Like many icons that leave the world too soon, the late Jaco Pastorius' surviving catalog has been pored over ad nauseam in the years since his death, and rightfully so. But perhaps one of the most rewarding examples of this is the Pastorius composition "Three Women" and its rescue from obscurity by arranger / keyboardist Gil Goldstein. The piece only ever existed in recorded form as a poorly-recorded piano sketch (on the posthumously-released, Live In New York City Vol 5 (Raça) (Big World Music, 1997), played impromptu by Pastorius himself. Somewhere along the line, Goldstein took it upon himself (with the blessing of Pastorius' widow, Ingrid) to take the sketch and fully arrange it.
Goldstein's arrangement made its first appearance in recorded form on Flamenco/jazz bassist Carles Benavent's album Fenix (Nuevos Medios S. A., 1997), where it was paired with another JP composition, "Good Morning Anya." Though the almost classically majestic and compelling movement of "Three Women" at first seems an odd coupling to the tropical and breezy "Anya" (which had been recorded by JP with the Word of Mouth Band while he was alive), Pastorius' unique harmonic penchants resurface in the latter piece to show why this marriage worksand why we should be grateful to Goldstein and Benavent for their efforts to take a piece destined to be an unfinished curiosity and present it in such a beautifully realized way.
P.S. To hear the original sketch of "Three Women," go here.
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Mike Jacobs is a serious music addict, writer and a composing/occasionally-performing musician.
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