Jaco Pastorius/Peter Graves/Various: Jaco Pastorius Big Band: Word of Mouth Revisited (2003)
In the realm of tribute records, Jaco Pastorius Big Band: Word of Mouth Revisited is a rare achievement. Containing 21 tracks, each a rearrangement of a Pastorius original composition featuring a guest bassist, the album will not only remind those listeners already familiar with Jaco of his incontrovertible greatness, but is also bound to convert those not yet exposed to the instrumental innovation, compositional ingenuity, and breadth of vision which comprised Jaco’s musical contributions to jazz, funk, rock, and R&B.
Expertly produced, and conceptually astute, the album follows through on its title claim from start to finish. Separated by quotes by Jaco himself, each of the tracks brims with energy. The group of estimable players featured on the album include Christian McBride, Victor Wooten, Victor Bailey, and David Pastorius, among others, and all pay fitting homage to Jaco through a series of passionate readings that illustrate a debt owed to Jaco while revealing the tremendous growth his seminal innovations have generated in the interim since his death.
Track after track, the musicians assembled by Telarc, with the invaluable support of arrangers Warrilow, Veasley, and Webb, present funky, groove-dominated, hard hitting tunes. The beats, the throbbing pulse of the bass lines, the crackling horns, the frenetic improvised lines, are infectious and irresistible. Just like the source material, this is music with cajones, serving to remind us all just what the word funk is really all about.
In the end, what Word of Mouth Revisited captures is the spirit of Jaco. Unrelenting, perhaps tragically, Jaco never paused for a breath, and though capable of deep feeling and powerfully emotive playing, at the heart of everything he did lay an exuberant, irrepressible celebration of life. Word of Mouth Revisited reflects this quality, and those willing to give it a listen will find themselves not only returning a second and a third time, but doing what the album intends: returning to Jaco with ears reawakened .
Track Listing: 1. Jaco Speaks 2. Havona 3. Teen Town 4. Jaco Speaks 5. Punk Jazz 6. Jaco Speaks 7. Barbary Coast 8. Killing Me Softly 9. Jaco SPeaks 10. (Used to Be A) Cha Cha 11. Wiggle Waggle 12. Jaco Speaks 13. Continuum 14. Jaco Speaks 15. Elegant People 16. Opus Pocus 17. Jaco Speaks 18. Domingo 19. Forgotten Love 20. Jaco Speaks 21. Punk Jazz Revisited
Personnel: Victor Bailey, Richard Bona, Jeff Carswell, Jimmy Harslip, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, David Pastorius, Jaco Pastorius, Gerald Veasley, Victor Wooten, and many, many other guests.