Jaco Pastorius: Jaco Pastorius
Don't get me wrong. This is a fantastic debut solo release by Jaco, showcasing his very best that circa 1976 could offer. Jazz greats are featured playing with Jaco. Two extra unreleased tracks are offered and lots of extra liner notes and photos are included.
Overall, I found this to be predominately a groove jazz release with assorted moments of delightfully dated funk flavorings, and smooth jazz leanings. I feel the stick-on label calling this CD "Classic Fusion" is very misleading. I don't believe Jaco ever considered himself a fusion bassist but a jazz-playing bassist with a special vision for his instrument. There is no rock to make this jazz rock fusion and just because Jaco used an electric bass doesn't mean rock is here. In fact some of Jaco's pieces could be better described as diversely ethnic or world jazz. When I hear some of Jaco's dreamier cuts he even veers into what would later be called new age jazz.
In summation, all bass players and virtuoso instrumental bass lovers need to have this in their collection. Fans of 70s, cutting-edge jazz releases also need to own this. If however, you are looking for a more wide-open, rocking, fusiony Jaco seek out his work with Weather Report. And do find Weather Report's 8:30 (Columbia, 1979) live release. Jaco really cuts loose in that live setting.
Record Label: Epic Records
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock