Customer Reviews


86 Reviews
5 star:
 (71)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Father of fretless electric bass
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...
Published on August 14, 2000 by Jeffrey Harris

versus
10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THIS CD NOW SUPERCEDED BY 2007 JAPAN DSD REMASTER
In May of 2007, a new DSD remastered Japan mini-sleeve edition of this fabulous album was released (also incorporating something called HQD "High Quality Disc", "silver vapor manufacturing", whatever THAT means).

The new DSD edition supplants this 2000 remaster as the best audio version currently available.

Curiously, however, Sony Japan chose not to...
Published on September 29, 2007 by BOB


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Father of fretless electric bass, August 14, 2000
By 
Jeffrey Harris (South San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "My name is John Francis Pastorius III..", February 19, 2004
By 
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (Audio CD)
"..and I'm the greatest bass player in the world."
Big words, eh?
Jaco Pastorius didn't just make himself known by sharing the above statement with everyone who'd listen, however: he was (and remains) an unparalleled musical giant because it was quite simply the truth. The first track of his self-titled debut alone is a stunning jaw-dropper, a bare-bones rearrangement of Miles Davis's "Donna Lee" where Jaco's bass handles all the voices and harmonies in one unbelievable tasty dance of fretwork. (Maybe that's not the best word since his trademark bass had its frets removed, but nevermind.) Jaco's onmivorous musical mind meant that he wasn't content just to become a virtuoso player; he brought the bass to lead-instrument possibilities it had never seen before and his talents extended to brilliant composition & arrangements as well. Add to that the fact that he was 24 years old when this album saw the light of day, and.. the mind just boggles.
Besides that scorching opener, this disc offers a wildly colorful ride with a different face and mood for each track. "Come On, Come Over" is 70s soul/funk with Sam & Dave dropping in for the album's only vocals. "Continuum" and "Portrait of Tracy" are gorgeous ballads.. the former a small-band gem with the bass as lead voice, the latter a breathtaking solo. "Okonkole Y Trompa" is groovy and mysterious with perhaps a hint of some kind of black magic; "Opus Pocus" is a slow-bouncing tropical romp full of steel drums and some (perhaps dated) electric piano. "Cha-Cha" continues that feeling, replacing those tones with some sprite-like piccolo and flute that flit exuberantly all over the place, not to mention some brilliant Herbie Hancock piano work. "Forgotten Love" adds to the somewhat-overdone factor with a seventeen-piece string section backing Hancock (JP doesn't play), but it shows off Jaco's skills as a writer perhaps more than any other selection here. Through it all the bass playing is phenomenal and unmatched, whether he's blending with the crowd or coming out in front to let his instrumental voice soar.
The mood overall is largely tropical (there are plenty of congas), and the prevailing spirit is one of joy and playfulness. If its electric-piano tones and occasionally overdone strings might make it sound somewhat dated in spots, I for one don't hold that against it. The level of sheer creativity and brilliance that went into making this album.. not to mention the virtuosity to pull it all off and the collective straightforwardness to avoid sounding flashy or pretentious.. shouldn't be missed. If you want more of an electric fusion experience you can go for Word of Mouth or the Birthday Concert disc also, but if you want a variety-packed glimpse into the development of a musical genius and don't mind some decidedly 70s elements, pop for this CD and prepare to get carried away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true musical genius., January 13, 2003
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (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.
So there you have it, an excellent album from one of the best bassists of all time. Highly recommended to anyone with even the slightest interest in jazz. I haven't heard quite enough to say this accurately, but this is possibly one of the best albums of the genre. Definitely a must-have.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Loves Ya', February 12, 2005
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark Recording, August 14, 2005
By 
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (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. The track features Herbie Hancock and is a fusion barnburner full of solos from Hubert Laws, Hancock, and an hypnotic looping bass line from Jaco. The alternate take bonus track on this edition is a gem, with Hancock shining even more.

