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JACO PASTORIUS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Jaco Pastorius biography
Jaco Pastorius is one of the most influential bass players of all time, not only in jazz and fusion, but in all styles of music. Raised in southern Florida, Jaco played bass in local cover RnB bands up until 1974 after which he started playing and recording jazz fusion with guitarist Pat Metheny. In 1976 Jaco recorded an outstanding solo album and joined Weather Report, two moves that propelled him to stardom. After five years with Weather Report Jaco split to lead his own mini big band, The Word of Mouth Orchestra. Over the years Jaco also recorded with many other stellar musicians, most notably Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin. Jaco died tragically at the age of 35 after receiving a beating at a nightclub in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

- Easy Money -

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JACO PASTORIUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JACO PASTORIUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 22 ratings
Jaco (with Pat Metheny / Paul Bley / Bruce Ditmas)
1974
3.58 | 78 ratings
Jaco Pastorius
1976
3.82 | 43 ratings
Word of Mouth
1981

JACO PASTORIUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.29 | 7 ratings
Trilogue - Live At The Berlin Jazz Days (with Alphonse Mouzon and Albert Mangelsdorff)
1977
3.33 | 16 ratings
Invitation
1983
3.97 | 10 ratings
PDB (Pastorius/Dennard/Bullock)
1986
3.11 | 8 ratings
Stuttgart aria (with Bireli Lagrene)
1986
4.00 | 7 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 1: Punk Jazz
1990
4.67 | 6 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 2: Trio
1991
3.29 | 5 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 3: Promise Land
1991
3.23 | 7 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 4: Trio 2
1992
4.50 | 4 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 5: Raša
1993
3.76 | 10 ratings
Heavy 'n Jazz
1995
3.26 | 15 ratings
The Birthday Concert
1995
4.07 | 9 ratings
Live in Italy
1998
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 6: Punk Jazz 2
1999
3.15 | 4 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 7: History
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Smoke On The Water, Live In Rome, 1986 (with Bireli Lagrene and Serge Bringolf)
2007

JACO PASTORIUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.40 | 5 ratings
Live In Montreal
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trilogue - Live In Berlin 1976 (with Alphonse Mouzon and Albert Mangelsdorff)
2010

JACO PASTORIUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Jazz Street (with Brian Melvin )
1989
3.50 | 6 ratings
Holiday For Pans
1993
4.33 | 3 ratings
Jaco Pastorius
1997
3.23 | 7 ratings
Punk jazz
2003
3.00 | 2 ratings
Introducing Jaco Pastorius
2006

JACO PASTORIUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Golden Roads
1997

JACO PASTORIUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jaco Pastorius by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 78 ratings

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Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I agree with the majority that if your a bass player this is required listening, for everyone else, not so much. Over 30 musicians are involved in the making of this album and the ones who standout would be Herbie Hancock playing Fender Rhodes on a couple of tracks and piano and keys on four more. Wayne Shorter playing soprano sax on one track and Lenny White playing drums on three songs.

A mixed bag for sure and often on the same track. Two of those would be "Kuru/ Speak Like A Child" and "Ocus Pocus" where there's lots to like but also some annoying stuff that keep me from completely enjoying the tunes. Those would be the disco vibes on the former and the island sounds on the latter. The opener "Donna Lee" is one crazy bass track, oh my! Percussion supports but this is all Pastorius. "Continuum" could be on the ECM label. Soul vocals from Sam & Dave on "Come On, Come Over". The closer is all bass. Top two though for me would be "Used To Be A Cha-Cha" at almost 9 minutes. We get flute, piano and bass soloing here. Love that determined sound with the bass and percussion on "Okonkole' Y Trompa", just relentless.

A good album but not as good as the World class bass player here.

 Word of Mouth by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Word of Mouth
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jaco Pastorius (1951 - 1987) wasn't a modest musician. He used to call himself the best bass player in the world, but that wasn't empty talk for sure. His short career included playing for Weather Report, Blood Sweat & Tears, Joni Mitchell and others, and he also recorded a few albums as the group leader and composer.

Word of Mouth is a work for a large ensemble; most noticeably it contains lots of reeds, harmonica (Toots Thielemans) and percussion. Jaco handles also keyboards. The seven tracks vary between near-3 minutes and 12 minutes. 'Crisis' is a very hectic and nervously busy piece that gives me very little enjoyment. '3 Views of a Street' is relaxed like a balmy summer day and gives a central role to harmonica.

'Liberty City' starts with a sharp and fast brass intro and soon settles on a nice groove starring bass, piano, percussion (incl. steel drums) and reeds. Otherwise enjoyable, but 12 minutes of it is too much. 'Chromatic Fantasy' is based on a Bach tune; after the bass solo it gets quite an experimental mess of mainly percussion and reeds.

'Blackbird', the shortest track, is naturally the McCartney evergreen. The melody is loosely played by bass and harmonica while the sharp percussion makes it excitingly edgy. The title track is hectic like the opener. 'John and Mary' is the other long piece (10:53) and perhaps the easiest track to enjoy. It has some Pat Metheny reminding airiness and the biggest amount of lyricless vocals. In the halfway it fades and continues, for a couple of minutes before returning to the main groove, in completely another style.

This is admittedly a very personal and eclectic fusion album. At times I'm mildly charmed by it, but most of the time frankly not at all, in the sonic sense. I'm not fond of brass orientation, steel drums or harmonica, and there's not much of fresh melodies on the whole album. Three subjective stars.

