This tribute to the late Jaco Pastorius is like a musical kaleidoscope that makes the inquisitive listener wonder what color will come next. The large number of musicians featured includes some who had the chance to play with Pastorius, as well as others who were influenced by him. Most tunes were written by the great bassist, with a few exceptions.
The popular Pastorius composition "Three Views Of A Secret starts off with a wakeup call by the fourteen voices of the Contrafarsa chorus singing in unison through murga, a unique Uruguayan voicing style. Hiram Bullock and Bireli Lagrene then engage in a quiet electric and acoustic guitar conversation before Contrafarsa returns to close the piece.
"Las Olas eases the listener into an easygoing Brazilian mood featuring Michael Gerber on piano and Toninho Horta on guitar. The sound of Weather Report distinguishes the classic "Havona, which originally made its mark on Heavy Weather. Othello Molineaux, a steel pan master, provides a weaving feel while saxophonist Bob Mintzer grounds the tune melodically. Later, drummer Kenwood Dennard enlists electric bassist Marcus Miller to recreate "Teen Town, also from Heavy Weather, in the same fusiony vein yet at a somewhat slower tempo than the original. The recording quiets down into an evocative "Continuum that could easily be used as a comfortable new-agey musical accompaniment for visitors at an aquarium.
Within the first notes, one might assume incorrectly that "I Can Dig It Baby is a singing interlude. In reality, the song quickly takes the shape of a groovy line with Felix Pastorius holding the structure on electric bass with the assistance of a uniquely and engaging percussive Afro-Uruguayan rhythm called candombe. An example of Pastorius' straight-ahead jazz side is "Dania, named after a beach in Florida and played by the Michael Gerber trio.
Long-time Pastorius friend Gil Goldstein borrows "Punk Jazz from Weather Report's Mr. Gone and transforms it into a fascinating sound experiment using several accordions. Two of Pastorius' oldest friends, Richard Franks on drums and Alex Darqui on acoustic piano, are joined by acoustic bassist John Patitucci on the never-recorded "Microcosm. In its rendition of "Good Morning Anya, the Zebra Coast Band, a quartet led by Gil Goldstein, showcases its world-fusion sound by playing over an easy reggae-sounding rhythm. Jorge Pardo leads the melody on saxophone with Goldstein providing textured clips on accordion.
Jaco Pastorius imprinted his mark on funk, R&B, modern jazz, and Afro-Cuban settings. This tribute covers all the bases. Such a representative collection should satisfy fans as well as introduce the unfamiliar to a very influential musician who left us eighteen years ago.
Track Listing: Three Views of a Secret; Las Olas; Havona; Continuum; I Can Dig It Baby; Dania; Punk Jazz;
Teen Town; Microcosm; Good Morning Anya; Gospel for J.F.P. III.
Personnel: Hiram Bullock (electric guitar on Three Views of a Secret, Teen Town); Bireli Lagrene (acoustic guitar on Three Views of a Secret); Contrafarsa (vocals on Three Views of a Secret); Michael Gerber (acoustic piano on Las Olas, Continuum, Dania); Tonhino Horta (guitar, voice on Las Olas); Kenny Davis (acoustic bass on Las Olas, Dania); Danny Gottlieb (drums on Las Olas); Armando Marçal (percussion on Las Olas, Continuum); Othello Molineaux (steel pans on Havona); Bob Mintzer (tenor saxophone on Havona); Abel Pabon (keyboards on Havona); Pete Sebastien (electric bass on Havona); Jonathan Joseph (drums on Havona); Robert Thomas Jr. (percussion on Havona); Gil Goldstein (keyboards, accordion on Continuum, Punk Jazz, Good Morning Anya); Mike Stern (electric guitar on Continuum); Romero Lubambo (acoustic guitar on Continuum); Ines Bergara (lead vocal on I Can Dig It Baby); Hugo Fattoruso (piano, keyboards, voice on I Can Dig It Baby, Gospel for J.F.P. III); Felix Pastorius (electric bass on I Can Dig It Baby); Percussion on I Can Dig It Baby: (Fernando Lobo Nuńez, Gustavo Oviedo; Walter Nego Haedo, Jorge Foque Gomez, Washington Pintos, Noe Nuńez, Mariano Barroso, Pablo Pirańa Silva); Chorus on I Can Dig It Baby: Norma Galfetti, Gabriela Gomez, Silvana Lombardini, Mariana Garcia Vigil, Carlos Quintana, Gustavo Monemurro, Urbano Moraes, Cesar Martinez; Billy Hart (drums on Dania); Kenwood Dennard (drums on Teen Town); Marcus Miller (electric bass on Teen Town); Delmar Brown (keyboards on Teen Town); Charles Blenzig (keyboards on Teen Town); Rich Franks (drums on Microcosm); Alex Darqui (acoustic piano on Microcosm); John Patitucci (acoustic bass on Microcosm); Jorge Pardo (saxophone on Good Morning Anya); Carles Benavent (electric bass on Good Morning Anya); Alex Acuńa (drums, percussion on Good Morning Anya); Frances Fatturoso (electric bass on Gospel for J.F.P. III); Jorge Osvaldo Fatturoso (drums on Gospel for J.F.P. III)
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.