Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Jaco


ITGITC

Recommended Posts

 

Jaco.

 

Netflix.

 

Jaco Pastorius: Live and Outrageous

 

KLONK

 

Has anyone here seen this?

 

I am familiar with Jaco through his work with Weather Report.

 

I tried to watch last night, but Netflix's servers must've been overloaded. I couldn't get through it.

 

What are your thoughts on Jaco? ...and this performance?

 

I'm thinking he's a monster bassist, but I want to hear what you have to say about him.

 

Thanks,

 

Tom (from The Keyboard Corner)

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply
He's probably one of the few artists--in any field--that you could legitimately describe as being in a class by himself. No one like him before he came along, and none like him since.
"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember my thoughts when I first saw him in a theatre: "this is the Jimi Hendrix of bass". I was not off the point, I think.

On the other hand he deranged the whole business: everybody had to copy Jaco and sound like Jaco, without his strong hold of rhythm and sense of groove. So we've been blessed with bassist that need somebody playing bass to their performance.

Today I think that his legacy is huge and we should find some different way.

My personal favourites are Heavy Weather, with weather report, and that incredible concert with Joni Mitchell: Shadows and Light, here is a taste of how Jaco serves a tight groove in a song.

 

http://dai.ly/dWBXhn

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hendrix of bass" is an apt analogy, mostly because far more people know Hendrix's genius, though it's unfair to compare the two, I think.

 

I saw JP with Weather Report in early 1980 in Washington DC. It was special.

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that video came from Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light dvd. It's a must for Jaco and Joni fans.

 

Unfortunately, in the video, every time the band gets cooking, the video switches to some "artistic stuff". That was Joni's idea.

 

At some time, I hope this video gets released unedited, just the concert, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

In his short time on earth, Jaco changed bass playing forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jaco Pastorius: Live and Outrageous

I watched this on Netflix. It's definitely worth viewing - although, as one comment on Amazon correctly states, this DVD is just a repackage of the Montreal Jazz Festival performance.

 

Also, I'm not sure it shows Jaco at his very best - it's less "outrageous" of a performance than the description would have you believe. But if you can view it on Netflix, by all means do so.

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that video came from Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light dvd. It's a must for Jaco and Joni fans.

 

Unfortunately, in the video, every time the band gets cooking, the video switches to some "artistic stuff". That was Joni's idea.

 

At some time, I hope this video gets released unedited, just the concert, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

 

I ended up giving it away for that reason. Love the audio version though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Thank you!

 

I'll try to get Netflix to play this all the way through tonight.

 

Jaco has a lot of interesting musical ideas and I think he's worth studying.

 

As a keyboardist, understanding the bassist's mentality and working closely to synchronize the groove - along with the drummer - is very important.

 

You guys come visit us over on The Keyboard Corner sometime. You're always welcome over there. :thu:

 

Tom

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this is going to be blasphemy but I don't get into Jaco's work too much. A few years into learning bass and subscribing to Bass Player magazine, I kept hearing about this bass behemoth named Jaco. I immediately knew this is someone I must be familiar with and bought a solo CD and a Weather Report CD, making sure to get the tracks that I kept seeing cited; Portrait of Tracy, Something You Said, etc. While I definitely marvel at how he can make those sounds and phrasings come out of an electric bass guitar (it is amazing), I don't see the benefit in being able to play that style of bass. As I've stated on another post recently, I'm very average in terms of talent, maybe even less than average. Jaco could obviously destroy my playing in about 2 seconds. But to me, it's almost like it's not even a bass anymore; it's music and it's amazing, but it's almost not bass. The closest modern example would be Les Claypool. The dude is a beast! He's invented new instruments and styles, but again I hardly consider him a bassist. These guys are geniuses and musicians; I just have a hard time putting them into the "bass player" category. As good as Jaco was and still is, I never get the urge to listen to a Jaco tune. It's almost to the point of being skilled just for the sake of being skilled, regardless of whether it benefits the song.

 

I know I'm probably in the miniscule minority here, but that's my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gizmologist, he very much built on developments in jazz upright bass by guys like Scott la Faro, Paul Chambers, Eddie Gomez, Ron Carter and others and infused it with the influence of the busier soul/groove electric players like Rocco Prestia and the (less busy) Jerry Jemmott. Oh, and huge latin music influences from the Florida scene! Then he added influences from brass section parts and jazz horn soloing. He undoubtedly expanded horizons although it was occasionally unsubtle.

 

I'm not trying to argue your opinion (which is completely valid of course) but to present some kind of context for the huge influence Jaco had (both good and bad). He was our Charlie Parker, in a way.

 

Fortunately for us there are at least two meanings of the word bass, Gizmologist, that a musical function (whether played by bass guitar, tuba , keyboard etc) and the instrument (like ours) which is actually capable of a range of functions. We don't have to just play bass function just because we play a bass, just like a bass singer can sometimes carry the melody to great effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think even if you don't appreciate the style though you have to appreciate his time feel and phrasing which are quite superb.

