Jaco clip causing some controversy

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by PahaPeikko, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. PahaPeikko

    PahaPeikko Guest

    I happened to bump into this Jaco clip of Joni Mithell era which have stirred conversation about the way Jaco is playing behind soloists.

    Here's a couple of the most opposite, but also well-founded views on Tube of which neither is totally right or wrong or what do you think?

    "Actually, I find Jaco's playing on this brilliant and some of the best, melodic walking bass technique ever displayed. This is essentially a three piece group on this tune, drums, bass and sax. Jaco is not only laying down the bass but also outlining the chord changes. He does an incredible job doing all this, and throwing in all kinds of great chord substitutions to keep the harmony interesting and provide Michael Brecker with a great background against which to solo...."

    "As brilliant as Jaco's playing is on this, it's also obnoxious and totally self-serving, as if he just can't fight off his need to be the center of attention. He kills the tritone substitution too many times, and his playing at 2:04-2:07 and 2:37-2:41 is particularly annoying and pointless; stepping all over both the singer and soloist. Sorry folks but I am definitely someone who can appreciate his musicianship, but I would find playing with him to be a total friggin' chore."
  2. All I can say is that 2nd guy just doesn't get Jaco and the way he thought (& played)outside of the box.
    ToneMonkey likes this.
  3. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    One bassist's genius playing is another bassist's self-indulgent wankfest. It's a taste thing, and thus there is no objective right or wrong.
    Brazilfunk likes this.
  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Both observations are completely valid.
  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Have to disagree. The insistent double-stop at 2:04-2:07 may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it works. The lick at 2:37-2:41 seems very "reactive" to what Brecker is playing, not stepping all over him, but stepping with him. In fact, much of his walking line seems very reactive to the melodies going on around him, whether sung by Joni or played by Mike. I can't say I analyzed this in any great detail, but that's the way I hear it anyway. Cool clip.
  6. cubanbass

    cubanbass Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    Hoboken, NJ
  7. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    That's why he's Jaco.
  8. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr "Play I Some Music" Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    To Salieri, Mozart was obnoxious.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Heh, I guessed what tune it was before I even clipped on the link. I've heard (and seen in person) better takes, but the same opinions would probably hold. Joni knew what she was getting and dug it...'nuff said.
  10. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    It might have been good to put Michael Brecker a bit more in front of the mix or turn Jaco a tad down. But I think this is excellent comping on Jaco's part. If this is wanking, Michael and Joni are just as guilty.
    lorianb likes this.
  11. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

    ...and ^^^This.

    I think that if you pay any attention to the comments on a youtube page you destroy any chance of appreciating the actual audio/video content of that page.
  12. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm not the world's biggest Jaco fan but I don't dislike his playing in that clip. If I was going to change something it would be his tone (which I never liked) and his level in the mix (I think he's a bit loud). Easy to forget, too, that at the time Jaco was a really fresh voice on the instrument and the electric bass world wasn't filled with virtuoso types. That was some original playing back then and I figure that has to count for something. :)
  13. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    All art varies in complexity and not everyone "gets it" across the entire spectrum. Some don't get the complex stuff and others don't get the simple. Oh well.

    I love Jaco's playing with Joni.
    gebass6 likes this.
  14. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    I don't listen to this genre so my opinion doesn't hold much weight. I don't see/hear anything wrong with those parts. Does it matter that much that he does a little 3-second flourish while the sax player is soloing? Is it really that big a deal? The other pat while Mitchell is singing is a little distracting only because of how loud it is. Musically, it sounds fine to me *shrugs*
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    To me Jaco plays a different language to Brecker.
    Brecker is a Jazz player whereas Jaco is very much rooted in those day's RnB. That comes over clearly here.
    What the bass does is not to my taste in this clip and doesn't really fit with how I hear the music behind all that bass playing. I also think the bass is MUCH too loud and to my ear...overplays at times.
    He plays well but to me Jaco is not playing the music the rest of the band is.
    Let's ask Joni Mitchell.
  16. It really isn't a valid criticism of a player or a song to say that you find it "obnoxious and self-selving," or "annoying and pointless." That's just a personal opinion, and there is very little substance to the argument.
  17. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    IMO, this (the Shadows & Light tour) was the beginning of the descent for Jaco - where his playing became angrier, reflected in his tone and note choices. A worse example of where this was leading was the Trio Of Doom's live performance of 'Dark Prince' by McLaughlin, who opined:
  18. the 2:04 section sounds like Jaco is cueing Brecker for his solo, which Brecker quotes at the start of his solo.
  19. 1st off - thx for posting this! Probably because I'm a basser, but I loved Jaco's playing, wanking, too loud, or not and enjoyed the energy of the group and Joni's incredible singing. What musicians of this calibre can do with 12 bar - wow! Mitchell really appreciated virtuosic bassers - Charles Mingus' final project was with her as well as her tenure with Jaco. I'm pretty sure none of the other musicians or her had any complaints about that performance.
  20. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    This one ...