Jaco’s Debut Album: I did not know so much was fretted!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Sep 24, 2022.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    I know that Jaco himself, and many others, completely nailed his sound on fretless, but I was surprised to learn Portrait of Tracy was performed originally on fretted. I did not know Come On, Come Over was fretted either, but that is not much of a surprise. I know with Weather Report, Birdland and River People were recorded on fretted too.
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Having tried playing Birdland on a fretless after performing it on fretted, I'm relieved to hear that.
  3. It’s easy for us to assume that what we associate artists with somehow reflects what they actually used.

    Pete Townshend may have used SG Specials live, but that’s not what he used on their albums.

    Everyone associated Jimmy Page with Marshalls and Les Pauls, but he used a lot better amps over the years (like Hiwatt) and he used a Telecaster on some great songs.

    Macca wasn’t just a Höfner player.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Are you saying Jaco didn’t need a fretless?
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  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
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  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    He’s absolute proof it’s not the instrument.
    JRA, DJ Bebop, Artman and 8 others like this.
  7. nonohmic


    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    So you're saying you can just play whatever you like as long as it sounds good?
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  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That is exactly what we do.
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  9. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    How do you split between fretless and fretted?

    Depends on what I want to play. On my record, I play fretless on everything but "Come On, Come Over" and "Portrait Of Tracy," I played fretted on those two. Everything else I played fretless. I use the fretless more often simply because it calls for that sound more often to me. When I want to use a vibrato, that's natural. I like the fretted bass, too—of course, there's things that work better with that, like playing lots of chords really in tune, you know? Whereas with the fretless it's hard to play more than two-note chords in tune, because your fingers, well—it's just too hard to get in there. I mean, I can, I do it a couple of times on the record, but I want to be in tune.

    You get a certain sort of ring with the fretted.

    Yeah, you get a metal thing, I like that, too. I like 'em both, but I like the wood a little better. I like the sound of the wood better. Most people think I'm playing upright on some of the tunes.

    Jaco Pastorius Shares How He Learned Bass and Composition in Unpublished Interview | Bacon's Archive
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  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    To be fair, fretted or fretless, he played a Fender Jazz with the bridge pickup only with the tone rolled off, through an Acoustic 360 amp plus some effects pedals. Above and beyond everything else, he studied and practiced voraciously, and he was a genius.
  11. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    I’ve never understood why there’s people out there that despise his music so much. I think the first Jaco tune I heard was Teen Town (Weather Report) and I remember being in awe. He was amazing and when you consider that no one had done what he was doing it’s even that much more special. Because of him the bass evolved into what it is today.

    If you haven’t already, I recommend you listen to his work with Joni Mitchell (Mingus & Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter). As Doc mentioned, he was a genius & these albums are proof of that. There’s many amazing bassists that have come & gone and not all are my cup o tea but I respect them all because they played what worked for them and if it worked for them, who am I to judge???
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    That guy is such an insufferable asshat that it detracts from, if not diminishes, the information being imparted. Wasn’t this already known, anyway?
    Paul New likes this.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Are you referring to the guy in the video? He seems like a pleasant enough fellow to me.
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  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Jaco used both fretted and fretless on Birdland.
    petermwright and Dr. Cheese like this.
  15. diegom

    diegom Supporting Member

    Goes to show, tone wasn't just in the fingers. There was brain, heart AND genius as well.
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  16. Oluolugbenga


    Jul 30, 2022
    Brighton, UK
    Oh Man. Looking forward to making a big mug of coffee and reading this.
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  17. Swamp_Ronin


    Jan 15, 2021
    Portland, OR
    You are the instrument. Thanks for sharing this, Doc.
    DJ Bebop, Artman and Dr. Cheese like this.
  18. Doc, a little backstory for you:

    I still remember the day I bought the 'Jaco Pastorius' LP from a record store in Perth Western Australia. It was 1985. I was 22 and had been playing bass for two years. I'd been reading about Jaco here and there, but as I was listening mostly to rock and pop (whatever was on the radio), I'd never heard any of his playing. I put the album on was so stunned by what I was hearing I seriously contemplated giving up the bass there and then. It was so far beyond anything I'd ever heard I couldn't quite process it - I simply had no idea anyone could play the bass like that. From that point I proceeded to listen to everything I could that featured his playing (but it was a very slow process getting material together).

    Then, a couple of years later, a good friend came and stayed over. He played Joni Mitchell's 'Shadows and Light' live album for me. As I listened to "In France They Kiss On Main Street" I was convinced I was hearing one of the greatest bass lines ever played on a Fender Jazz Bass. I've probably listened to that song in excess of 500 times and nothing's changed. "Free Man in Paris" is pretty epic too.

    FYI he played both tunes on the fretted '60.
  19. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Yes, he’s narcissistically annoying. And what’s with the cartoon noises and visual effects? That stuff might be entertaining for 12 year olds.
    Paul New and J_Bass like this.
  20. andare


    Oct 4, 2016
    That's what sells clicks and views on YouTube.
    If you watch the early videos, Scott was much more mellow and later he had to become hyper and so do his collaborators.
    If you can get past that, he's a good player and teacher IMO.
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