Listen to what I have to say about Pastorius and this record. If you don't believe me then look no further than Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Randy & Michael Brecker, all of which are featured on this pioneering release. If you are a bass player, or simply call yourself a fan of the instrument, then anything Jaco has ever done belongs in your collection, including his solo material, his work with Pat Metheny, and his late involvment with the fusion supergroup, Weather Report.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, November 5, 2002
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (Audio CD)
I honestly cannot praise this album enough. Although each song has a different personel and a completely different feel, the whole album feels like one concise unit, making it hard to name a standout track.
"Donna Lee"- a glorius, and pretty damn hip, intro to the record. Just a duet with percussionist Don Alias.
"Come On, Comne Over"- written by Jaco and Bob Herzog, who was originally supposed to do the vocals. Famous for featuring Sam & Dave and Jaco's ultra-funky 16th-note groove.
"Continuum"- a beautiful composition featuring Alias and the great Herbie Hancock. Herbie's electric piano (fender rhodes) playing is a great compliment to Jaco's singing bass.
"Kuru/Speak Like A Child"- a jazzy tune propelled by a string section and Herbie's fantastic acoustic piano playing. Like "Cha-Cha", Hancock is integral to this tune. Oh, and the bass ain't bad either.
"Portrait Of Tracy"- a beautiful bass solo by Jaco. Filled with harmonics, learning this song is a rite of passage for aspiring bassists.
"Opus Pocus"- a calypso-tinged jam featuring steel pans player Othello Molineux and Weathe rReport saxist Wayne Shorter. An awesome tune.
"Okonkole Y Trompa"- tasteful percussion, Jaco's propeller-like bass figure, and a solemn French horn turn this into a track much like "Contuinuum". Just a nice ensemble of players.
"(Used To Be A) Cha-Cha"- dominated by Hancock's piano playing (acoustic), it also features some heavy flute and clavinet work by Hubert Laws, and some sweet solos by Jaco.
"Forgotten Love"- Herbie is the star of the show in this finale, as Jaco does not perform. A beautiful way to end the original album.
The bonus tracks are also interesting. While the retake of "Cha-Cha" may only thrill fans, the brand-new "6/4 Jam" is a treat to all, with it's funky bass and distinctive time signature (which is obviously 6/4).
All, this record is not just for bass players. It's not just for jazz fans. It's not just for breakfast anymore. This is an album where music lovers of all kinds can come and appreciate the talents of one man: John Francis Anthony Pastorius III. Or, simply call him JACO.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the album that started it all..., May 29, 1998
This review is from: Jaco Pastorious (Audio CD)
It is difficult to say too many good things about the music on this CD. Certainly bass players, as well as all musicians, will be amazed upon their first (and subsequent) listenings to this CD. I also expect the casual listener to be mesmerized by the beauty, grace, power, and emotion in Jaco's music. This is a nice collection of a variety of Jaco's styles, from the funky groove of "Come On, Come Over" (with Sam and Dave on vocals), to echoes of Calypso on "Opus Pocus", and a wonderful duet with percussionist Don Alias on Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee". Bassists in particular will be fascinated with Jaco's use of harmonics in his original tune "Portrait of Tracy", recorded solo, without overdubs. Highly recommended; the perfect "starter" for newcomers to Jaco. Guests include: Sam and Dave, Don Alias, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great disc!, June 16, 2002
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (Audio CD)
I can't believe that, when this was released on vinyl 26 years ago, that it sold quite poorly, despite being nominated for a few Grammies and despite the music and musicians being so wonderful!! I mean, Herbie Hancock is all over this recording, and I thought that everything he touched turned into gold! Anyhow, this is some fantastic music....even if you only heard the first tune "Donna Lee", it would be worth the price of the entire disc. Although this song was written by either Charlie Parker or Miles Davis (I don't remember), and has/had been covered countless times, the way that Jaco played it was just.....amazing. As a matter of fact, I don't think that Jaco was aware of how wonderful and innovative that track was until he listened to it!
