.
    Exciting times - I still play/practice everyday but don't expect to ever experience anything like that again.
    I once asked JP (over a bowl of green pea soup breakfast, outside @ noon after gigging all night), whether he felt a responsibility to set an example for younger players? He didn't think so but now 30+ years later he still inspires me.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Years ago Billy Dickens did a clinic and on Drums was Jaco Pastorius,Billy has it on Video(for the non believers).
  6. funky.monk


    Oct 28, 2005
    Quesnel, BC
    I can't even describe how much I love, and admire jaco-Not only as a bass player, but as a person as well. When you hear a song by jaco, you can feel his electrical energy penatrate itself deep inside of you, and thats when you stop and say, "WoW this guy has talent" Every note has something to say, if you listen. I think that Jaco is one of those few musicians who actually speaks not with words, but with his instrument, and is actually able to send out such energy and powerful feeling along with his songs, that you are completely and utterly mesmorized by it. He is such an inspiration to so many musicians, and not only bassists, And I think that its great that this thread was started so people can come together and share their love for jaco pastorius.

    also to to funky plunky for saying what you did about jaco, THINK about who you are referring to, before you say something like that AND look where you are saying it, jesus man, have some respect.
  7. For years I had been told about Jaco and I had never taken the time to listen to him. Years later when I was over the whole "rock-n-roll is all there is" stage, I finally bought his "Jaco" album. From the first moment I heard his playing it was an amazing experience. He was a bassplayer, but when you hear his playing he was so much more. Most of us are bassplayers, some good some great, but Jaco just had something so musical and unique about him. Like he was channeling some higher power and it was coming out of his instrument. When I listen to "Teentown" from "8:30", that is always garanteed to affect me in ways most other music does not, and it's all due to Jaco's contribution and how his presence/playing completely takes over while also playing the support role. Truly one of the best musicians ever!

    Will there ever be another like Jaco? If there is , I hope I am around to enjoy the feeling firsthand.
  8. jazzwalk


    Mar 10, 2006
    Lewiston, Idaho
    "a wise man learns from his mistakes,while a SMART man learns from the mistakes of others."

    I like this, but I think "wise" always trumps "smart", so it should really go like this:

    "A smart man learns from his mistakes, while a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
  9. JacoLesFlea


    Jun 16, 2006
    I have alot of respect for Jaco and his playing. It always gets me how such great talent ends so tragically. I cut and pasted this and reading it just saddens me also pisses me of in away to...I hope that "toughguy" bouncer got what he deserved. :mad:

    The tragic ending
    In 1982, Jaco left Weather Report. For fans, this was the opportunity to hear Jaco, the big band arranger, leading an orchestra that included french horns and steel drums. In Weather Report, Zawinul could act as father and keep Jaco in line. On his own, Jaco plunged into an incredibly self-destructive cycle. Friends and associates first began getting seriously concerned about Jaco during the tumultuous tour of Japan in '82 with the Word of Mouth band. As Peter Erskine recalls, "That's when he really got out of hand. It was a pretty great band, actually. Some of the best players in New York were in that band, but Jaco was completely sabotaging the group left and right. Somehow it managed to sound good on the record and Jaco wound up sounding great himself, but a lot of us were pretty unnerved at the shows. That's when he really got heavily into painting his face with magic markers, stripping and running around naked. It was pretty awful. And it was scary. The look in his eyes...everything just seemed wrong."

    Naked on a motorcycle
    Jaco was arrested at one point during the 1982 tour for riding around Tokyo naked on a motorcycle. In 1983, while on a tour with the septet version of the Word of Mouth band, Jaco plunged 25 feet from a balcony in Rimini, Italy, resulting in a broken left wrist and three cracked ribs.

    At the 1982 Playboy Jazz Festival, he was physically removed from the stage for causing such a commotion on-stage by trashing around and knocking over equipment. The entire summer of 1986 was a nightmare that culminated, through the urging and plotting of his brothers, in Jaco entering the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He remained there for six weeks.

    Out of control
    By the summer of 1987, he was out of control. Diagnosed as a manic depressive, he was plagued by wild mood swings and bouts of bizarre, unpredictable behavior. Alcohol only aggravated the condition. Numerous stories were told about Jaco crashing gigs, upsetting patrons, starting fights, and being escorted out of clubs by police. He was often found in the streets of New York City drunk, homeless and panhandling. According to Othello Molineaux, the virtuoso steel pan drum player who worked frequently with Jaco, "Just seeing him, you got the feeling that he wanted to go. He sort of said as much to me at times. That spirit in him, that thing that made us smile...that was Jaco.

    That's what protected him all those years, even the last summer in New York when he was panhandling in the streets and sleeping in Washington Square. That's what got him from day to day. But in the last few months you could feel that that was gone. That life-force is what made us have hope for Jaco, that he could turn it around and make a comeback. But it wasn't there anymore."

    No coda
    The end came quickly in the early hours of September 12, 1987. After being removed from a Santana concert for trying to force himself on stage, Jaco appeared at the Midnight Bottle Club, a sleazy after-hours joint in Wilton Manor, a bland suburb of Fort Lauderdale. He had been barred from the members-only club, but this night he was determined to get in. When Jaco was refused entry, he apparently tried to kick down the front door. Luc Havan, the club's manager, went outside to see what all the commotion was about. Several vicious karate chops to the head later, the onetime greatest bass player in the world lay face down in a pool of blood, his skull fractured, one eye ruptured, and nearly every bone in his face shattered. Jaco lingered in a coma at the Broward General Medical Center. Word was that he would be paralyzed on one side of his body if he was able to pull out of it. Then, the status of his condition changed from critical to serious. Quite unexpectedly, on the evening of September 19, a blood vessel burst in Jaco's brain. By Sunday there was zero brain activity, yet he lingered on. On Monday they removed Jaco from the respirator. At 9:25p.m., Jaco Pastorius died. He was 35. :bawl:

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Luc Haven was the bouncer that took Jaco's life and he did about 4 months in jail.
  11. W()()D_()nly


    Apr 11, 2005
    I remember the first time i saw jaco, (on tv im 17) i was just learning bass, had a crappy little squier bronco.

