JACO PASTORIUS — Jaco Pastorius (review)

JACO PASTORIUS — Jaco Pastorius album cover Album · 1976 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
Jaco Pastorius' debut album certainly got a lot of attention in the jazz world. In 1976 there wasn't a bass player alive who had not heard, and consequently had not been blown away by Jaco's version of 'Donna Lee' that opens this album. When it came out, this album was revolutionary in the world of bass playing, and most bassists probably still consider it a five star album to this day, but how does it sound to us regular folks. Jaco certainly goes for the eclectic approach on this album, touching on RnB, neo-classical, be-bop, world beat, ambient and a few styles of his own invention. Probably the nicest cuts on the album feature Herbie Hancock and a string ensemble playing some sophisticated Jaco compositions that are a third stream cross between jazz and 20th century neo-classical. My other favorites include two semi-ambient pieces that feature Jaco playing the bass as if it were a tuned percussion instrument.

The rest of the album consists of a couple of upbeat world-jazz numbers that show what direction Jaco would be taking Weather Report to, an outdated shot at commercial RnB with Sam n Dave, and a couple of solo straight ahead jazz numbers that highlight Pastorius's obvious skills on the bass.

Once upon a time this album was 'the shot heard round the world' for bass players, it still is highly influential and contains some nice sophisticated music for us non-bassists as well.
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