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Pastorius, Jaco: The Essential Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius didn't invent the electric bass but, listening to this newly issued career retrospective, you realize that he was born to play and revolutionize the instrument with a single-handed assuredness that remained from his earliest recordings to his dying day. Pastorius didn't live his musical life solely as a solo artist, though six of the cuts on the first set are culled from his 1976 self-titled debut and rightfully so. It's there that we here the artist in his full brilliance across tunes such as "Kuru/Speak Like A Child," "Continuum" and the ever-loving "Come On, Come Over."

But for all his bravura, Pastorius was a rare and sensitive collaborator, as exhibited on the healthy dose of tunes culled from his work with the legendary Joni Mitchell ("Hejira," "Talk To Me," "The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines") and his fantastic work with Weather Report ("Birdland," "A Remark You Made," "Teen Town"). Elsewhere we're treated to an all-too-short detour into the maestro's time with Pat Metheny ("Bright Size Life," culled from the essential album of the same name), a turn with Michel Colombier ("Dreamland") and Herbie Hancock ("4 A.M.").

The second set here draws heavily from Pastorius' time with Weather Report末and for good reason. "Slang" remains one of his finest compositions and hearing him play with mates across "Port Of Entry," "River People" and "Punk Jazz" reminds us why he and Weather Report helped launch hundreds末if not thousands末of young musicians back into the woodshed in the wake of the significant powers heard on albums such as Night Passage and Mr. Gone.

Some might suggest末and I would argue末that 27 songs overstates "the essential" element behind Pastorius' music. Because, in truth, you really only need to hear one measure to understand that the unspeakable beauty he brought to the world of music and to be reminded that it was gone all too soon.

Disc One
1. Donna Lee
2. Come On, Come Over
3. Continuum
4. Kuru/Speak Like A Child
5. Portrait Of Tracy
6. Opus Pocus
7. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha
8. Bright Size Life
9. Barbary Coast
10. Hejira
11. Talk To Me
12. Birdland
13. A Remark You Made
14. Teen Town
15. Havona

Disc Two
1. River People
2. Punk Jazz
3. The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
4. Dreamland
5. 4 A.M.
6. Teen Town (Live)
7. Slang
8. Port Of Entry
9. Soul Intro/The Chicken
10. Three Views Of A Secret
11. Liberty City
12. John And Mary

Added: July 10th 2007
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: Legacy Recordings
Hits: 2242
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Pastorius, Jaco: The Essential Jaco Pastorius
Posted by Matt Pierce on 2007-07-23 11:44:49
My Score:

Long live Jaco!!!

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