January 16th, 45 replies Release Date: Tracklist I love this guy, and thought I may as well give it a shot to review the CD that made him famous. Definately for the 4-string instrument they call the bass guitar. Donna Lee You will be blown away by this track. I think, at least, this is up around bpm, which is exceedingly quick for quavers. A simple bongo is accompanied to keep time, as if Jaco would need it.
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He lay motionless on the concrete, as if sleeping, his tangled shoulder-length hair ringed by a halo of blood. He lay there peacefully for a while, in the darkened alley in a strip shopping mall in Wilton Manors, Florida, on the morning of September 12, When the bouncer chased the man down the alley, the man threw a glancing blow at him.
The bouncer shoved him and he fell backward, hitting his head on the concrete. Bruises were everywhere. Both eyes were swollen shut. There was massive internal bleeding. Still, no one deserves to die like that.
He was beat to hell. He died for no reason. Another showed a man with lank shoulder-length hair and exhausted heavy-lidded eyes. Still another pictured a tense man, an animal ready to spring, with a fierce, manic look in his eyes, his hair pulled back almost painfully tight into a ponytail. And, finally, one photograph, the photograph published on the day he died, showed a sad, sweet-faced boy-man with a look of innocence in his haunted eyes.
Jaco Pastorius died on September 21, without ever regaining consciousness. He was 35 years old. On his deathbed, he was surrounded by his parents, his two younger brothers, his two ex-wives, his four children and his friends. Only his girlfriend of the last three years of his life was not permitted to be at his side.
Although his loved ones cried at his death, they were not surprised by it. It came as almost a blessing after years of suffering, both his and theirs. Jaco finally got some sucker to do the job for him. Eulogies poured in. His innovations have influenced every bass player since and every form of contemporary music, from punk rock to Michael Jackson. He took an instrument long neglected melodically, that had always provided a thumping background rhythm from the shadows of a bandstand, and brought it into the spotlight.
He played innovative melodies with an almost manic intensity. He once played a one-and-a-half-hour solo concert at the Newport Jazz Festival that hypnotized his audience, not only because of the originality of his music but because of the intensity with which he played and the pain he suffered to produce his music.
He lay on the floor and played his bass above his head. He stood up and did flips off the instrument. He slammed his bass to the floor and walked offstage while the guitar reverberated with a sound that went beyond noise into music. His rubbery features were contorted in seeming agony as his long double-jointed fingers fluttered up and down the strings with a speed and strength never before associated with such a tightly strung, thick-stringed instrument.
The higher up the neck of the bass he played, the tighter the strings became and the more strength he needed to pour into his fingers, until they seemed about to snap backward and break. His fans worshiped him. Jaco was this nice white boy who brought us a new, white audience that made us much more commercially successful.
Jaco was the greatest thing to happen to the band. And to me. He was my best friend. Did you ever shoot those little wooden ducks in an arcade? They blamed the genius that had evolved into manic-depression and the life-style he had led as a world-famous musician. The big cities that had lured him from his beloved hometown.
The drugs and alcohol he had been introduced to by older musicians he respected. Finally, they blamed one another, themselves even, and when none of this assuaged their anger, grief and guilt, they blamed the only person who had no defense against blame. His last girlfriend.
A woman on the edge. They got drunk. They beat each other up. Because John and Gregory were separated by only two years, they were particularly close. They woke together at 3 A.
One morning, they were late for Mass, so they took a shortcut through the most dangerous part of town. Gregory was upended on his bike by a wire strung across the road. John pulled him into the bushes and hovered over him until they could escape at daylight.
He took me to the beach during the worst hurricanes just to feel the power. Even then, John was a flamboyant youth who played sports with an intensity that was typical of skinny kids who make up in zeal what they lack in size and talent.
It was a totally natural reaction to his environment. When he was 12, he was the best Little League baseball player in town. One day, a kid told me that my brother was an egomaniac because he was always saying he was the greatest. He was the best brother any boy could ever have. We had a silent understanding even then that we would never drink, yet we both became alcoholics. On those rare occasions when Jack Pastorius had a gig near Fort Lauderdale, he often took his eldest son with him to the club.
Jaco would watch while his father entertained the audience with his drums, a piano and a steady stream of humorous, hip patter. The audience repaid him by buying him round after round of drinks that Jack threw back, seemingly without effect.
When Jaco bought a set of drums, his mother refused to let him play them in the house. It was too much of a reminder of her absent husband and his life-style. It depressed me. So many things came easy to him. He was voted the most talented boy in his class. But it was music that was natural to him. He said he heard music in everything. A baby crying. A car passing by. The wind in the palm trees.
