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Jaco Pastorius
Old 20th March 2008
  #1
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Talking Jaco Pastorius

I don`t get this guy. He sounds pretty average to me.

What am I missing?
Old 20th March 2008
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
What am I missing?
Taste. tutt
Old 20th March 2008
  #3
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
I don`t get this guy. He sounds pretty average to me.

What am I missing?
I give you the benefit of the doubt and maybe you have heard bad live versions or some of his later stuff where he unfortunately was on the decline.

As a kid, I didn't 'get' Hendrix at first because i only saw a few TV clips of him smashing guitars and the like. Lord knows I changed my opinion drastically after hearing the good stuff.

So with Jaco, first listen to Pat Metheny's 'Bright Size Life'. Then move on to 'Jaco Pastorius', Jaco's first solo album and finally 'Heavy Weather' by Weather Report.

If you still label him 'average' after that, then I can't help you.
Old 20th March 2008
  #4
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The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
I don`t get this guy. He sounds pretty average to me.

What am I missing?
Average??? Hey what ever floats your boat but IMO Jaco was one of the greatest bass players of all time.
Old 20th March 2008
  #5
Emi
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talking about taste. I think Jaco has it and a lot more...but in terms of taste in my opinion Nathan East has a lot more taste than Jaco...or maybe they are different and I like more Nathan East´s style
Old 20th March 2008
  #6
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I forgot to mention Joni Mitchell's 'Hejira', Jaco is so great there. Listen to 'Black Crow': Jaco with Joni on rhythm guitar and Larry Carlton on lead, stunning and extremely tasteful IMO.
Old 20th March 2008
  #7
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YouTube - Weather Report - Teen Town



I don`t get why people rave so much about stuff like this

He sure plays well. But to my ears, it sounds like the average 22 year old fusion bass student



Guess I gotta buy some taste next time I go to the shop
Old 20th March 2008
  #8
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artbeat77's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
YouTube - Weather Report - Teen Town

I don`t get why people rave so much about stuff like this

He sure plays well. But to my ears, it sounds like the average 22 year old fusion bass student



Guess I gotta buy some taste next time I go to the shop
The average 22 year old fusion bass student wouldn't exist if Jaco didn't.
Old 20th March 2008
  #9
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camerondye's Avatar
 

Try and play it, almost any of it. Get a transcription book or look online.
cam
Old 20th March 2008
  #10
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by artbeat77 View Post
The average 22 year old fusion bass student wouldn't exist if Jaco didn't.
This is the point.

Just like Coltrane led to a flurry of similar sax players, like Ed Van Halen spawned a generation of finger-tapping zealots, those fusion bassists found a lot of their inspiration from Jaco - he brought melodic fretless bass playing to the forefront as none did before him. He set the bar, and esp. after his death spawned a whole generation of Jaco "wannabe's" who often imitated his style
and never bested it...
Old 20th March 2008
  #11
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Remoteness's Avatar
It's pretty simple really...

Jaco was the first. IMO, he created that sound.

There may be better players around these days, but there's only one that started it all.
Old 20th March 2008
  #12
Gear nut
 

i can appreciate jaco, but i'm more into the wooten myself
Old 20th March 2008
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
YouTube - Weather Report - Teen Town

I don`t get why people rave so much about stuff like this

He sure plays well. But to my ears, it sounds like the average 22 year old fusion bass student



Guess I gotta buy some taste next time I go to the shop
Because this was original at the time. Think of how van halen changed 'shredding', or how kurt cobain completely changed 3-chord rock. At the time it was completely revolutionary and required incredible balls.

I suggest you look further into jaco. Technically his skills are astonishing and nearly unparalleled. Musically he was able to do some things that very few musicians ever master.. even "basic" chromatic modulations over static harmonies.

Sure the edison light bulb is not the most amazing thing these days, but you have to take into the account the prowess, inspiration and genius that was required to create something that has been replicated and improved for generations. Not to mention becoming an indispensable part of everyday life. Jaco is the edison of bass.
Old 20th March 2008
  #14
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GloryisSilent,

Well said my man. Well said indeed.
Old 20th March 2008
  #15
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I think IMO the 3 most influential electric bass players of all time are Jamerson, McCartney, & Jaco Pastorius in that order. If you don't like the Teen Town stuff, listen to "A Remark You Made" on the same album Heavy Weather by Weather Report. That is an incredible song and he is the reason why. Seriously put some effort into this one because Jaco's not all about just playing fast, it is the whole package...he spoke through the bass like nobody ever has before or after. Listen to his intonation on the fretless bass, you only know it's a fretless when he wants you to know. Listen to Chromatic Fantasy by him, that is impossible what he is doing on that.
cam
Old 20th March 2008
  #16
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videoteque's Avatar
This is like people that look at Picasso/Miro paintings and say they can do it too...

