Jaco...and naming names...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by f'nar f'nar, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. [rant]
    I have been on this forum for a while now, not THAT long but long enough to understand the happenings of the forum and whatnot, I'm not a veteran by any stretch of the imagination.

    But I have a question, why is it that almost EVERY bassist I know, have read about or have spoken to names Jaco as one of their favourite bassists? It seems that Jaco has become more of a trend among bassists, they say they like him yet may have only heard say... one song and not even liked it. It seems that people SAY they like Jaco no matter what. I personally don't like him, I used to but found that really I only respect him and not like his music. What I don't respect is people who feel the same way as I, or just dislike him full stop and claim to love him and say he is their ultimate influence. And yet they clearly have little or no interest in him other than to use his name to their advantage.

    Does anyone else see this? Because it sure as hell annoys me.

  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I'm not sure how you can say that people are pretending to like him, seeing as how this is an internet forum and you really can't tell what people think or are like in real life because of it.
  3. Hmmm, well it just seems that he's the bassist to name. Im also basing my experiences on people i have spoken to in person and have had private conversations with etc. It's just my opinion.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Well, think of it this way. In the guitar world, there's countless big names in every genre. Guys who people listened to and changed the way guitarist in that genre played. The bass world is MUCH smaller in scope, and being that bass is historically such a background instrument, there are very few bassists whose talents and influence were such that they influenced the following generations where people could put a name to that influence (Jamerson influenced many, but few even knew his name for decades). In the world of Jazz/Fusion, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, and Jaco were the guys, with Jaco being extra influential being of his innovative use of harmonics and the fretless, which hadn't been used much in a way that really showcased its capabilities before Jaco. There were other great jazzers out there, but few had name recognition. Name recognition will get your stuff more accessible to the public. Jaco being so unique at the time, his influence was widespread and has been so ever since he first came on the scene. People still go out and buy fretlesses today because of him. His influence crossed genres (not always easy to do) and he helped in redefining what the role of a bassist could be.

    People mention his name because even if you don't listen to his cds, there's a good chance that you've been influenced by his playing through the players you like who listened and learned from him. There's very few bassists who had that sort of influence who also had a name you could attach to it, and in the world of jazz/fusion (or evenjust fretless players), Jaco is one of the only names.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I have listened to Jaco for quite a few years but never really had any desire to play jazz or learn any of his lines. So, previously I would never have listed him as a favourite bass player. But, in the last 12 months or so I have taken a much greater interest in jazz and really started to listen to his lines and would definately name him as one of my favourite / most influential bass players at the moment. Who knows, in 10 years time it might be you, but my point is that tastes change and often people's profile doesnt! :D
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I've got every CD with Jaco that I can get my hands on and still listen to his music a lot - but when he first appeared - every bass player sat up and listened - every music magazine was talking about him - his impact was phenomenal.

    But that was nearly 30 years ago now...so I can see why current generations don't feel that impact - but there are others just as important in their own way - like Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham,James Jamerson etc. etc. who get talked about reverentially around here a lot and by bassists.

    What does surprise me is why every few months on TB somebdoy who doesn't 'get' Jaco has to draw attention to themself and say this ....:meh:

    If you do a search - there have been more threads which started out as people dissing Jaco or saying they don't get it -than eulogies!!

    But I don't see people starting threads saying - Stanley Clarke - what's that all about..?

    Jaco to me, seems to be the TB newbies' favourite to "have a go at" or say "huh!"......

    Maybe we should have a sticky in bassists that says - Jaco's legacy has substance - go here to read all about it...and don't start yet another thread about this!!
  7. Yeh, but this thread isnt to dicuss Jaco's skill, i mean he's a great bassist, thats not whats in question here.
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    You caught me, I only pretend to like Jaco to gain admiration and acceptance. I've never even heard one of his songs. I'm so ashamed :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl:

    ....can I get a hug? :eyebrow:

    Seriously, there are very few artists in any genre on any instrument who litterally reshaped what that instrument could do in the minds of listeners. Jaco was one of these. If you play modern electric bass you are influenced by Jaco either directly or through the the legacy and mark he left on the world of the electric bass. Its simply impossible to escape it.

    The easiest comparisson to make is with Hendrix. Like him or not no one ever looked at the electric guitar the same way after him. He changed the very idea that came into one's head when they heard the phrase "Electric Guitar" from a primarily supporting instrument to one that could have entire genres centered on it by itself.

    Jaco did much the same thing for bass and the only reason he isn't a household name is that most people are far less aware of the bass than they are the guitar.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    F'nar, here's what I got as the jist of your first post:

    "I don't like Jaco's music so how can other people say they like him?"

