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View Full Version : (Jazz) Jaco Pastorius - Self-titled


manuscriptreplica
11-16-2003, 07:00 PM
I love this guy, and thought I may as well give it a shot to review the CD that made him famous. Who would of thought looking at the CD cover of 'Jaco Pastorius' with Jaco's black and white face on the grey background that it is possibly the greatest and most influential jazz album ever? Definately for the 4-string instrument they call the bass guitar. Featuring two of the songs that changed bass playing forever, 'Continuum' and 'Portrait of Tracy', and such jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and David Sanborn, this is a must have for every bass player's CD collection.

Song List:
1. Donna Lee (Parker)
2. Come On, Come Over (Pastorius/Herzog)
3. Continuum (Pastorius)
4. Kuru/Speak Like a Child (Pastorius/Hancock)
5. Portrait of Tracy (Pastorius)
6. Opus Pocus (Pastorius)
7. Okonkole Y Trompa (Pastorius/Alias)
8. (Used to be a) Cha-Cha (Pastorius)
9. Forgotten Love (Pastorius)
10. (Used to be a) Cha-Cha (alternate take)
11. 6/4 Jam (Pastorius)

Donna Lee (2:27)
You will be blown away by this track. Jaco's immense skill is perfectly displayed in Charlie Parker's classic. I think, at least, this is up around 260 bpm, which is exceedingly quick for quavers. A simple bongo is accompanied to keep time, as if Jaco would need it. The solo is excellent, one of the best on the album, still keeping with the 260 bpm and doing it with perfection.

Continuum (4:32)
The piece that defined how the fretless bass was played. Jaco abuses his bass in this absolute mastery. Again, only using simple accompaniment, piano and cymbals, Jaco shows his mastery of the bass. He uses the chorus effect to full use, giving a certain aura about the song. Again, the solo is amazing, I especially liked the octave phrases. The improvised head out is outstanding it is one of my favourite things to play on my bass.

Kuru/Speak Like a Child (7:41)
The best funk-ish song on the album by far, it definately leaves 'Come on, come over' in the dust. Again, an insanely fast bass line by Jaco, showing that he is not only a soloist, he can make great bass lines, and keep the time as well. Surprisingly no solo from Jaco, you can't have everything now, can you?

Portrait of Tracy (2:22)
Ah, my all time favourite bass solo. There is only one word to describe this piece - unbelievable. Possibly the first song, and still the best, to be based on harmonics. The phrasing on the piece is simply outstanding - words fail me. Though it is not a very aurally pleasing song to the untrained ear (i.e. my sister 'That song's crap') to the bass ear it is a masterpiece. It is also very hard to play - such strectches like the 2+6 and the 9+13 harmonics make your hands ache after playing it, but it is all worth it. The intro is one you are sure not to forget.

(Used to be a) Cha-Cha (8:57)
This is my favourite song on the album for reason only - possibly the most insane bass solo ever in contained in it. Another very quick song (about 240bpm) when the time reached 1:22, be sure to triple the volume on the stereo. This solo is unbelievable, i've said this many times and I will say it again: I will die happy if I can play this. When the time reaches 2:46, you can probably switch it to the next track, but if you want to listen, again he shows his mastery of keeping time in quick songs with great bass lines - there is also a flute (or something) solo which is quite enjoyable.


Trust me if i could give this 6/5 i would, but i'll give it 5/5. Bass players, please, if you think Metallica's 'Orion' or Queens of the Stone Ages' 'No One Knows' bass solos are good, please check out this album.

Distorted Vision
11-17-2003, 02:50 PM
I love this album. 5/5 no doubt. Good review.

BirdsOfFires
11-27-2003, 12:44 AM
This is a good album but calling it the "greatest and most influentual jazz album ever" is sheer ignorance. Jaco is flashy, and skilled, no doubt, but he lacks the musical or compositional integrity of Coltrane, Miles or Ornette Coleman.

Zappa
11-27-2003, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by BirdsOfFires
This is a good album but calling it the "greatest and most influentual jazz album ever" is sheer ignorance. Jaco is flashy, and skilled, no doubt, but he lacks the musical or compositional integrity of Coltrane, Miles or Ornette Coleman.

