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Jaco, Jaco or Jaco??

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by savagelucy, May 2, 2002.

  1. savagelucy


    Apr 27, 2002
    i've been listenin to (and loving) Jaco's solo album for the past few months now and still don't know the correct way to pronounce his name.

    is it said with a long "a" sound like Jake-o

    a short "a" sound like Jock-o

    or like Jack-o

  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    You would be surprised how belligerent some people get over this.

    In his biography, it is said to be pronounced "jock-o". That's how I've heard everyone else say it, as well.
  3. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Short "a" .
  4. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    i always pronounced jock-o.the name paco is pronounced pock-o so i guess its jock-o.thats how my friends say it.
  5. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam


    Pock-o? Since when? Pocko de Lucia - hmmm, doesn't sound right.
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    An "a" is an "a" ferchrissakes. Right, Zoovier?
  7. savagelucy


    Apr 27, 2002
    so jock-o seems to be the crowd favourite,
    thats the way i always heard it too, but i got into the habit of saying jake-o
  8. Funny, I've been saying it "Jack-O." I'll try to use the "Jock-O" pronunciation.
  9. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    It's most definately "jock-o". The person who turned me onto him had met him in New York many years ago... also, that's how it's pronounced in the instructional video and he's sitting right there. You'd think he would have corrected someone if they said his name wrong. :)
  10. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    rhymes with taco.
    MasonMinor likes this.
  11. According to Bill Milkowski, author of "The Extraordinary And Tragic Life Of Jaco Pastorius", it's pronounced Jocko. He says that Jaco even spelled it that way when he was younger.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's a misreading of the biography - I read the same pages and came to the opposite conclusion. This has been argued many times - most recemtly and at greatest length in Misc.

    Here's my last comment from that discussion :

    Originally posted by Bruce Lindfield
    Well I would say that the instructional video and Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light are definitive proof for and "a" sound and even with Jo Zawinul's accent it is still more like Jacques than Jock.

    As far as I know, there is no recording where it sounds like Jock and while the Birthday Concert may be an item of dispute, I have yet to hear any recordings where anybody clearly says Jock-O!

    Arguments about one syllable - Ha we've had arguments about absolutely nothing so why not!! ?? All in the spirit of TalkBass IMO

    I see this has re-surfaced in Bassists for about the fifteenth time - I still have not heard anybody who knew him pronounce it "Jock" - I have a whole BBC Radio 3 documentary with loads of interviews and some people pronounce it like Zawinul as a French "Jacques" but everybody else seems to say it as Jack - and like a tribute to his father who was Jack - so in the Bio it says they hung around together - big Jack and little Jack - O!
  13. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    HERE'S the link to that other long (and equally pointless - but of high entertainment value) thread in miscellaneous.

    (While on the topic of pronounciation, can someone tell me, is it BROKLEY, BROCKOLEE, or BRAKLEE?)
  14. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
  15. Here is a direct quote from Bill Milkowski's book:

    "There is some dispute as to who came up with the nickname of Jaco. Jack claims he came up with it, while Stephanie says it was her idea. But both agree that the name was derived from Jocko Conlon , a well known umpire in baseball's National League. In fact, Jaco even spelled it that way for several years; at the top of all his homework and test papers and book reports, he would print: Jocko Pastorius."

    "Apparently it wasn't until years later that he began spelling it J-a-c-o. As Gregory explains, "It was when he met Alex Darqui [the pianist who would later play on Jaco's 'Continuum']. Being French, Alex figured it was spelled like 'Paco.' One day he left a note with the name spelled J-a-c-o; Jaco must've liked it, because from that point on he started spelling it that way himself."

    If the man spelled it "Jocko" for years, I have a hard time believing he pronounced it Jacko. Please show me how I misread this Bruce. Btw, this came from pages 23 and 24 of the book.
  16. I just pulled out my copy and read the same thing. Doesn't seem like much room for misreading there.

    Besides, I met Jaco once, very very briefly, toward the end of his time in New York, and when he said, "I'm Jaco," he definitely said Jah-co, not Jay-co or Jack-o. I certainly wasn't a friend or even an acquaintance, I don't know what his family might have called him, or how he might have pronounced his name the day before or the day after I met him, but that's what I heard come out of the man's mouth that day.

    Bruce, I don't know how many Americans you know, but we don't always make the same distinction between short "o" and "ah" that many British folks do. For many of us, Jah-co and Jock-o are exact rhymes.
  17. It's a lot closer than Pack-o! Actually, it's more like Pah-co.
  18. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    The thing is, I'm Spanish, and as Dave Castelo and Caracas Bass will attest, there is only one way to pronounce the "a" in Spanish. Jaco is Jah-koh and taco is Tah-koh. End of story!
  19. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I think in this example, when Xavier said Pocko, it rhymed with hobo, not like jock as in jock strap(let me know if I am wrong). I believe some of us are agreeing on the way it is pronounced but are not in agreement on how the phonetics of the english language works. In the U.S., Jock, Jacques and taco all are pronounced with what we call a short "o" sound, as in hot dog. Jack on the otherhand is a short "a" like back sack smack or crack. I also believe the British way of pronouncing a short "a" is closer to a short "o" sound in American. So Jack in a British accent sounds closer th Jock in an American accent than Jack in an American accent does.

    Maybe we should all speak spanish so there will be no arguement! :D
  20. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    :confused: Goes to show I don't know Jack(-o). Eight years of English classes, all for nothing. Why must we speak? Can't we all just have these small post-it notes and hand them to eachother?

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