    And i'm and insomniac, so im sitting up fiddling with my bass, poorley i might add, and i was watching tv at the same time because i have horrible concentration problems and tend to multitask constantly (im reading a book playing bass and watching tv while writing this) trying to figure out the difference between a slide and a vibrato, when i just happened to flip to one of those late night jazz programs. And by the grace of God decided to pause.

    There i saw this guy with long hair sitting there, with this ****tyass looking bass, and im like "why doesn't he buy a new bass" and then he started to play, and my jaw hit the floor.
    Me who at most was listening to some P.O.D as my most influential bass act. I had no idea who he was the program was ending, so i asked my bass teacher the next day.

    all he said was

    "welcome to the wonderfull world of actual bass playing"
  12. capt.fretless


    Oct 21, 2006
    jaco was awesome before he went downhill...
    Weather Report's album Heavy Weather was an awesome album!!:bassist:
  13. Rota Shabalala

    Rota Shabalala

    Dec 26, 2006
    Jaco , what can u say. da first time i heard his take on donna lee i nearly died. movin. Let us learn from Jaco. I once went thru a ruff patch and a counceller told me dat artists aren't people who should bottle up there emotions for to long. we just cant handel it . maybe dats why we turn to dope quicker, than turnin to people or to God for help. oh ya, funky , Jaco wasn't a prick, i can assure u.;-) Peace
  14. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    Hey,I'm 45yrs old and I am a recovering Drug addict who suffers from depression as well,and when one is in the grips of the disease,whether its such beautiful artists as Jaco or Hendrix etc.,horribble things happen,but that will never take away the gift given in music by these and so many others.
  15. Michele_Verona


    Oct 10, 2007
    Very nice forum,
    I'm an italian reader and your english is simple and easily understanded from me :smug:

    See you later,
  16. Jojabeau


    Feb 8, 2008
    Mid Atlantic
    Dont forget the Joni cd's; "Mingus" or or the live "Shadows and Light" are a different side of Jaco's playing and equally as amazing as the solo work or WR cd's. Dig how he played not how he died, Christ was executed as a heritic but the message is still valid. Jaco had his demons but his message is still valid as well.
  17. srptopdog

    srptopdog Greyhounds make good sound engineers - Big Ears!

    Feb 24, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I saw Jaco play with Weather Report only once, in upstate New York. Even though they were playing in an acoustically unflattering arena setting, they were incredible. I was hard to keep in mind there were only four people playing on stage (Joe, Wayne, Jaco and Peter), because there were so many tone colors and lines going on. I was in my early 20s. I remember when I song would end everyone was clapping, cheering and going crazy. I just sat there with my jaw agape. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The band was unbelievable. Jaco was unbelievable - period. I wasn't just the notes, but some spiritual vibe that was coming out of his bass. It was like a blanket was falling on the audience. The band was communicating on an entirely different musical level.

    Years later I was working in a famous music store on the music row (48th street) in Manhattan. I was killing time by playing a riff on a synth for a tune I was working on. I hear a voice behind me saying to 'flat the five on that chord next chord.' I turn around and it's Jaco. I just kind of stood there. He had attracted a small crowd by now, moving around the room a bit frantically. Apparently he had been in the store for a while and had his bass with him - not in a case (I doubt he owned one then) - and it only had three strings. A guy from the guitar department put a string on it for him. He was obviously high, flitting around the store going from department to department. His "friends" were following him around closely. By friends I mean his “suppliers.” Sad, but true. Not long afterward he visited the store again, treating a small gathering to a spontaneous version of "God Bless America" played on a Korg CX-3 organ, totally re-harmonized and I’m sure totally off the top of his head. It was amazing. Yes, of course he was a genius. If brief, first impressions count for anything my perception was that despite battling the demons of mental illness (fueled further by drug use), Jaco was NOT a mean, spiteful and vindictive person looking to cause harm to others. I suppose he was just doing battle with himself.

    My wife is getting her masters degree in social work, so I get to read her texts. Regarding abnormal psychology, yes, there is a very real correlation between artistic genius and mental illness. In a study of approximately ten Pulitzer prize-winning poets over a particular time period, more than half suffered either from manic depression or bi-polar disorder (schizophrenia). Half committed suicide.

    Traumatic and life-changing events in a person's life can often bring to the surface a latent mental illness that otherwise might have remain dormant. Perhaps the demands of touring combined with a strained home life and marriage, and then fueled by drug abuse were the triggers that sent Jaco on his mental decline.
  18. ichatfilipina


    Nov 11, 2008
    May i see the photos? or even only 1 photo.
  19. usurperbass


    May 1, 2009
    Hudson Valley,NY
    ebay seller bassrocker32,bassist/guitarist for Glory Bound & sessions
    I first heard Jaco when I first started playing bass in 86' pickup his first album and was amazed.
  20. dstuer


    Sep 17, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    I first saw Jaco play in 1969, he was 17 (I think) playing with Wayne Cochran and the CC riders, his genius at bass, even back then was obvious.
    I later saw him on the Heavy Weather tour, and after his gig he was brought down to a club I was working at, by Bill Milkowski, (who later wrote a book about him.
    I asked him to sit in, and je wanted to play drums. He later (after my gig was over)sat with me and played my bass, it was like a personal clinic. He was very gracious and helpful in that way many a genius approaches a life his talent has evolved far beyond.
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