With this second album by the Jaco Pastorius Big Band, led by Peter Graves in South Florida, we're reminded of the impact that the virtuosic bassist left behind.
Pastorius' big band roots go all the way back to his earliest professional development. Before the bassist got noticed, he had been working near his home in South Florida with the Peter Graves Orchestra. Graves, a trombonist who had learned the ropes working in the house band for The Jackie Gleason Show, led a jazz orchestra near the bassist's home. About ten years later, after Pastorius had made his claim to fame, his own Florida big band included Peter Graves among its members.
This tribute band plays the music of Jaco Pastorius, as well as other selections that the bassist and bandleader enjoyed performing before audiences all over the world. Quite naturally, the album features electric bass (in the hands of a series of players) along with other contemporary sounds that capture the essence of Jaco's passionate fury. Soloists such as Ed Calle, Mike Stern, Toots Thielemans and Bob Mintzer provide beautiful themes that recall Jaco's love for lyricism.
The program outlines both smooth, lyrical qualities and fiery, forcefully driving rants. "Three Views of a Secret flows evenly with a powerful melodic approach that features Calle on soprano. The band's mellow interpretation warms the heart. "Dania provides a fast romp that features Mintzer on tenor and Randy Brecker on trumpet. "Word of Mouth features Arturo Sandoval in a hot affair that demonstrates his ample virtuosity. The big band interprets "River People with a down-home familiarity that features trumpeter Brecker and guitarist Randy Bernsen in a passionate high point.
The album closes with "Reza, which features Jaco Pastorius on bass, folded into the recording from an old tape which Graves had isolated. The band records around that, paying respects to a bassist and composer who left his mark on the music world with indelible ink.
Track Listing: Dania; Las Olas; Sirabhorn; Beaver Patrol; Cannonball; Kuru / Speak Like a Child; Three Views of a Secret; Blackbird / Word of Mouth; Good Morning Anya; River People; Reza.
Personnel: Peter Graves: conductor; Billy Ross: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo; Ed
Calle: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet; Gary Keller: alto saxophone,
tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet; Mike Brignola: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, flute;
Jim Hacker, Jason Carder, Ken Faulk: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dana Teboe: trombone; John
Kricker: bass trombone; Mike Levine: piano, synthesizers; Randy Bernsen: guitar; Jeff
Carswell: bass; Mark Griffith: drums. Guests: Michelle Amato, Dana Paul: vocals; Bob
Mintzer: tenor saxophone; Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker: trumpet; Toots Thielemans:
harmonica; Mike Stern, Hiram Bullock: guitar; Robert Thomas, Jr.: hand drums; Othello
Molineaux: steel drums; Peter Erskine: drums; Victor Wooten, Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip,
Mark Egan, Oteil Burbridge, Israel
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.