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Jaco newbie here

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by jbennardo, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Considering how much I'm into my bass, I've never checked out any of Jaco's material. I don't know how that's possible, but most of my peers discussed Flea, or Claypool, or Geddy Lee, etc. Not until the mid to late 90's did I ever hear the word "Jaco".

    In my reading I was shocked to see that he died a horrible death at a very young age. It's disturbing to see talent cut short. I had to dig a little to find out how he died. The fact that it was so tragic was probably why it wasn't easily found on the official site.

    Although his rank as "the best" is disputed by some here, I believe you can borrow something from everyone and I will surely try to add some of his technique to my playing.
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Cool. If you want to find a lot of reading material, search for 'Jaco' in the thread titles of any forum on TB, he and his music come up a lot. My favorites are 'Come on Come Over' and 'Three Views To a Secret' from his debut album and Word of Mouth, respectively.
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    My personal Jaco favorites:

    -"Donna Lee" from his debut solo album "Jaco Pastorius".
    -"Portrait Of Tracy". Don't miss this one! Also from his debut LP. This is a piece only a true genius can come up with, IMO.
    -"A Remark You Made" with fretless bass, from Weather Report's "Heavy Weather".
    -"Birdland" from the same album.

    Also, try to watch his instructional "Modern Electric Bass" video. He's not at his best there, but it's great anyway. Check the "Jam In E" from that vid. One of the tastiest and grooviest improvisations I've ever heard.

    Of course, there are lots of gems in Jaco's output that other TalkBassers will recommend, for sure. I just didn't want to make this a long list.
  4. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was a huge Weather Report fan back in the day. It was Jaco's basslines that initially caught my ear. Of late, I've been "rediscovering" their music--now dissecting "Teen Town." Besides the great bass lines, the beat of the highhat is toooo sexy :cool:
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    And that's Jaco! (If you're talking of TT's studio version)
  6. Alvaro,
    I'm making a HUGE assumption here because of your name and where you're from, so bear with me.

    I just joined a Latin/Fusion project which will be playing standards as well as some Santana and traditional Cuban rhythms. Can you offer any advice regarding improvisation and style using latin bass lines? Any people to watch?

    Again, don't mean to offend, just thought you might offer some perspective.

  7. yeah, "word of mouth" is awesome. it is a lot better than "word of mouf"... thats a ludacris album.
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hey John, as some TalkBassers here can tell, I'm really willing to help. No offense! Thank you for counting on me. I'm leaving now so I can't post an in-detail reply, but I'll do it when I'm back at night. In the meantime, you can check this thread. Talk to you later! :)
  9. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    Agreed. I usually think "Portrait of Tracy" when I think Jaco. I also love "Teen Town" (Weather Report).
  10. washtub_bass


    Aug 10, 2005
    the book about Jaco is a fantastic read... i know that the family doesn't support it, but reading it shows how the entertainment industry can simply not-care about an individual with serious personal preoblems. The book comes with a CD of a live version of "Punk Jazz"... it really is a fantastic book.
  11. i say this a lot, but check out jaco groove on the live version of 'black market' off 8:30 by weather report, its infectious. Also check out his work with joni mitchell.
  12. Yeah, totally right. Black Market is awesome, especially that version of it. He just grooooves for like 10 minutes. And his stuff with Joni is some of the most unique sounding bass playing I've ever heard. It's a style in itself, I don't know what to call it, it's just great. Check out the Shadows And Light DVD if you can.
  13. I've downloaded a few videos from the net:

    The jam with Weather Report from 1978, a bass solo (America) from 1984 and Montreal Jazz Festival.

    In the jazz festival video he records a riff and then plays over that. I've heard that treatment on some of his audio cuts. For a while, I thought he was playing BOTH parts live!

    Also, he gets awesome harmonics anywhere on the board. Then he does this light picking thing - almost like a pick harmonic. I'm just catching on to a lot of his signature things.

    Oh, and it's interesting to watch from 1978 to 1984 how much more eccentric he gets on stage :-(
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hey, John: When you ask "How does he do that?" are you talking about what you call a "pick harmonic"? Read this thread for an explanation. This one may also help.
  15. I've done pick harmonics on guitars, but I've never seen one on a bass, using fingers and fretless!!!

    I'm not even sure it is that. When he was playing America, he was hitting these tiny little notes high on the neck. They had a ring of harmonics but it appeared that his hand was fretting a note which leads me to believe it's a right hand technique?

    BTW, I watched that video you sent me. I'm now in therapy. I'm going to burn it and bring it to our next rehearsal. You said in your note that the drummer was "el Negro". Our guitarist told our drummer to check that guy out.
  16. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    jbennardo, where on the net did you get those downloads?
  17. I was using Cabos for Mac OSX. Did a search for some Jaco stuff and found these strange old videos.

    Ahem, of course once I realized that this was someone's copyrighted material, I stopped the download immediately. :eyebrow:
  18. Hey Jbennardo..

    You got some good leads concerning "Jaco". I too was blown away to hear that he was takin' so early. I just joined and I play A fender Jaco Fretles. And only have been playing bass for the last 7 months. But. I have played many a bass since I got this one. It is like your trusted girlfriend. You learn to love the feel of it. I visited JacoPastorious.com just to see what's up with the man. He is incredable. I feel like I should be playing something more my level. But It does open up doors to learning so much more with a quality bass. I can play alot of stuff (Along with LP's) I even went out and bought Anthology (Jaco's double) Hopefully you will be telling us success stories soon. Good luck.. I'm still learning how to play this thing..
  19. Yeah, it really pushed me over the top to start playing fretless. I've had other "crushes" before like when I bought the six string after watching Les Claypool. :rolleyes:

    As a more mature player now, i can really see the value in the sound of a fretless. It sounds very traditional to me. Almost as if, that's what a bass should sound like. There are many applications where fretted and fretless basses are appropriate and I would like to use both.

    I've got the feelers out on these boards both for buying advice and items for sale. I'm looking to get into a fretless.

    The download thing isn't happening for me. I'm gonna have to get out and buy some material. Even the iTunes music store has a limited supply of Jaco material. I don't think they have any weather report, only a few selections off of his solo project and some stuff with Joni Mitchell.
  20. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Cool, eh? :cool: I'm glad you liked it!