"Holiday For Pans" legitimacy (Which tracks are really Jaco?)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by osciphex, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. osciphex


    Jun 1, 2001
    I've come across a few tracks from the infamous Holiday For Pans, in which the original master tapes were taken to Japan after jaco's death and supplimented with the basslines of some random japanese guy. How many of these tracks are actually Jaco playing? Anyone know?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I seem to remember that he didn't play any bass at all and that this was the reason that it was never officially released, as the record company didn't think it would be viable, as Jaco's virtuoso playing was his big selling point.

    Obviously the name implies it is a vehicle for Steel Drums, not bass.

    My copy of the Penguin Guide to Jazz rates it highly - highest rating of any Jaco albums : "by far the most imaginative project Pastorius ever undertook". But nobody around here seems to have liked it when this topic has come up.

    I have never heard it as I have only ever seen the big boxed set for ridiculous prices $100!! :rolleyes: Also, the family website (Jaco's children) asks that you don't buy this as they get no money from it despite many acrimonious disputes! :(
  3. osciphex


    Jun 1, 2001
    I know the steel drum playing is all that Othello Monteruex (sp) guy, the same guy who played the steel drums in Opus Pocus on the pastorius debut album. Holiday for Pans was supposed intended as a breakout album for that guy.

    Supposedly Pastorius recorded a few partial basslines for some of the steeldrum parts that Othello layed down, I was just kinda wondering if any of the tracks were completely finished before pastorius died... things look pretty doubtful in that respect.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I found this article by searching the net :

    "Holiday for Pans" - the 1993 single CD

    Pastorius CDs in Japan bogus, estate alleges. (jazz
    bassist Jaco Pastorius) (Brief Article) Steve McClure.
    Billboard, July 10, 1993 v105 n28 p35(1). Elec. Coll.:

    Full Text COPYRIGHT BPI Communications 1993

    TOKYO--The release of rare recordings featuring the late jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius is creating a rumpus here, with the artist's estate warning the U.S. and European trade not to handle the CDs.

    Hirakazu Sasabe, president of Osaka-based record distributor Super Stop Inc., says he has the rights to the material by Pastorius, which dates from the early '80s. Sasabe says that on May 12, 1992, he paid $155,000 in cash to a man named Kenny Jackel for the master tapes. Super Stop's record label, Sound Hills Records, released April 24 10,000 copies of an album culled from the tapes, called "Holiday For Pans." The label plans to export 6,000 more copies. Pastorius' estate now is threatening to sue Sasabe for recovery of the tapes, which it says Jackel stole. Sasabe says he bought the tapes in good faith and had no reason to doubt Jackel's integrity.

    The album consists of eight tracks featuring steel "pan" player Othello Molineaux.

    The estate says the tracks were recorded in early 1981, while Pastorius was still under contract to Warner Bros. Records, and that he had decided to release them as a Molineaux album with Pastorius and Peter Yianilos as co-producers. Pastorius, the estate claims, did not play any bass on the "Holiday For Pans" tracks. Soon after the tracks were recorded, the estate continues Pastorius was released from his Warner Bros. deal but retained exclusive rights to the tapes. "During the period of confusion and chaos for Jaco, a man named Kenny Jackel ingratiated himself and convinced Jaco to 'store' the 132-inch reels containing the unfinished, unmixed rhythm tracks," says Garland Hogan, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attorney representing the estate. According to Hogan, Jackel subsequently had a session player lay "counterfeit" Jaco bass tracks on tape.

    Sasabe claims Pastorius, who died in 1987, gave the tracks to Jackel as payment for studio time. He admits Jackel did not show him any documentary proof that he owned the tapes. Jackel, now said to be living in Bangkok, could not be reached for comment. "This is the first time I've encountered this kind of problem in 18 years," says Sasabe, stressing the need for trust in such deals. "It's a very, very rare case."

    Sasabe says he checked to see whether there was any record in the United States of the tapes having been stolen and found nothing. Hogan says the estate has agreed with Molineaux and Yianilos to jointly launch legal action in Japan against Super Stop to recover the tapes. Meanwhile, he adds, "we have formally requested that the FBI enforce the criminal copyright laws and seize the records and CDs of "Holiday For Pans" when they arrive in the U.S. We urge all retailers or wholesalers not to buy this illegal product or risk suit from the Estate." Says Sasabe, "If the estate tries to get sales of the album stopped in the U.S., then they'll have to prove their case."

    -- End --

    Copyright 1993 BPI Communications, Inc.
    Used on this site with permission from Billboard
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Here's another article from Bass player's old website :

    ( http://archive.bassplayer.com/artists/jaco.shtml )

    Perhaps the most controversial posthumous Jaco release is Holiday for Pans, a bootleg released in 1993 on Japan's Sound Hills label. Originally recorded in 1982 as a showcase for steel-pan virtuoso Othello Molineaux, it was rejected by Warner Bros. because the company executives believed it had no commercial potential. As Ricky Schultz of Warner Bros. recalls, "This happened around the time we were getting ready to shut down our jazz division. They had made quite an investment in Jaco's second project, and he delivered this Holiday for Pans album, which was not what they had anticipated. He was extremely enthusiastic about it; Holiday for Pans was a really forward-thinking record, but it wasn't well received by the company. Frankly, they didn't know what to make of it. They didn't understand how special it was."