 

And for those too young to remember, the bass timeline can be loosely split into "Before Jaco" and "After Jaco". "A.J.", bass could be (but doesn't have to be) more than just in the background. That is to say, that the bass could actually be one quarter of a quartet. And that pisses off sax players to this very day. And Jaco's writing and arranging skills are way overlooked; check out the "Word Of Mouth Revisited" disc.

 

How many other discs have caused such a quantum bass leap in the potential for a bass player's role? I can only think of one: the first Flecktones disc.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like or not, love him or hate him, appreciate or don't get him, it boils down to this:

 

Jazz bass was usually a rhythmic background that enhanced the melody and complemented the percussion. Jaco took the bass (jazz bass for that moment) and turned it into a feature instrument, a viable solo instrument, something with it's own unique sound and voicing - as indespensible as a horn or keys. And, perhaps more importantly, he actually stuck a recognizable face on "the bassist" - moreso than anyone save possibly McCartney.

 

I'm no Jaco fan and I don't get modern jazz, (I play "Before Jaco" jazz on an upright) but his overall contribution should be self-evident to anyone that plays the instrument.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apart from his playing, which my esteemed colleagues have already covered, Jaco single-handedly made the fretless bass guitar a legitimate instrument. Pretty much everyone who plays fretless today (and that's quite a few people.....there were almost no fretless players before Jaco) is using the sound pioneered by Jaco. You hear that sound everywhere.

 

p.s. that sound is now called Mwah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree with the part about the fretless bass, as I own one now and it did gain acceptance due to Jaco's efforts. While I am a musician, I guess I'm still a layperson when it comes to history of music and as a fan of music. I prefer the bass more in the background. I definitely appreciate his stylings and his advancing the bass to the forefront of the track, but I do enjoy the supportive nature of the bass guitar more so. Thanks for all the input. It definitely did open my eyes to more than just what I've read and heard, especially the part about the Latin roots and different influences. Here in Baltimore we have mostly rock, country, and hip-hop. Not much in the terms of anything else. I could see how a Floridian would have much more to work with and be influenced by.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree that Jaco was groundbreaking in terms of the bass's role in jazz. Of course he was groundbreaking in terms of style, sound, fretless bass and electric bass as a soloing instrument but the idea that before Jaco jazz bassists played an entirely background supportive role and that Jaco invented melodic playing and soloing is completely wrong. For one thing, I don't think soloing was Jaco's forte - he tended to rely on licks - although obviously world-class in terms of phrasing and innovations.

 

The idea that no jazz bassist before 1975 was playing horn-like solos, interacting on an equal bassist with the horns and piano and an indispensable solo voice is ridiculous. Jimmy Blanton was doing it in the 1940s.

 

Then you had masters like Scott laFaro's interplay with Bill Evans, Paul Chambers' soloing, Mingus' exploration of the bass as a visceral, physical instrument, Gary Peacock's experimentation etc etc. The difference was that Jaco did on electric.

 

I do take the point about a recognisable face and name though. Of course he changed the way we all play, all credit to that, but we have to see him as part of a continuum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea that no jazz bassist before 1975....

 

Of course Jaco didn't arise from a vacuum, much like people slapped before Victor came of age. I certainly didn't mean to imply that. But he did expand the accepted set of rules by more than most bassists before or after him. That's a big deal.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't find myself wanting to listen to or learn Jaco's basslines in the same way that I'm almost always eager to figure out a Lames Jamerson lick, but that's more due to the style of music. I seldom listen to Jaco, but after reading the comments and viewing the videos, it puts me in the mood to hear nothing but Jaco all day long.

 

Thanks for the Netflix tip, I'll have to look for it.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, I think that Jaco's music is great when played by Jaco, but it is not necessarily a role model for each of us.

That being said, it is absolute truth that the electric bass has a before Jaco and after Jaco history. Any little distintion should remain in the shade of this stone.

His role in history cannot possibly be denied. No bassis went on the covers before.

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of us who were pros when Jaco appeared went, "whoops, I thought I knew how to play this instrument."

 

I'd love to have Jaco's technique, feel, ear, etc., but I wouldn't play like that. I'd play like me, only better.

 

As a swimmer, I'd love to have Michael Phelp's technique, feel, spirit, etc. as well.

 

It's nice to have giants to learn from.

 

p.s. Both in music and in sports, people come along who do things which have never been done before. Some of those things were considered impossible, and after we have seen then done, they become almost commonplace. We need these people, whether or not we intend to follow in their (very large) footprints. (in the case of Mr. Phelps, it's size 14 :) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of us who were pros when Jaco appeared went, "whoops, I thought I knew how to play this instrument."

 

That's a really, really cool way to put it. He's one of a short list of people that truly fit that description, too.

 

As to a modern equivalent, I would mention Michael Manring before Les Claypool in that regard. If anything, Manring gets a big slice of the blame pie for the recent love affair with the bass as a solo instrument (Wooten too, but Manring has half a catalog worth of material that's just him)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...