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Original Release Date: August 1976
Remastered / Re-released: August 1, 2000
Label: Epic/Legacy (Sony Music)
The album that started it all – Jaco's debut solo album. Features a blistering rendition of Charlie Parker's Donna Lee and two of the tracks that changed bass playing forever: Continuum and Portrait of Tracy. Reissue liner notes provided by Pat Metheny.
1. Donna Lee (Davis) 2:27
2. Come On, Come Over (Herzog/Pastorius) 3:54
3. Continuum (Pastorius) 4:33
4. Kuru/Speak Like a Child (Hancock/Pastorius) 7:43
5. Portrait of Tracy (Pastorius) 2:22
6. Opus Pocus (Pastorius) 5:30
7. Okonkole y Trompa (Alias/Pastorius) 4:25
8. (Used to Be a) Cha-Cha (Pastorius) 8:57
9. Forgotten Love (Pastorius) 2:14
10. (Used to Be a) Cha-Cha (Alternate Take - Previously Unreleased) (Pastorius) 8:49
11. 6/4 Jam (Alternate Take - Previously Unreleased) (Pastorius) 7:45
Jaco Pastorius: Bass, horn & string arrangements
Don Alias: Congas, Bongos, Percussion, Okonkolo y Iya, Afuche
Randy Brecker: Trumpet
Ron Tooley: Trumpet
Peter Graves: Bass Trombone
David Sanborn: Alto Sax
Michael Brecker: Tenor Sax
Howard Johnson: Baritone Sax
Herbie Hancock: Keyboards, Piano, Fender Rhodes
Narada Michael Walden: Drums
Sam & Dave: Vocals
Bobby Economou: Drums
Michael Gibbs: Conductor, String Arrangement
Wayne Shorter: Soprano Sax
Othello Molineaux: Steel Drums
Leroy Williams: Steel Drums
Lenny White: Drums
Peter Gordon: French Horn
Strings: Violins: David Nadien (concertmaster), Harry Lookofsky, Paul Gershman, Koe Malin, Harry Cykman, Harold Kohon, Matthew Raimondi, Max Pollikoff, Arnold Black. Violas: Selwart Clarke, Manny Vardi, Julian Barber, Al Brown. Celli: Charles McCracken, Kermit Moore, Beverly Lauridsen, Alan Shulman. Double Basses: Richard Davis, Homer Mensch.
Jaco Pastorius (1976), was a breakthrough album for the electric bass. Many consider this to be the finest bass album ever recorded when it exploded onto the jazz scene it was instantly recognized as a classic. The album also boasted a lineup of heavyweights in the jazz community at the time, who were essentially his stellar back up band, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, David Sanborn, Lenny White, Don Alias, and Michael Brecker among others. Even legendary R&B singers Sam & Dave reunited to appear on the track "Come On, Come Over".
In 1976, the first 10 minutes of this eponymous disc took the listener on a jazz world cruise directed by the instrumentalist-composer Jaco Pastorius, who thus gave notice that there was a new sheriff in town and that narrow definitions of jazz would simply not do. More so even than his groundbreaking work as a member of Weather Report, Jaco's music on this, his debut album as a leader (and in a trio setting with his soulmate Pat Metheny on the guitarist's maiden voyage, Bright Size Life), defines his greatness, his outreach, and his ambition. Boppish changes à la Miles Davis come through with Jaco's incredible touch, tone phrasing, and rhythmic locomotion–as does the musical leap of faith from bebop to funky-butt R&B delivered with lyrical majesty on Jaco's aptly titled "Continuum."
This reissue greatly enhances the fidelity of Jaco Pastorius, particularly in the bassist's famous, elusive tone, from lightly chorused, vocal-tenorlike glissandos on "Continuum" and the bell-like harmonics of "Portrait of Tracy" to his percussive, hand-drumlike rhythmic cycles underneath Peter Gordon's august French horn on "Oknokole Y Trompa." Even more stunning are the manner in which Jaco deploys a steel drum choir underneath Wayne Shorter on "Opus Pocus" and the ferocious Latin-inflected groove Jaco, Lenny White, and Don Alias conjure under Herbie Hancock on two takes–one unissued until now–of "(Used to Be a) Cha-Cha." Pat Metheny contributes an extraordinary set of liner notes to this set, putting Jaco's contributions to jazz and the bass in sharp perspective. Still, a spirit of innovation and discovery suffuses every note on Jaco Pastorius, and it is startling how modern and engaging this music remains.
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