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Jaco, where do I start?


conguiño

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I was checking out jacopastorius.com the other day and noticed that his discography rivals the Mississippi River in length.

 

I'm kinda looking to narrow it down about 3 albums (if possible).

 

I really don't wanna start another "what's the best ______" thread, but I really woudn't know where to start.

 

help :( ............

Does it hurt?

 

Only when I'm awake.

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Three albums to get you into Jaco,

(the best three in my opinion and I have almost everything he ever recorded)

 

Heavy Weather by Weather Report

Jaco Pastorius (the first one) Think about what other bass players were playing the year this record by an unknown 20 year old was released(1976))

Mingus by Joni Mitchell. especially the song, the dry cleaner from Des Moines

 

Or watch the Joni Mitchell concert video called Shadows and Light to see him in action.

 

These three will cover his range of playing and writing.

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The stuff he plays in the first full-band tune (the operner is Joni and the Persuasions a capella) on the Shadows and Light video, "In France They Kiss On Main Street," captures prime Jaco at his finest. Great note choices played with such unbelievable swaggering coolness it'll knock you out.

 

The video is out of print, though, and hard to get your hands on... I hope Mitchell releases it on DVD soon...

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I was just about to post the same as Jeremy (with a slight alteration):

 

"Heavy Weather", Weather Report

"Jaco" Jaco Pastorius

"Shadows and Light," Joni Mitchell.

 

The 2 audio disc set of the "Shadows and Light Tour" has a lot to offer the listener (over and above "Mingus") Primarily, on this live set you hear Jaco's deteriation into madness (or at least, his monster ego)...his playing is brilliant, but he leaves taste behind, walking smack into Metheny's solos, interrupting Joni's vocals...

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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BLACK MARKET was the first WR album Jaco played on (2 cuts) and wrote for (1 cut). I find it interesting partly because a fave, Alphonso Johnson, plays on most of the cuts and has much in common with Jaco in tone and line at this point. But HEAVY WEATHER is the first WR he played and wrote extensively for.

 

I also enjoy Jaco's Word Of Mouth big band live in Japan album, INVITATION. This features his writing and arranging as well as his playing - arguably he was as developed in that regard as he was as a virtuoso. The original Jaco album of course is also high on my list.

 

I'll have to check out Joni's SHADOW AND LIGHT. I've heard other people I respect mention it favorably (and not because they believed it was a freak show of someone's descent). I've heard the Joni Mitchell studio albums of this period other than the Mingus tribute (that's on my list too) that its material was drawn from, and would like to hear it in the context of more stretching.

 

I think somewhere around this date is Jaco's birthday. I'll have to dig out some of the stuff and once again be inspired by his genius and entertained by his audacity.

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Originally posted by AlChuck:

The stuff he plays in the first full-band tune (the operner is Joni and the Persuasions a capella) on the Shadows and Light video, "In France They Kiss On Main Street," captures prime Jaco at his finest. Great note choices played with such unbelievable swaggering coolness it'll knock you out.

 

The video is out of print, though, and hard to get your hands on... I hope Mitchell releases it on DVD soon...

Who's your favorite person ever? Oh, I think it's me... :D

 

http://www.audiophileimports.com

 

Go there, search DVD's for either "Jaco" or "Joni Mitchell" and you'll get it. It's region 0, so it will play on any DVD player. I finally ordered one and it arrived about 2 weeks ago. The quality is outstanding, both audio and video.

 

My list of where to start with Jaco would be:

 

1. Jaco Pastorius - self titled first release

2. 8:30 - Weather Report live

3. Bright Size Life - Pat Metheny

 

An alternative to #2 would be the new "Live and Unreleased" album from Weather Report. It's a double album, but it's not Jaco playing on everything... amazing live album and most of it is Jaco.

 

-Brian

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Here is the yahoo page for Shadows and Light: http://shopping.yahoo.com/shop?d=product&id=1921010820

 

I'll admit, I love this album, but worry about our man's taste. But there is single review here by someone who clearly doesn't "get it." I'm thinking of writing my own review there.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Ah DBB,

 

I just got some remastered YES, and by the standards of that day - and even today - that Squire guy was pretty damn busy. But somehow Yes managed to do very well commercially and critically with that approach. I'm hoping that's the case with SHADOWS AND LIGHT - that it is as much a matter of your prefs as it is Joni's and Jaco's : } ...And yet you seem to give it some approval too...

 

Regarding that yahoo shopping review: wow, someone must have translated their friend's grunts and gesticulations and typed it in - because that is clearly a through-the-decades crayon user ; }

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I like Jaco Pastorius Live in Italy. The CD was mastered in Japan(I think).Jaco played with Bireli

Lagrene(guitar) & Thomas Borocz (drums). What an album! My favourite in this is I shot the sheriff!

Jaco playing reggae. Superb improvisations.

 

I also have Jaco Pastorius Le demi-dieu de la basse(dont know what it means, may be the album name?), Weather report the Jaco years and last but not least, Shadows & light with Joni Mitchell(Video Cd)...amazing stuff. Sad that the cameramen took some time to focus on Jaco, Bastards.

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Bartolini,

 

Having worked in the video industry, I can share a deep dark secret (shadows and light, indeed!): unless a company spends extra for options, most videocams will NOT focus or do close-ups of bassists. And most companies do not want to spend the extra since their camera persons can't see or hear the bass player anyway ; }

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GB, and all...not to belabor the point, but...

 

All of my thinking about Jaco is tempered my understanding of severe bipolar disorder (manic depression.) I have a daughter with the exact diagnosis, and I've lived with her for over 20 years...so I've got a bias.

 

Many of the things I'm maintaining are present in the powerful book about Jaco by Bill Milkowski...

 

Regarding Jaco's playing...

 

In "Heavy Weather" and "Jaco" there is a very organic sense of playing ensemble. Jaco's playing is brilliant, as ever, busy, inventive. Still, on cuts like "Birdland," "A Remark You Made," and even "Donna Lee" his playing bends to the group; he is never more or less than a band member...with the overall product the most important thing.

 

On "Shadows and Light" Jaco's voice has changed. He seems now more concerned that he is heard...he treats this "all-star" band as a competition...

 

I do love this album and his playing; the live version of "Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" is the most incredible bass tour de force I've ever heard...that ending run is incredible.

 

As Jaco eventually succumbed to the madness that in the end, cost him his life, one of the defining characteristics was an ego bordering on narcissism. This is also one of the biggest problems of bipolar disorder...

 

This narcissism actually leads to self-destructive behavior...a manic bipolar patient feels all-powerful, with a mystic protection and the belief that no force on earth can defeat them. The narcissim is tempered by a subsequent deep and paralyzing depression; long lasting and profound.

 

Jaco was given medication to control his mental illness also seemed to make Jaco less himself...he chose to fight his demon alone, and, unfortunately, lost that battle.

 

The "Shadows and Light" tour was one of the last before he went into the mental hospital; by all accounts after his hospitalization, he was a great, but uneven bass player, but a different man. Milkowski's book documents this portion of Jaco's life from his own personal interaction with Jaco.

 

I don't mean to imply that the "Shadows and Light" album has merit only because it documents the "beginning of the end" for Jaco. This recording stands on it's own merits.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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DBB,

 

Yeah, one of my friends back in Seattle is a part-time guitarist with bipolar. I know what you are saying. But I have heard other musical people talk about that album without remarking on Jaco, so I guess I'll have to see what I think. I've also heard quite a few people remark thumbs down Milkowski's book. That, I think I will pass on, not needing to have an opinion at that expense ; }

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