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Advice on Jaco's albums?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by enderbass14, Dec 27, 2000.

  1. enderbass14


    Sep 28, 2000
    Hey y'all, I'm looking to buy one of Jaco's albums and was wondering which one is considered good/great/the best. thanks!
  2. Word of Mouth - Birthday Concert
    Weather Report - Heavy Weather
    Jaco Pastorius - Debut CD which was recently (re)released

    [Edited by Zonplayer on 01-08-2001 at 01:59 PM]
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
  4. Skip


    Mar 22, 2000
    Bronxville, NY

    I'd also recommend any of the Joni Mitchelle albums he's on if you want something with vocals. Henja (sp?), Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, Mingus, and Light and Shadows (live album and VHS I belive) come to mind.

    Stay away from the later live Jaco albums, they were haphazardly recorded - and in the case of Holiday for Pans reportedly stolen from Jaco.

    Good luck listening. Also check out Charles Mingus or Christian McBride (amoung many others) for different perspectives and approaches.

  5. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Advice on Jaco's albums! Advice on Jaco's albums? ADVICE ON JACO'S ALBUMS!? YES!!!! Don't buy 'em! I realise music is very personal, but I have got impeccable music taste (ha ha), and I have tried, sincerely and at great personal expense and effort - I have bought Birthday Concerts, Heavy Weather - I have gone to the local library and rented Jaco CD's and videos always thinking "I must have picked a bad one, but everyone says his music is good, so I will persevere". Now I have decided that I will not persevere - no-more - I cannot bear to listen to his music anymore - cliche ridden, dull, over slick, 80's "jazz". As mentioned, do Mingus, Ray Brown, et al instead!
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...to each his own; I don't really hear what you're referring to as "cliche" & "over slick", though. "Over slick", IMO, is stuff that's been over-produced(like today's Smooth Jazz or Brittany/Ricky Martin-Pop)or even rehearsed ad nauseum. I dunno, what I hear on THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT are guys with an attitude of goin' for it...can't ya hear them F***ING up & getting "lost"?
    If being "over slick" was an issue, those mistakes woulda been 1)edited out or 2)fixed in post production. Too, JP was known as a "one-take" kinda player & didn't really rehearse, per se, with his bands. In Milkowski's bio, Kenwood Dennard sez, ...'Jaco's thing was to work everything out on stage'. That's NOT Jazz?! C'mon...
    What exactly is "cliche" about Jaco's playing &/or composing? You said it, how 'bout backing it up with something tangible?

    ...what do you like by Mingus & why?
    (BTW, a little history: When Joni Mitchell wrote MINGUS(the album from the late '70s), Charles Mingus told her to use Pastorius for that record).
  7. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    I was being a little facetious, however, I don't like his chord progressions - I find them cliched in a "smooth jazz" sort of way - they don't excite me or strike me as being "groovy", of course each mans groove is different, but the birthday concerts in particular sounded like a dreadful group of kids straight from music college playing progressions that should work because theory dictates it, while on the other side of the world a bloke is sat at home with his headphones on playing virtuoso bass guitar! This isn't why I listen to music. I like cohesion (I've explained this), I like humour (seemingly none in any of it), surprises (no real meat and veg to move and discover asparagus beneath), I like a spacious, but tight groove and I just couldn't find it in ANY of his music.

    As for Mingus, I love Fables, but not the Ah-um version (great album title), the faster one - the whole of Mingus Dynasty, a lot of the live stuff with Chico Hamilton, Haitan Fight, a tune with a guitarist I have recorded on tape - I think it may be Barney Kessel but I'm not sure - a superb stop-start blues.

    And Britney, well, there has always been bugglegum pop - Eine Klein Nachtmusik by Mozart, ballads of current figures throughout the centuries, novelty number ones, the carnival of the animals (esp the tune used for the can-can) by Saint-Saens and I think it has a relevant place in music of any time - fun, no hassle music for dancing and children. Ricky? Well, Ricky Martin - I had the [mis?]fortune to win 2 tickets to a massive concert in London UK, and in 3 1/2 hrs he changed my entire opinion of him! An excellent all round entertainer, rarely out of key, always moving, dancing - and spreading very positive "love the world and each other" messages.

    I respect ALL music, and I believe the best of every genre is good and should be listened to, I respect Jaco and his bands, I just can't listen to the music they made together that I have heard. Maybe I'll change my mind one day, but at the moment those CD's are languishing at the bottom of my record collection.