    Charlie Loury, who was also at Warner Bros. at the time, confirms Schultz's assessment of how the label misunderstood Holiday for Pans. "Jaco was very difficult to work with; his relationship with the company was extremely adversarial from the beginning. His Word of Mouth had gone way overbudget, which didn't sit too well with the pencil-pushers. Personally, I found Holiday for Pans fascinating; I love the chances Jaco took on that record. But the company was expecting another 'Birdland'—something with more commercial appeal. And when Jaco came back with Holiday for Pans, people were walking around shaking their heads, saying, 'What is this?'"

    Schultz elaborates, "At that point, the decision was made to release Jaco from his contract, and the company decided to put out the live album, Invitation, as a way of recouping on its investment. Word of Mouth had sold only about 50,000 copies, which was a bit of a letdown—so Warner Bros. wasn't about to gamble on something as esoteric as a steel pans album."

    After Holiday for Pans was rejected by Warner Bros., Jaco took possession of the master tapes—although they would remain in storage for four years before he turned his attention to them once again. While in Bellevue Hospital, he began to perceive the nine master tapes from the Holiday for Pans session as his ticket out and back into the limelight. Following a quick mixdown session at a jingle studio on Manhattan's Upper East Side (done on the evening of September 11, 1986, while Jaco was out of Bellevue on a two-hour pass), the master tapes were left in a closet at the studio, entrusted to engineer Ken Jackel. From that point on, Jaco would call Jackel on several occasions, saying, "Hold onto those tapes! Don't give them to anybody except me—not even to my ex-wives or my brothers or my mother. Don't listen to anybody but me."

    After Jaco died, Jackel went into hiding with the tapes, in effect holding them hostage until he could collect a handsome ransom from the highest bidder. The engineer moved to Washington, D.C., and emerged a few months later with a lawyer to represent him in dealing with the tapes. Jackel claimed to be the original engineer of the 1982 Holiday for Pans session, even though he hadn't met Jaco face-to-face until the summer of '86.

    Jackel had meetings with a Columbia Records executive and several other heavyweights in the industry, but his asking price was way out of line with their budgets—particularly for a steel pans album. To further sully the story, Jackel had brought in a friend to overdub Jaco-style bass parts with the intention of passing them off as the real deal. The bassist who actually laid down these bogus tracks later called me to confess his part in the fraud. True Jacophiles need only give a cursory listen to the CD to realize the phrasing, tone, and note choices may be close—but it is definitely not Jaco.

    Jackel eventually turned up with the tapes in Thailand, where he began working at another jingle studio and conducting engineering seminars. He began shopping the tapes to entrepreneurs in Japan and finally found his buyer in Super Stop, a distributor based in Osaka. The head of Super Stop, Hirakazu Sasabe, actually formed Sound Hills Records specifically for this Jaco project and reputedly paid Ken Jackel $160,000 for the Holiday for Pans tapes. The Pastorius estate took legal action to retrieve the master tapes, but to no avail. Holiday for Pans, available through Europe, Asia, and Canada, remains a blight on Jaco's recorded legacy.
  6. osciphex


    Jun 1, 2001
    Very informative.
    Man, I was way off on the spelling of that steel drum guy's last name...

    So the basslines are all crap. I only have one mp3 off the cd and that one certainly sounds odd.

    I'm a little skeptical that jaco would call that Jackel guy and tell him not to give the tapes to his family. Of course jaco probably didn't expect to get himself killed a year later either...

    I think the tapes should have gone to other musicians who were to work on that project, (such as Othello).
    If they had simply brought in another bassist and created new, distinctive basslines, and then NOT tried to pass them off as jaco's, Holiday For Pans could have been a totally legitimate release. Instead they went the other route.. oh well...
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have the single-cd of Holiday.
    IMO, certainly NOT essential; not really that essential for completist-type yutz, either.

    If ya wanna hear some Othello Molineaux, check out his solo album, It's About Time. A nice version of "Havona" is on that disc, too.
  8. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    Would it be inappropriate for me to say that I hope Luc Havan dies a slow and miserable death before his soul is tormented in Hell for all eternity?

    I don't really hope that, for I can't imagine Jaco feeling the same way as he looks down upon this world. Perhaps Luc was just a random instrument of Fate, not worth our hate.

    I just had to get it out in the open.
  9. osciphex


    Jun 1, 2001
    This sounds horrible, but go to switchboard .com and type in Luc Havan. You get a single florida adress back! Could it be him?
  10. bolinski


    Feb 27, 2011
    I just found a copy of the Sound Hills release of the album in a charity shop - I must say it's well worth a listen, although there's not a lot of bass on it ! the pan playing is great, as are the bits of overdubs by Wayne Shorter and the rest of the various players - it doesn't feel like a finished product,and the dubs arrive and disappear unpredictably - more like a work in progress.
  11. Canabass


    Apr 21, 2011
    Hi All,
    In reading these threads I noticed a post by JimK regarding HFP and if it is an essential piece to own, I must respectfully disagree.

    Apart from Jaco's virtuosity as a player, he was one of the most unique writers and arrangers. I have only heard a poor Youtube version of Mystery Mountain, but found it has that quintessential Jaco touch to the orchestration and dynamics. Have to say I hope the family and estate can get this one legitimately mixed and released. A great study on where he was heading as an arranger.