To invent/create from zero is an absolut different thing than to copy...tutttutt
Old 20th March 2008
  #17
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Remoteness's Avatar
James Jamerson was awesome.

It's a drag he was uncredited on so many Motown Records in the 60s and 70s.
Old 20th March 2008
  #18
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The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
If you don't like the Teen Town stuff, listen to "A Remark You Made" on the same album Heavy Weather by Weather Report.
One of my favorites, some beautiful melodies going on therethumbsup I love the way Jaco could jump up to the high notes and you wouldn't even notice the bottom is gone

Quote:
This is like people that look at Picasso/Miro paintings and say they can do it too...

To invent/create from zero is an absolut different thing than to copy...
Agreed
Old 20th March 2008
  #19
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigo_Guitar View Post
I don`t get this guy. He sounds pretty average to me.

What am I missing?
If you do not 'get' Jaco then there is not much hope for you my friend...

Without Jaco the bass world would have a gaping void in it.

Jaco was one of those innovative and original bass players, and most importantly, Musicians that have helped define the jazz terrain today.

It's kinda like me saying "uh oh!" I just don't get Charlie Christian - after spending most of my life listening to George Benson, John Scofield and Pat Metheny.

If you do not 'get' Jaco - you need to 'get' into the history of Jazz.
Old 20th March 2008
  #20
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acousticmaniac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingeroGuitaro View Post
i can appreciate jaco, but i'm more into the wooten myself
I respect your opinion and tastes but I find these comments a little strange sometimes. This is no way a personal reference to your comment but more the way in which people compare musicians.

I find it difficult to understand why people say, for example, 'I more a Wooten man myself' when commenting on their preference over Jaco. This doesn't seem like a valid point to me. Saying you prefer Wooten over [insert modern day funk/fusion/virtuoso bass player] would make sense because they all drank from the same well of ispiration and direction, the well of Jaco.

I don't know if this makes sense, and I'm in no way attacking anyones opinion or right to have an opinion. I'm just writing what the voices in my head are saying.

Regards
Old 20th March 2008
  #21
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
It's pretty simple really...

Jaco was the first. IMO, he created that sound.

There may be better players around these days, but there's only one that started it all.
The problem with Jaco is that folks dwell so much on the 'technical' side of his playing. Sure, he was a monster player and very innovative in his use of chords and harmonics but that's only the dressing.

But Jaco was a dyed-in-the-wool, mother****ing, sweating and DEEP groove player. He made his apprenticehip on the Chitlin' Circuit and had those Jamerson/Jemmot/Bootsy things down cold with a very deep sense of swing.

That's what sets him apart from most bass players that came after him. I feel the exact same way about Eddie Van Halen BTW. Folks that copy him tend to overlook what he was/is a great blues player schooled on Clapton and also a tremendous rhythm guitar player.

But Jaco also was a great soloist - independent of his instrument of choice - very rare for an electric bass player. Check out 'Donna Lee' on his first solo album, Pat Metheny wrote some great liner notes for the CD reissue of that album where he said that besides all the technical innovations, Jaco's take on 'Donna Lee' was simply revolutionary in its musical approach.

There are quite a few spots, especially in live performances, where Jaco would go into a steady, dronish 16th-note groove. I have NEVER heard anybody nail that in the same way that he did. It's beyond technique and ultimately it's about his personality.

But I don't think that somebody that doesn't like Jaco can't understand or appreciate jazz, that's BS. It's all about personality and some players/approaches might appeal more to somebody than others. I think that's a problem with 'jazz' critics and aficionados, you always hear about 'important' albums and artitsts as if it was a test.

To give you an example, a friend of mine was trying to 'hip' me to Larry Coryell, saying that he was very innovative and one of the first 'fusion' guys etc. But I just don't like Coryell's playing, which doesn't mean that he's no good, it's just a personal thing and no amount of theorizing will be helpful for me.

All I'm trying to say though is that the original poster MIGHT have only heard the 'flashy' side of Pastorius, the parts that everybody was superficiously copying afterwards.

But there is much else: Things like 'Portrait of Tracy' 'A remark you made' or 'Midwestern Nights Dream' actually can make me cry, it's just so beautiful and musical!
Old 20th March 2008
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticmaniac View Post
I respect your opinion and tastes but I find these comments a little strange sometimes. This is no way a personal reference to your comment but more the way in which people compare musicians.

I find it difficult to understand why people say, for example, 'I more a Wooten man myself' when commenting on their preference over Jaco. This doesn't seem like a valid point to me. Saying you prefer Wooten over [insert modern day funk/fusion/virtuoso bass player] would make sense because they all drank from the same well of ispiration and direction, the well of Jaco.

