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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording

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These days, there's a plethora of recordings, originally made for radio or television broadcast, being released by labels ranging from thoroughly legit to highly suspect. In some instances, these are real archival finds; true gold, mined from hours of hours of recordings, lovingly restored and packaged. In other cases they're clearly nothing but money grabs. Capitalizing on old contracts with holes in them the size of a Mack truck, these cheaply packaged, sonically acceptable but far from stellar releases muddy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording

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Bassist Jaco Pastorius could be considered the American music Van Gogh, a romantic figure so much bigger than the broken body that died from a severe beaten received outside of Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida, September 11, 1987. That image simply does not jibe even remotely with the music presented on Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording. Then again, it never was supposed to. Only a brief five years ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jaco Pastorius: Jaco Pastorius

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For any serious fan of jazz fusion, the release of Jaco Pastorius' debut solo album should have come as no surprise. Largely self taught, by 22 he was already teaching bass at the University of Miami, where he forged a strong friendship with guitarist Pat Metheny, one which would lead to the two eventually recording together, issuing a little known LP (simply titled Jaco) in 1974. But it wasn't until he became a member of fusion pioneers Weather Report that ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Jaco Pastorius: Jaco

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Jaco Pastorius JACO Slang East/West 2015 If you think you know the legendary Jaco Pastorius, you may not, until you see this film produced by Metallica's Robert Trujillo and directed by Paul Marchand. Not only does it contain liberal samples of Pastorius' music throughout his career, it includes home movies, location shots, and other live footage as well as new and past interviews that reveal Pastorius in all his glory and vulnerability, including ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaco: Original Soundtrack

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With so many compilations already out there, it might be easy to question why a soundtrack to JACO is even necessary. But one look at the track listing renders its raison d'être clear: JACO: Original Soundtrack is, in some ways, the most comprehensive document of the bassist's career, even if it doesn't contain as much music as previous double-disc sets. Yes, there is plenty of time given to his leader debut, Jaco Pastorius (Epic, 1976), with everything from the soul/funk ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

JACO (The Film)

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Jaco Pastorius JACO (The Film) Slang East/West 2015With author Bill Milkowksi's extraordinarily detailed and honest accounting of Pastorius' life in his biography--first published in 1996 but reissued nearly a decade later as Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius: Deluxe Edition (Backbeat Books, 2005), with a hundred pages of additional footage garnered when those close to the late bassist were, with the passage of time, ready and willing to talk more openly about ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Three Views of Jaco: Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes 1978-1981 / JACO: The Film & Original Soundtrack

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It's hard to believe that, despite being gone for 28 years, bassist/composer Jaco Pastorius remains not just an important figure in the world of jazz, but beyond its broadest purview as well. His seemingly sudden appearance on a series of four albums in 1976 demonstrated that this was an artist with virtually no restrictions. In addition to his first contributing to two tracks on fusion supergroup Weather Report's Black Market (Columbia)--leading to his replacing former band bassist Alphonso Johnson through ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaco Pastorius: Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions

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1976 was, for electric bassists, the year where everything changed. Jaco Pastorius hadn't quite emerged from nowhere, and the few prior recordings on which he could be found may have provided some hint of what was to come, but it was the quadruple punch of fellow legend-in-the-making Pat Metheny's leader debut Bright Size Life (ECM, 1976), singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell's classic Hejira (Elektra/Asylum, 1976), fusion super group Weather Report's Black Market (Columbia, 1976) and, most notably, the bassist's own Jaco Pastorius ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaco Pastorius: The 60th Anniversary Collection

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Jaco Pastorius The 60th Anniversary Collection Warner Music Japan 2011 It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a quarter century since Jaco Pastorius died at the outrageously young age of 35. At a time when other electric bassists like Stanley Clarke were redefining the role of the instrument--no longer playing only a supporting role, but becoming a front-line partner--Pastorius still managed to shake an already fusion-quaked world with the one-two-three punch of his ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaco Pastorius: Portrait of Jaco - The Early Years 1968-1978

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Jaco Pastorius Portrait of Jaco: The Early Years 1968-1978 Holiday Park Records 2009

If only every jazz artist had an advocate like label owner/project producer Bob Bobbing. Bass wunderkind Jaco Pastorius seemingly leapt into the jazz scene in 1976 with the quadruple punch of his remarkably mature debut, Jaco Pastorius (Epic), a trio date with guitar-god-in-the-making Pat Metheny on Bright Size Life (ECM), a stunning reinvention of the singer/songwriter space with Joni ...