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Jaco Pastorius Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, August 1, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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In 1976, the first 10 minutes of this eponymous disc took the listener on a jazz world cruise directed by the instrumentalist-composer Jaco Pastorius, who thus gave notice that there was a new sheriff in town and that narrow definitions of jazz would simply not do. More so even than his groundbreaking work as a member of Weather Report, Jaco's music on this, his debut album as a leader (and in a trio setting with his soulmate Pat Metheny on the guitarist's maiden voyage, Bright Size Life), defines his greatness, his outreach, and his ambition. Boppish changes à la Miles Davis come through with Jaco's incredible touch, tone phrasing, and rhythmic locomotion--as does the musical leap of faith from bebop to funky-butt R&B delivered with lyrical majesty on Jaco's aptly titled "Continuum."

This reissue greatly enhances the fidelity of Jaco Pastorius, particularly in the bassist's famous, elusive tone, from lightly chorused, vocal-tenorlike glissandos on "Continuum" and the bell-like harmonics of "Portrait of Tracy" to his percussive, hand-drumlike rhythmic cycles underneath Peter Gordon's august French horn on "Oknokole Y Trompa." Even more stunning are the manner in which Jaco deploys a steel drum choir underneath Wayne Shorter on "Opus Pocus" and the ferocious Latin-inflected groove Jaco, Lenny White, and Don Alias conjure under Herbie Hancock on two takes--one unissued until now--of "(Used to Be a) Cha-Cha." Pat Metheny contributes an extraordinary set of liner notes to this set, putting Jaco's contributions to jazz and the bass in sharp perspective. Still, a spirit of innovation and discovery suffuses every note on Jaco Pastorius, and it is startling how modern and engaging this music remains. --Chip Stern



Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 1, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1976
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00004VWA7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Harris on August 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
At long last, the stunning debut album by Jaco Pastorius gets the royal treatment by the folks at Sony Legacy. Recorded in 1976 prior to joining Weather Report, it's clear from the first bar that this man is serious business!!! From the opening track, a cover of the Charlie Parker classic "Donna Lee"(written by Miles Davis) featuring Jaco only accompanied by a conga player to the final cut "Forgotten Love",it's very apparent that we're hearing something we've never heard before. Pastorius took the bass from being a support instrument, to front and center, without being tedious or overdone. Other highlights of this album include "Portrait of Tracy", and "Continuum". "Jaco Pastorius" features excellent support from the likes of Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker and Lenny White. This reissue also features two unreleased tracks that were not part of the original LP. The booklet features rare photos from the recording sessions and has great liner notes written by Pat Metheny. The 24-bit remaster is a tremendous sonic improvement over the original CD issue and the disc label even has the original orange Epic logo on the disc. A first class reissue of a fusion jazz classic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Wickerman on January 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Jaco Pastorius was undoubtedly a brilliant musician, in every sense of the word. Not only was he an incredible bassist, but he was a gifted composer, who really knew how to get the most out of his instrument. This, his first solo album, is excellent from start to finish. There's plenty of diversity here, and a regular who's who of musicians backing him up. The list includes David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and many more. There are three drummers on here, Bobby Economou, Narada Michael Walden, and Lenny White. All three put on a great performance, but Lenny's is undoubtedly the most impressive.
As I mentioned before, this album is very diverse. There are two bass solo songs (only bass). The first, "Donna Lee", is the opening track, and is a prime example of Jaco's incredible prowess. The second, "Portrait of Tracy", is more laid-back, and shows that in addition to being a technical virtuoso, he had a great sense of melody as well. "Come On, Come Over" has more of a 70's funk feel, and is the only song on the album to feature vocals. "Opus Pocus" is a bit unusual, with odd complex bass work, and some cool steel drums to give it a bit of a tropical feel. "Forgotten Love" doesn't even have Jaco on it, and is perhaps the least interesting track here, but still a nice tranquil piano piece. "6/4 Jam" is a bit repetitive, but Lenny's jaw-dropping performance makes up for it.
The best songs, without a doubt, are "Kuru/Speak Like a Child" and "Used To Be a Cha Cha". Both feature some very fast and infectious basslines, and incredible piano from the great Herbie Hancock. Very technical and diverse songs, with great melody as well. At around 8 minutes each, both go by quite fast.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Karwacki on February 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Everything has been said about this man already and yet it will never all be said about him. Everyone I've had listen to Jaco is immediately astounded, even though this album is nearly 30 years old (older than Jaco was at the recording session). It never gets stale and it even reaches out to my own young boys of 10 and 12. Jaco should be entered into the music history dictionaries along with other great virtuosos.

This debut album is certainly a must and should not be missed from anyone's collection, no matter what your taste in music.

Good follow-up is to read about his life and family through the family website(s), the biography written about him and to explore his other work with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Pat Mathaney, etc...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Calabrese on August 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Jaco's first solo record proves to be the most important and influential recording in the history of the electric bass. I invite listeners from all other forms of music to try and find another bass player other than old jazz cats like Charles Mingus and Scott LaFaro who did more for the bass than Jaco has. He single-handedly showed us new directions we could take the instrument in. Modern players like Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Flea, and Les Claypool owe an immense debt to Jaco Pastorius. This record holds even more weight, because it was recorded all the way back in 1976. Jaco totally revolutionized the electric bass.

'Donna Lee,' an arrangement of a Miles Davis song, is just about the closest you could get to a bassist who 'shreds' in the style of monster guitarists like Malmsteen and Vai. Every note is played clean and clear - Pastorius is a perfectionist and he makes no mistakes on this opening piece. This is followed by the only track with vocals, 'Come On, Come Over.' It features Sam and Dave on vocals, and I predict that one day Quentin Tarantino will use it in one of his movies.

Pastorius shows his versatility through his mastering of natural harmonics on the sublime 'Portrait of Tracy.' He also shows his versatility in playing slow using plenty of vibrato and slides in other tracks like 'Ocus Pocus' and 'Continuum.' Keep your ears open for elements that would sprout up in all forms of music from Rock to Rap to Hip-Hop to Country following this debute record.

In my opinion, the true highlight of this record is 'Used to be a Cha-Cha' which is another arrangment of Charlie Parker's 'Ah Leu Cha' which is also covered by Miles Davis on his ROUND BOUT MIDNIGHT lp.
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