So much good music.....I don't want to indulge into every single song, but there are some standouts, and those that stand completely on their own. "Come on, Come over" is great, a very funky tune with Sam and Dave (most famous for the Motown hit 'Soul Man') singing. "Continuum" is very nice, a slow, lulling kind of ballad. "Kuru/Speak like an Angel is amazing....you have to hear those string arrangements, it doesn't sound physically possible for ANY orchestra to do something like that!
"Portrait of Tracy" is gorgeous....a solo bass tune, and played entirely with harmonics (a kind of octave that is fretted lightly over the fret), it is just.....wow. "Opus Pocus" sounds like an evil Carribean band at first.....those steel drums playing that kind of lurching riff. "Okonkole Y Trompa" is a grooving percussion/bass tune, and (Used To Be a) Cha-Cha is almost strictly a jam with a guest flute player Hubert Laws. In fact, there are guest musicians all over this recording: everyone from David Sanborn to Don Alias. "Forgotten Love" is a gorgeous orchestral piece with Herbie Hancock, Jaco being absent from the tune, perhaps to just listen.....
The extra tracks are good.....not really songs as much as just improvisations: an alternate take of (Used to Be a) Cha-Cha, and 6/4 Jam.....therefore, I feel that only diehard fans and collectors will treasure these extra tunes.....I myself do like them, and they add to the length of the CD, justifying the cost completely.
I don't really know much about Jaco.....i've read some things about him, interviews and whatnot.....I bought this CD after having been such a fan of Weather Report, and I really am interested to know more about this man. I've looked at the website run by his family, ... which is a great site. Jaco suffered from manic depression and drug use later in life, and his daughter Mary wrote a wonderful article about living with depression....look for it if you can, it's worth the search. Without straying too far from the material of the disc, I just want to say that Jaco was indeed the greatest bass player, and, if anything, the legacy he has left behind, which is less important than the actual music and the man himself, will be enough to keep him in our hearts and our ears. A definite 5 star recording.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top 5 albums I own., September 24, 2003
By 
"texish890" (Cypress, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jaco Pastorius (Audio CD)
I first heard of Jaco when I did a project on him for my Instrumental Music class in high school. I found his name on a list of bassists(we had to choose a musician of our intrument) and looked him up online, finding all these sites proclaiming Jaco to be the 'Greatest Bass Player Ever!' I remember thinking that there were so many great bassists that I loved, how could this guy top them? I listen to so many types of music and am particularly into Classical music, Jazz, and Progressive Rock like Dream Theater and Rush. I'd heard some of the best music (in my opinion) and some of the best musicians, and yet Jaco's album completely blew me away. Granted, the musicianship he crafted for bass was extremely appealing to me, being a bassist, but even now, after not having played for over a year, I get the same chills from these songs as I did before. His grooves simply are amazing. Opus Pocus and Continuum are some of my favorites off this one, but Portrait of Tracy is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and one of the most enjoyable songs to learn to play. The harmonics on bass in that song are genius, to a musician or just to a regular music fan. Now I really know why he was hailed as the best bassist ever, because he was. Simple as that. If you love this album after you buy it, get his Birthday Album, equally amazing. His Intro/The Chicken groove is so energy-filled that its like a party being released into your room. Word of Mouth is another album I love by Jaco, particularly his version of J.S. Bach's 'Chromatic Fantasy' (Incredible!!) and Paul McCartney's 'Blackbird'. Basically, if you're a big jazz lover like I am, you should love this stuff, and buy as much as you can from him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inhuman, June 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Jaco Pastorious (Audio CD)
Jaco is the only bass player who ever walked the earth that could actually release a listenable solo bass album. Let's face it, when bass players solo, people usually leave for the bathroom.Jaco forces you to tighten your sphincter and stay in front of the stereo. He is truly a saint with his fretless Fender. Even if you aren't a bass player, or if you think the bass is just a big boring guitar, you will understand the justification for Jaco's legacy after listening to this album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius by Jaco Pastorius (Audio CD - 2000)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.