313

Frederic Monino: Around Jaco

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Frederic Monino: Around Jaco Bassist Frédéric Monino offers this tribute to Jaco Pastorius twenty years after the latter's senseless death— and I use the word "senseless advisedly; Pastorius' murder made no sense. Monino's disc furthermore appears amidst important retrospectives of his greatest band, Weather Report: the box set Forecast: Tomorrow (Columbia/Legacy, 2006); and Weather Report co-leader Joe Zawinul's Brown Street (Heads Up, 2007).

There are at least three potential pitfalls to such a project. The first is that Monino as a bassist might suffer in comparison to the daunting virtuosity of the object of his homage. Second, such tributes risk being excessively reverential (and consequently sounding wooden). The third risk is that Pastorius—whose absence is much regretted, but whose legacy is only beginning to be assessed—is not up to the tribute.

Monino succeeds on all three counts. As a bassist, he discreetly avoids center stage (aside from the intro to "Punk Jazz"). A supple solo on "Liberty City" and his substitution of the bass for the frenetic, coked-up strings on the original "Speak Like a Child/Kuru" provide subtle evidence of Monino's prowess.

The difference between Pastorius' fabled 1962 fretless Fender bass and Monino's five-string Leduc U- bass is very much like the difference between the originals and the versions on this record. The first sounds subtly sharper, more metallic; the second, slightly warmer, more acoustic.

Indeed, the instrumentation of this record's basic group—electric bass, accordion, drums—hews a slightly playful middle road between irreverence and punctilio, avoiding any deadening solemnity, but also avoiding radical reconfiguration of the material. The basic trio is complemented by an impressive cast of guests, effectively deployed—above all, Olivier Ker Ourio's harmonica on "Continuum" and a couple of other cuts; Louis Winsberg's ersatz sitar guitar on "Used to be a Chacha"; Thomas Depourquery's alto sax on an elegiac "Three Views of a Secret" (not forgetting François Jeanneau's always-appreciated soprano sax on two numbers).

Monino's fresh but essentially faithful approach to the Pastorius material demonstrates that the third of the possible pitfalls mentioned above is avoided: Pastorius the musician amply deserves such a tribute. In case you needed to know, the spare re- readings reveal "Continuum" and "Three Views of a Secret" to be beautiful jazz compositions. "Punk Jazz" and "Liberty City," swinging steadily, sound like they could be compositions from the '40s or '50s as easily as the '70s or '80s. "Used to be a Chacha," meanwhile, sounds even more decidedly like fusion than the '70s original.

Monino thus uncovers a kind of a timelessness in Pastorius' compositions and playing. Evidence of great achievement on the part of the late bassist, it is no small achievement for Monino.


Track Listing: Continuum; Round Trip/Broadway Blues; Bright Size Life; Punktroduction; Punk Jazz; Three Views of a Secret; Teen Town; Liberty City; Speak Like a Child/Kuru; Used To Be a Chacha.

Personnel: Frdric Monino: bass; Lionel Suarez: accordion; Stphane Huchard: drums; Franois Jeanneau: soprano sax (2, 9); Franck Tortiller: vibraphone (3, 9); Louis Winsberg: guitar (2, 7, 10); Olivier Ker Ourio: harmonica (1, 2, 5); Thomas Depourquery: alto sax (6, 9).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Dom Disques | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Still, Up In The Air" CD/LP/Track Review Still, Up In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!