    Whether that was your intention or not, that's what I got out of it. And I so don't get that attitude. It's not really your call to question who other people consider their influences or who they consider the guiding light of their playing. The fact is that Jaco touched a lot of people with his playing and tons of bassists are genuinely influenced by him. Why you would question people's sincerity of their worship of Jaco is beyond me. If people spent more energy into worrying about themselves and spent less time questioning what other people feel, this world would be a better place.
  10. jaco is like a hot chick... if theres a bunch of guys hangin around, everyone will say she is hot (even if they are just pretending) ... otherwise, they will be the subject of ridicule...

    haha... just kidding... but my serious opinion: I believe alot of the people around TB who list jaco as an influence (myself included) have listened to his stuff as a result of it being discussed so frequently... and have come to respect his skills and the way he changed the role of the bass...

    Not that he is the be all and end all of bass players... but I would put money on it, that most of the people around here have at least listened to some of his stuff because he is discussed alot...

    And besides... wheres the motivation for lying... who are they trying to impress? you? ... I wasn't trying to impress you
  11. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I'm with Bruce....

    It seems funny that people knock Jaco, and are more than likely musically illiterate by any stretch of the imagination..

    If you feel like knocking him, I would love to know..

    What's YOUR claim to fame?
    (and before you ask what's mine.. be careful, my resume is loaded!) :p

    He was a major player and those of us who remember hearing him for the first time had to seriously think about what the hell he was doing.

    It seems like it's always some prepubescent youth that's been playing for a couple of years that has a negative comment.

    Can you play those lines you criticise? When you see them on paper do you know what your looking at? Hell, can you even read music!?

    Look in the mirror, please... and let's stop making ignorant evaluations of a man's career and historical impact. When you're dead, will anyone notice your musical contributions? Innovators don't grow on trees. At least I applaud those who are aware they missed the phenomenon, but it doesn't negate the fact that he was just that...

    Sorry about the tone, but younger players are so arrogant and disrespectful sometimes. I've met Stanley a few times, and since he's around 6' 5", practices the martial arts, and is STILL ALIVE, I bet most people would be reticent about making those statements about him or Jaco to his face.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's a good point! :D

    I suppose as well, that his playing is more obviously :"technically difficult" - whereas Jaco's legacy is less obviously so - although as you imply - you won't find any of the 'real pros' knocking other players! :)
  13. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I think for a small percentage of people there's maybe a tiny element of 'saying what you're expected to say'... when (for example) a death metal bass player claims Jaco as his major influence, you might be forgiven for asking 'when are we going to hear it then?'...

    Jaco's not my favourite bass player to listen to, and his compositions aren't either, and he's not my biggest influence... but still... if there's a bass player who's raised the bar higher than he did, I haven't heard them... in that respect he's numero uno... the 'Hendrix of the bass' is still the best way to put it
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So are you saying that you have to be as talented as someone else or have as big a career in order to not like them? That's just as bad as what F'nar F'nar said. I don't have near the career of Madonna but my personal opinion is that I don't like her or her music. If anyone has a problem with that, they can bite me. If I hadn't had a career in politics, does that mean I have to like Saddam Hussein since he went further in politics than I ever hope to? Come on! Everyone is entitled to their opinions about anything.

    I hope you have a mirror at your house, too, because you could stand a look in it as well. He doesn't like Jaco's music. So what? He was foolish to question why other people say they like him, but you're being even more foolish to question his right to have an opinion. Do you like every bit of music you hear on the radio, even though the people you hear on the radio may be more talented and have a better career than you? of course you don't!

    Stanley is cool with himself and probably wouldn't even think of taking a swing at someone over a question like that. On the other hand, you seem not very cool with yourself. You can straighten the kid out on why he's wrong about complaining about other people saying how they like Jaco, but you have absolutely no right to question his opinion or try to invalidate it because he hasn't risen to the heights that Jaco did.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the point is -every month or so we get somebody saying exactly the same thing - it's irritating - I don't come on to TB and say I don't really like Madonna (to take your example) ...:meh:

    Why start a whole thread to say you don't like Jaco - especially when it's been "done to death" many times before - which is easy to see if you bothered to search...:meh:
  16. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    This isn't a thread about the poster not liking Jaco, its a thread about people who say they like Jaco but really don't (however strange that sounds).
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's just a veneer - this is basically the same thread that has been re-running every month or so since TB started!! :meh:

    i.e. I don't like Jaco and I can't see why everybody says he is so great!!

  18. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I don't suppose to know what's in the posters mind. I'm going by what's written on the page:

    I can see the difference between the two threads. Although i'm not sure the poster has a valid point. His trying to guess about the state of mind of those who claim to like Jaco is the same as you trying to speculate about the original posters state of mind IMO - why not just deal with what's on the page instead.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Because it happens every month - there was a thread saying more less the same thing titled "Jaco" which fizzled out in August, go back to July and there is a closed thread, titled : "bassists who don't like Jaco" etc. etc.

    It's obvious attention-seeking behaviour! :meh:

    Let's stir up the hornet's nest, let's ring the doorbell and run away etc. etc.

    Where's the :yawn: smiley?
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    While you are right about these types of threads, two wrongs don't make a right.

    But three do!