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Various Artists: Gospel for JFP III: Tribute to Jaco Pastorius

Alain Londes By

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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 The sound of Weather Report distinguishes the classic "Havona, which originally made its mark on Heavy Weather.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

Title: Gospel for JFP III: Tribute to Jaco Pastorius | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Moonjune Records


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