Is the Jaco video worth it?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Da_Niet, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    This may sound like a dumb question, but has anyone seen the Jaco Pastorius instructional video and is it worth buying? Also, does anyone know whether it will be attainable on DVD soon?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    It Is currently available on DVD, you can get it from
    (it was released a few months back)
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Certainly worth having for what it can teach you - but some people get depressed by it, as Jaco is really only a pale shadow of what he was like in his prime! :(
  4. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    you should have that.
    it's just one of those type of things, no question.
  5. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    I got the DVD a week ago and I must say I like it a lot. I got it more to see Jaco play than for the instruction tho (although there are some good excercises in it);)
  6. FLoGGiNoLLY


    Jul 24, 2002
    just to watch him do "portrait of tracy" is worth the price you pay. i bought mine on ebay for $30.
  7. It is very very good, it's nice to see Jaco... but it is very sad-just listen to his first words and you'll see why... and I think he might be plastered in it....
  8. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    It's a chance for those that never saw him while he was alive to view his talent. I wish the same could have been done for Jamerson. To me It does'nt matter if he was in top form or not, I just love watching bass players do their thing:)
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    It's a great documentary, but a poor lesson.
    He was already a lot diminued by drugs (but could still overplay 99 % of the players on this forum !)
  10. I have his "Modern Electric Bass" on VHS and, I have to say, I have learned a ton from the video. At the very least you will get a whole bunch of great exercises that will improve you playing greatly. Also, the move I watch it, the more I catch and the more I learn. I would totally recommend this be in any and every bassist's library.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, this is about as far from the truth as you could possibly get - although I agree it is very sad.

    So the story is that Jaco had had many years of drink and drugs, which along with his manic depression had lead to a breakdown.

    A friend had checked him into a mental hospital, at one point but he got out and by 1985, just before the making of the video he was living on the streets - homeless and penniless.

    The production company making the video took Jaco to a hotel for 3 days before its making, in order to ensure he was completely "sober" and drug-free.

    So he wasn't "plastered" but his mental state was pretty bad and after the video he did some strange things - it was all downhill from there...:(
  12. Bruce is right-I just finished reading the biography and found that out myself. Seriously though, the symptoms are there, look at the way he always is licking his lips, the skin tone, he is never just looking at one place and he forgets what he just played on several occasions. For most people, those are some good ways to tell that they're drunk....

    EDIT: Not exactly all downhill, after he got out of the institution there were several weeks that showed a lot of promise.... and then he lost his spirit....
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I have owned the video for years and I rarely watch it. The lesson aspect is lacking. You can also tell Jaco's not all there.

    From a historical aspect, the video is a must have.

    I wouldn't put it on the top of the list, though.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I ordered mine yesterday, with the Victor wooten/ carter beauford vid...I got the grouping deal...saved like 8 dollars or something....they will be here in two days....I actually saw a clip from the jaco video I got from kazaa...I was dissapointed because you could clearly see how Jaco wasn't all there, and also it was heart breaking seeing him try to remember how to play Portrait of Tracy...but the last bit was juts him soloing a bunch and that was really really cool to watch.
  15. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    if you want to know more about jaco go to his site,
    they have a forum a little like this,though quite this large,
    it covers bass stuff and his personal life as well,and as far as the tape is concerned its well worth the price of admission,though jaco is not what he once was,he is more than most ever will be,i watched the video first then read the book,do yourself a favor and do the same,because if you read the book before watching the video you will be able to see alot more of the mistakes and his lakluster fingering,i watch the video on a regular basis and learn something from it each time,do yourself a favor ,watch it like you know not of his troubled will be more enjoyable,
    may good rest his sole and all the others who suffered with the disease of addiction
    adam n a friend of bill w
  16. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    My gf is sooooooo cool. I DID get it, after all, for my BD witout ever having to tell her, specifically, that I was looking for it on DVD! She went ahead on her own, investigated, then purchased it AND the bio, "Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius", by Bill Milkowski. I am so into this, it's great! True, Jaco looked like he had been in pretty poor shape, but he was still quite lucid by the middle and towards the end. At least, he had the joy of playing still, as evidenced in the final segment jam with Scofield. In fact, Sco wasn't even the star(he looked more like 2nd Banana). He was a mere sideman(in terms of showmanship and presentation), compared with Jaco's swagger and playfulness. Nevertheless, Sco kicks ass as a guitar player, and my guitarist models lots of his jazzier side to Mr. Scofield. Had he cleaned up his act, Jaco would without a doubt be as important and in-fluential as ever.
    R.I.P. John Francis Pastorius III
  17. I've just read the Milkowski book, and it does put Jaco's comment at the beginning of the Modern Electric Bass video "gimme a gig, man!" in a very different light....

    I've also been looking at Ingrid Pastorius' notes on alleged inaccuracies in the book-
  18. Bazzist


    Dec 7, 2002
    Nova Scotia
    Gimme a gig are the first words u found to not be good?
  19. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
  20. Bazzist


    Dec 7, 2002
    Nova Scotia
    I watched video but havent read book so someone clue me in plz.