He told a friend that he had known the bass was his instrument the first time he touched its strings. His music even then was like nothing ever heard from a bass player. Because Jaco had listened to jazz on a cheap record player he had won in a Rice Krispies contest, he could never distinguish the background bass from the up-front instruments. So when he began playing the bass, he played it in imitation of those melodic instruments, rather than of the rhythmic bass. His sound was so unusual that the band became famous throughout south Florida, often playing clubs at which Jaco had to be snuck in through the back door because he was underage.
Throughout his teens, Jaco lived the kind of clean, mischievous, energetic life often associated with small-town boys of an earlier era. When a member of Las Olas Brass tried to get him to smoke pot, Jaco refused.
Music was our medicine to cure how we were raised. He looked like the kind of scrawny, stringy-haired street youths who spend their time sitting on ice chests in front of convenience stores. In the summer, Jaco practiced his music furiously for hours on end. He would take his sheet music to a music store and, under the pretense of buying a keyboard, play his compositions in a sound booth to make sure that the music he had created in his head matched that produced by the instrument.
At night, Jaco and his friends would cruise Fort Lauderdale in whatever car or truck they could borrow from a parent. At midnight, still energized, they would drive to the outdoor basketball courts at Holiday Park for still more games.
He follows. Jaco had this incredible healthy balance in his life. Still, he was always on the nerve, man. I only touched that nerve three times in my life. Jaco was on it all the time. When he met a pretty, strong-willed blonde named Tracy Lee, he immediately asked her to go steady.
He seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when she agreed. He never did live alone until the very end. He always needed a woman to take care of the details of life. He wore a knitted stocking cap, a T-shirt, baggy shorts and high-top Keds, the type of outfit he would later wear during concerts.
Rider band and toured with them for eight months. When he returned home in , he married Tracy, and they took a tiny apartment over a laundry in Hollywood, Florida. Tracy helped support them as a waitress at a club called Bachelors III. Colomby was stunned. He immediately signed Jaco to a contract with Epic and brought him to New York to record his first album, with Herbie Hancock. When Jaco appeared outside his hotel room the next day, with his head down and his hands folded in front of him, Zawinul was impressed by his persistence.
Jaco kept in touch with me, and when Alfonso left a few months later, I called Jaco and offered him the job.
So why is everyone still talking about Jaco 30 years after his death? What made Jaco So Great? Voicings like which combine fretted notes with harmonics have become mainstays of the electric bass, and it was Jaco that brought them to our attention. Here, Jaco leaves his opening groove behind and gives us another great 2 bar vamp that combines propulsive 16th note playing with chromaticism and some simple, yet effective rhythmic displacement: Displacing the opening of bar 1 ahead by a 16th note transforms this from a stock Em funk groove into something special. After 12 bars of this, Jaco cranks out a variation on this line that gives a nod towards what would become a cornerstone of his style… 5. Pentatonic Sequencing Bar 97 of the transcription shows Jaco playing this line: The first 2 beats are comprised of a minor pentatonic scale sequenced in 4ths and 5ths — after beginning with the root note he plays 4th to flat 7, 5th to root, then 5th to flat 7; This sort of thing was unusual at the time, with most scale sequencing being of the linear variety typically using consecutive notes in the scale played in 3 or 4 note groupings. Jaco was one of the first to employ wider interval skips, which became features of his landmark solos including Continuum, Port of Entry and Havona.
Who Killed Jaco Pastorius?
The program continues like that for three-quarters of an hour, each track heading off in a different direction -- each one a masterpiece that would have been a proud achievement for any musician. What made Jaco so exceptional was that he was responsible for all of them, and this was his debut album. Beyond his phenomenal bass technique and his surprisingly mature compositional chops he was 24 when this album was released , there was the breathtaking audacity of his arrangements: "Okonkole Y Trompa" is scored for electric bass, French horn, and percussion, and "Speak Like a Child," which Pastorious composed in collaboration with pianist Herbie Hancock , features a string arrangement by Pastorious that merits serious attention in its own right. For a man with this sort of kaleidoscopic creativity to remain sane was perhaps too much to ask; his gradual descent into madness and eventual tragic death are now a familiar story, one which makes the bright promise of this glorious debut album all the more bittersweet. Track Listing.
He was the oldest of three boys born to Stephanie, his Finnish mother, and Jack Pastorius, a singer and jazz drummer who spent much of his time on the road. His family moved to Oakland Park near Fort Lauderdale when he was eight. In , he began spelling it "Jaco" after it was misspelled by his neighbor, pianist Alex Darqui. His brother called him " Mowgli " after the wild boy in The Jungle Book because he was energetic and spent much of his time shirtless on the beach, climbing trees, running through the woods, and swimming in the ocean. He attended St. He was intensely competitive and excelled at baseball, basketball, and football.