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Jaco Bio

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by snyderz, Jan 12, 2001.


  1. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Just finished the Jaco biography by Milkowski. Many of you have probably already read it but I definately recommend it to those who haven't. A quick read, but covers the whole enchilada. Sure makes you wonder what he would be like if his choices had been different.
    Doc
     
  2. polo3378

    polo3378

    Nov 21, 2000
    Now that you have reminded me, i completely forget that they have a copy of this book at my school library. Gotta go run out and get it!
    Thanks for the recommendation!
     
  3. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    Great book, but very sad. I don't think Jaco was making the choices, I think his inner demons were.
     
  4. A very tragic ending to such a talent. Just goes to show, fame does not equal happiness. When I finished the book, I spent the rest of the afternoon listening to Weather Report and thinking what could've been...
     
  5. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I've read the bio several times; the first half of the book is an absolute joy; the other half, a total bummer.
    Life *IS* never neat.
    Anyway, have any of you picked up the new re-issue of Jaco's debut album? In the new/improved liner notes, Pat Metheny disses Milkowski's work BIG TIME! Anybody know why?
     
  6. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Jim: There's alot of discussion of the Milkowski bio on the jacopastorius.com message boards. The main complaints seem to be that the family wasn't consulted at all (and probably not compensated, either) for content and that Milkowski skims over huge sections of Jaco's early, productive life in favour of giving us a bunch of "crazy Jaco" stories. I also got the feeling that he overstated his own importance in Jaco's life, perhaps as a ploy to give his book more credibility. After hearing what's been said about it, I'm sorry I ever read it. It's just sad that we don't have a REAL biography about Jaco. :(
     
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    If you line up Jaco's recordings with the this book you realize that the book leaves out a real lot. What does the book say about Bright Size Life? Not much really. What does it say about the record done with drummer Alphonse Mousson and trombone phenomenon Albert Manglesdorf at a Euro jazz festival (North Sea?)? NOTHING. No doubt about Jaco having f*ck*d up but the book dwells on that and leaves out a lot of great stuff he did presenting a narrow view of the man. I'm sorry I read it too.
     
  8. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I can definately agree with the last two posts with regard to some distaste for the author, and certainly some disdain for the "last half" of the book. I would imagine most biographies can be criticized for not being the "whole story". In my case, I am fairly new to the world of bass guitar, and to be frank, until following talkbass, had NEVER EVEN HEARD of Jaco, let alone his collaboration with Manglesdorf or Mousson. What this book did for me was to introduce me to Jaco, and for that I am extremely glad I read the book.
    Doc
     
  9. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    >>I also got the feeling that he overstated his own importance in Jaco's life, perhaps as a ploy to give his book more credibility.

    People who knew Jaco during his time in NYC have essentially said the same thing to me. "Geez, I never saw the guy (Milkowski)."


    >>After hearing what's been said about it, I'm sorry I ever read it. It's just sad that we don't have a REAL biography about Jaco.

    I'm not sorry I read it. I enjoyed learning many things about Jaco but I would surely love to see another point of view.
     
  10. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I have read several interviews written by Bill Milkowski(GUITAR PLAYER mag, BASS PLAYER mag, Downbeat, etc). IMO, it always appeared that he knew what/who he was covering. Maybe it's his writing style...really, I dunno.
    Anyway, the Jaco bio is similiar in layout when compared to other tragic Jazz figures...BIRD LIVES was like a rollercoaster ride(ups AND downs...definitely worth reading); the Bud Powell bio is really a downer.
    Maybe it's the author's intent to show how F***'d up things can become when one doesn't keep their S*** together. When a friend of mine died of AIDS 'cause of heroin, his family instructed the priest to pull no punches when talking about how he passed. Perhaps a few people went home that day & re-evaluated their lifestyle...?

    Jeffbonny-
    ...Jaco's bio mentions about BRIGHT SIZE LIFE. Bob Moses talks about how Metheny & ECM/Manfred Eicher were leaning toward using the acoustic sounds of Dave Holland. Too, Moses talks about how different this trio sounded LIVE(Jaco's "Afro-Cream/Reggae S***)vs. the laidback BRIGHT SIZE LIFE. I still laugh at Moses' comments regarding his first jam with Jaco: "...this cat's got it in the genectic code". That kills me 'cause that's exactly what I thought when I first met & hooked up with a young Oteil Burbridge...
     
  11. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Yes it does and that's about all it says which is what I think I said. You understand my point though?
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've read it a couple of times and while I can appreciate all the criticisms, I'd rather we had something like this to read about Jaco's life than nothing at all. Obviously there is a question about Milkowski's first-hand experience, but he does gather together a lot of material from people who undoubtedly did have this experience and it is good to have this all together. I don't think anybody could write a "happy" book and I can't think anybody would be other than sad about the waste of great talent so I don't think it could be any other way and honest. The "family" point of view may now come across in the "official" website and there is some interesting stuff there written by his children.
     
  13. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Bruce you're right. Something is better than nothing but I sure would like to see some more. Especially concentrating on Jaco's early years with Woodchuck and Wayne Cochran, etc.