My red flag went up when I read that sentence as well. I was just thinking, "umm...excuse me. BULL****!" It deserves maybe 3/5 stars. Not a bad album by any means, and probably good for bass players and listeners not into jazz. However, I think most jazz fans will agree that this isn't anything too special.

Mardy
12-04-2003, 01:35 AM
I need to get a hold on that album...!

JohnTheFisherman
12-04-2003, 07:04 AM
Agreed with Birds, this is a very biased review. Anyone who attempts to give something a 6/5 should go watch Spinal Tap.

3.5/5 maybe

bass is good
12-04-2003, 01:44 PM
well i love this album and i reckon most bass players would give it 5/5, but a lot of other musicians dont rate it much at all, and zappa, i think saying that this album is nothing special is a bit ignorant considering all of the new techniques that Jaco used influensing every bass player since!

Zappa
12-06-2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by bass is good
well i love this album and i reckon most bass players would give it 5/5, but a lot of other musicians dont rate it much at all, and zappa, i think saying that this album is nothing special is a bit ignorant considering all of the new techniques that Jaco used influensing every bass player since!

It isn't anything special compositionally or improvisationally. Technique doesn't necessarily make music good or extra special, and this is one such case.

Led_Zep_Bonham
12-06-2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by manuscriptreplica
Who would of thought looking at the CD cover of 'Jaco Pastorius' with Jaco's black and white face on the grey background that it is possibly the greatest and most influential jazz album ever?

No one then, and only foolish bass players now.

some guy
12-06-2003, 05:23 PM
As a showcase of skill on the bass, this would probably get a 5/5 from me (I have downloaded a good number of the tracks online). But as a music album, probably a 3.

jazzfunkboy
12-07-2003, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Mardy
I need to get a hold on that album...!
yes you do. if you play bass its a 5/5.

Knoxvillelives
03-25-2004, 12:56 PM
"However, I think most jazz fans will agree that this isn't anything too special"

Ah, and now I must KILL YOU!!! Not only is this album mantastic, but the guy who did it is the self proclaimed 'best bassist...ever', now that's genius.

sr800bkAGAIN!
03-25-2004, 05:36 PM
5/5 for bassists

3/5 for non-bassists

Jigglypuff
06-05-2004, 08:38 PM
4/5 for everyone. An excellent album, but not particularily groundbreaking, and there are a couple of tunes I'm not really fond of.

Lithium2112
06-24-2004, 12:14 PM
i cant find this album anywhere... i want to get it, might have to get it off the internet

thanks for the review

BondageBoyo666
07-05-2004, 05:46 PM
I play the bass and I've never heard anyone better Jaco is my my number one bass hero (along side flea rhcp fieldy korn and several others) I think every bass player should have this cd.

orestesstories
07-10-2004, 12:31 AM
love it 4/5

im not as lieniant with my scores...but then again i dont reckon ever giving an album 5/5

EDIT: btw bestbuy has this album in the jazz section (thats where i got it)

mjgbass320
09-12-2004, 11:40 PM
It isn't anything special compositionally or improvisationally. Technique doesn't necessarily make music good or extra special, and this is one such case.

It's my personal opinion, but I'm going to have to disagree with you when you state that "technique doesn't necessarily make music good or extra special." I think a lot of people forget that Jaco's technique was completely unique and original for his time, which made it all the more "good and extra special." I wouldn't say that this is anywhere near the greatest jazz albulm, but I personally feel that it is one of the greatest bass albulms, especially when placing back to it's original release date. Other examples of artists with techniques that make the music "good and extra special" would be artists like Victor Wooten, Carter Beauford, Jeff Coffin, Bela Fleck, J.S. Bach, and any other musician that you can name right off the bat with hearing a single note of their instrument, they all have a voice "technique" that is uniquely their own, just like Jaco.

mjgbass320
09-12-2004, 11:42 PM
I play the bass and I've never heard anyone better Jaco is my my number one bass hero (along side flea rhcp fieldy korn and several others) I think every bass player should have this cd.

If you love Jaco, check out Victor Wooten's Show of Hands...if you haven't already.