    [Edited by APouncer on 01-08-2001 at 10:12 AM]
  8. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    JimK, I've just checked out your influences, and see names like Jimmy Blanton, Ron Carter, Dave Holland, Bootsy Collins etc and this is why I am baffled. I understand your taste, looks good, similar to a lot of my friends' taste and you all rate Jaco - WHAT AM I MISSING???? You can't all be wrong and me right, but I have tried over 3 years and my resolution is just to give up on him for now - ha ha. Can you understand my confusion?
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I dunno what to tell you; Jaco's playing(IMO)can be swingin'("Dania"), in the pocket("Come On, Come Over"), out there("The Nativity"), experimental("Crisis"), & groovin'("Barbary Coast"). The Jazz *greats*, like Bird, Mingus, Miles, 'Trane, Ornette, etc all had that(again, IMO).
    Just from my limited listening experience, I'd say Jaco could hang/jam with any of the aforementioned masters. I would die to hear a trio consisting of Jaco, 'Trane, & Tony Williams...maybe some day, eh?

    Now, about "cohesion"...must everything have it? Sometimes(actually a lotta times), I prefer it not-so neat & "real".
    Anyway, there *IS* no "who's right & who's wrong". Everybody's right(or everybody's wrong...) :D
    Curious: Whaddaya think of Gary Willis' BENT album vs. Alain Caron's LE BAND album? Does one sound more slick &/or more produced than other? Just wonderin'. In any event, I don't stack either of those up against the sorta "production" found during the '60s Blue Note era. ;)

    Which segues me into a plug-
    I just picked up the Andrew Hill Complete Blue Note box set from Mosaic Records...if you're not into Hill, check him out! His POINT OF DEPARTURE cd would be a decent place to begin.

    BTW, I wasn't slamming Ricky Martin; he does have a very well-REHEARSED band.
  10. Okay. Back to the original question. I suggest the first solo recording, "Jaco Pastorious." It shows a large range of what Jaco was all about. From his rippin' interpretation of the bebop classic "Donna Lee" to the groovin' funk of "Come On, Come Over" to the ethereal beauty of "Portrait of Tracy," that CD has it covered. Check it out and see if it whets your appetite for more.
  11. soundofphysics


    Jul 17, 2000
    if your not sure yet if you'll liek him buy This is Jazz no. 40 weather report= the jaco years, adn then the joni mitchell video
    if you liek what you hear you can move on from there.

  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree with all this completely and would add that Jaco's compositions are in the "Real Book" and other fake books and are regularly played - Chistian McBride covered Havona on his most recent CD and obviously consider this to be a great tune. I also feel that "3 Views of a Secret" on the Birthday Concert is a great piece of music and feel the same as Peter Erskine who say in his notes on this that it makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up every time he hears it.
  13. Hey Jim,

    There's this great interview with Joni that was done shortly before "Mingus" (tentatively titled "A Chair in the Sky" at the time, according to Mitchell). In it she states Charlie didn't know Jaco would play on the album and that he had an overall aversion to electric instruments. According to Mitchell, however, Jaco transcended all those aversions.


  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I'm gonna have to dig around & look for my late '70s Downbeat mags(they're around somewhere). Damn memory ain't what it used to be...

    Punch In-
    ...that was a *great* interview by Leonard Feather(in fact, that may have been the Downbeat interview...looks like I had the facts clouded).
    I hope, someday, those alternate tracks are released...more Jaco + Tony Williams(I do remember he was on some of the "missing" cuts/takes), Gerry Mulligan, Phil woods, etc.
    ...what's she waitin' on?! :D

    [Edited by JimK on 01-09-2001 at 09:26 PM]
  15. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Jaco's playing a cliche? Hmmm. To me there's a tremendous difference between hearing Jaco at the time and listening to him now for the first time. Like Hendrix, Jaco has been so often copied since he burst onto the scene and turned us all inside out that he might seem less electrifying than he did in the mid- to late-seventies. But to paraphase someone, electric bass playing can be divided into B.J. (Before Jaco) and A.J. (After Jaco). That's the depth of the influence and enormity of the legacy. As far as favorite Jaco recordings, the live Weather Report album 8:30 demonstrates Jaco in all his moods, from his raucous Hendrix tribute in "Slang" to his deft treatment of a ballad ("A Remark You Made") and everything in between. While I love the debut recording, to me it's a bit restrained. Jaco live was Jaco lively. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see him play live three times, although the last time, with Hiram Bullock and Kenwood Dennard, was a bit sad. He was clearly in mental distress, and it showed in his playing.
  16. That's a good question. I'd love to hear that stuff, too.

    As far as the Mingus/Jaco thing, Joni said that, despite Mingus' dislike of electric instruments for various issues, she truly believed in her heart that Charlie wouldn't mind because Jaco was so far beyond those issues. To me is the greatest compliment to Jaco.

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