I don't know if this makes sense, and I'm in no way attacking anyones opinion or right to have an opinion. I'm just writing what the voices in my head are saying.

Regards
exactly!
saying you like wooten and not jaco is like saying you like elliott smith but not the beatles!!

get it?

i can assure all of you that if jaco walked into YOUR studio and started playing bass, you would get it immediately.
Old 20th March 2008
  #23
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw View Post
It's kinda like me saying "uh oh!" I just don't get Charlie Christian - after spending most of my life listening to George Benson, John Scofield and Pat Metheny.
I'm a huge Metheny and Benson fan. While I can appreciate both Scofield and Christian, I never really was knocked out by either one.

But I totally dig Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt, as well as Howard Roberts, John Mc Laguhlin and Bill Frisell and many others......

It's just music, you get it or you don't. All that academic reasoning about the importance of so and so is irellevant as far as the enjoyement of music is concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
saying you like wooten and not jaco is like saying you like elliott smith but not the beatles!!
Why couldn't one say that? Is there a law against it?
Old 20th March 2008
  #24
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Remoteness's Avatar
I like "oranges" better than "apples".

There, I said it!
Old 20th March 2008
  #25
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geoff004's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
If you don't like the Teen Town stuff, listen to "A Remark You Made" on the same album Heavy Weather by Weather Report.
cam
IMO the Weather Report record to check out is 8:30
That's the one that really made me appreciate Jaco
Old 20th March 2008
  #26
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
But Jaco was a dyed-in-the-wool, mother****ing, sweating and DEEP groove player. He made his apprenticehip on the Chitlin' Circuit and had those Jamerson/Jemmot/Bootsy things down cold with a very deep sense of swing.l!
Spot On.

Jaco was also a MASTER of the groove - as well as his chordal and beautiful composition work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
But I totally dig Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt, as well as Howard Roberts, John Mc Laguhlin and Bill Frisell and many others......
My favourite Guitar player and one of my all time fave musicians is actually John McLaughlin, people are 'blinded' by his technique too - why?, because many of them just dont realise what a monster of innovative harmonic approach he has.

John Mclaughlin is on another Planet musically speaking.

Just like Jaco, who has an inate and natural fluid musicality.
Old 20th March 2008
  #27
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jaco = god
Old 20th March 2008
  #28
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
'Hejira' is one of my favorite records. It just transcends.

Anyway-- I was on the 3rd row at a Weather Report concert way back in the good old days. Jaco was right in front of me. He was a huge guy that made the J bass look like a small guitar in his arms.

At some point the rest of the band leaves and Jaco goes off on this amazing, blistering bass solo. At the end, he puts the bass down on the floor in front of the amp. Naturally, a thundering low end roar of bass amp feedback begins to rumble. Dude goes around back and climbs up on top of his bass rig. Now you have this huge man on top of a tall bass rig, and the bass feedback is getting louder and louder.

Suddenly he jumps off the bass rig, simulataneously the lights out and some roady kills the bass amp. End of solo.
Old 20th March 2008
  #29
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(jaco = god) = bring on the flames

The way to get good is play out, play out, play out and that's what he did...no big secret. Natural ability + a lot of hard work + a little luck in situation = great results in whatever you do.
cam
Old 20th March 2008
  #30
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henryrobinett's Avatar
When you look at musicians you HAVE to judge them against the time they were in -- their own era. Jaco single handedly changed the role and vibe of the bass. At the time Jaco first burst on the scene the number one bass player was Stanely Clarke. The number one guitarist was John McLaughlin. It was a time of playing with sheer speed and less concern with taste overall. Bright Size Life came out and changed all that in one fell swoop. "Lyrical" was the key word here. Jaco, IMHO suddenly gave the electric bass a VOICE, -- like a human voice for the bass. Then Jacos first record was released on it's heels. Then Black Market and Heavy Weather with Weather Report. The landscape changed in a hurry.

Few people, perhaps no one, has made an impact on the electric bass like Jaco did. Not that everyone changed the way they played, but you suddenly felt the bass, listened to the bass and could SING the bass. Jammerson probably had a more pervasive influence, but Jaco transcended the instrument.

When I think of great musicians I think of WHAT THEY DID in relationship to their time. It's easy to copy. The originator gets the points from me. SRV can copy Hendrix and sound better from time to time, but Hendrix DID IT. Someone can clean up technique. That's easy to do. It just takes work and time. But the imagination and creativity is wholly in the domain of the brilliant musician -- the innovator.

You also have to keep in mind that Jaco fell apart rapidly from drug abuse. So towards the end he really couldn't play.
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