 Word of Mouth by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Word of Mouth
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars I'm not into big band music in general but don't frown upon it when hearing in acceptable amounts. Pastorius was one of the persons behind re-architecting the big band concept not only as to what instruments take part but made it less structured and more experimental. This album is a perfect example of a successful marriage between progressivity, experimentation and jazz tradition. Having harmonica in the orchestra along with more traditional brass instruments is impressive as is virtuoso bass/piano/saxophone/drum playing. The negative aspect of this album is that it is not accessible and an acquired taste. I acknowledge it fully but it doesn't belong to my favourite fusion records.

The first track is a great tour de force of avantgarde elastic hyperkinetic jazz. "3 Views of a secret" is a mellow, slow and even vocalised track with nice brass textures and solo harmonica. "Liberty city" has a nice bass reaggae bass motive and the 12-minute track is filled with improvisational teasers. "Blackbird" is one of the most interesting and dynamic cover version I've heard, it brings new dimension with harmonica, bass and harp. The title track is the closest to progressive rock/fusion a la Mahavishnu Orchestra, it features heavy bass and drums. The last track is again very different - world fusion rhythms and sunny motives lighten the sky.

 Invitation by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1983
3.33 | 16 ratings

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Invitation
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars 2,5 stars. The competent modern big band orchestra in this format with no keyboards provides an original and quite memorable sound. Brass sections, harmonica and bass guitars stand in the forefront. Bass playing is the most advanced out of all and is inspirational to many aspiring jazz bass players. The main problem is that this concert is a mixed bag of incoherent pieces - basically the longer the track is, the higher potential it has. Some shorter track are disposable and won't likely appeal to a fusion fan. Highlights are the first dynamic track with all players ready to run, "The Chicken" and the "Giant steps" from the lengthy 10-minute track because it is also quite experimental and close to fusion. Therefore 2.5 stars of otherwise a 3-star jazz album.
 Live in Italy by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1998
4.07 | 9 ratings

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Live in Italy
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Knapitatet

5 stars Jaco as he was meant to be heard. I dont think its an insult against Jacos massive influence and legacy to say that although he was a groundbreaking musical genius, the songs he wrote could have been better. "Heavy Weather" was an album that probably both Sean Malone and Kenny G took inspiration from, and considering how good Jaco sounded in "Suite Golden Dawn" on Al Di Meolas "Land Of The MIdnight Sun" and his love of Hendrix, it was only a matter of time until he embraced the heavy Rock sound and found a good guitarist to match him.

For my money, Bireli Lagrene is that guitarist. He opens up the album with some Neoclassical scales, mixed with Funk riffing. Already he proves that he is a musician that can think outside of the box, just like Jaco. They then launch into a fiery version of "Teen Town" wich just floors me every time. The drummer is a local uknown (atleast to me) but he does a good job at keeping time for the two giants he was playing with. Very straightforward and he gives the music a real Rock edge. The cover of "I Shot The Sheriff" from this album has gone on to become a minor classic and its no wonder. Jacos Bass and Lagrenes Guitar is dancing around and intercepting eachother like fencers and there is even a very good drumsolo!

You owe it to yourself to give this album a listen.Around this time Jacos life had begun unraveling into a nightmare of substance abuse and mental ilness and just one year later he would die a tragic and pointless death, virtually forgotten by the music world. But listening to this album you could believe that he was in the shape of his life. Musically this recording really stands as Jacos finest hour.

 Heavy 'n Jazz by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1995
3.76 | 10 ratings

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Heavy 'n Jazz
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

3 stars Well, I won't raise my glass to this, either.

It is of no secret that Jaco had a serious problem with alcohol addiction. That in turn led to his untimely death at the hands of a bouncer at a Fort Lauderdale establishment.

A Jazz-Rock fan, I spent a small fortune on obtaining most of his seriously overpriced live recordings. Most of them were a flop, a disappointment and this one is only marginally better than the rest.

This trio of badly mis-matched musicians lacks cohesion, let alone direction. Pastorius, no matter how intoxicated he may be delivers his flawless bass line as if second nature. The only thing is missing - inspiration. Nothing really wrong with the delivery, it just fails to impress.

Lagrene on the other hand is more into showing off his Heavy-Rock, bordering on Speed- Metal licks , licks that don't really match the compositions. These two cats may share admiration for Hendrix, but their individual approach couldn't be more different. The end result is not very impressive.

The drumming comes across as quite ordinary, just keeping the beat, but nothing much more. Nothing to make me to look out for other recordings with his participation.

I am rather partial to good "jamming", but this performance is one of those that gives "jamming" a bad name. Indulgent and directionless, but still, slightly better than most other live recordings by Jaco.

Can't quite offer it 4 as I couldn't call it excellent, but it's certainly above 3 - if only marginally.

 Live In New York City, Vol. 7: History by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1999
3.15 | 4 ratings

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Live In New York City, Vol. 7: History
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

3 stars Some years ago I bought the "Live in New York City" series via Mail Order at a grossly inflated price. I anticipated an orgasmic experience as I've seen Jaco perform live with Weather Report in 1980, or 1981. Indeed, he was the only highlight there doing an extended solo and numerous Hendrix renditions. He saved the evening as the band as a whole appeared to be disinterested, tired and the performance was barely mediocre.

In this series he plays pretty much his own material over and over again - minus the grunt - and it can get a bit tedious. The main difference is the format. Either as in a trio (like here), or with saxes. It appears to me that the trio format is where he is somewhat compelled to pay more attention, but even then he doesn't appear to be under much pressure in order to excel. His bouncy style on the bass remains predictable and whilst still very credible, boredom soon sets in with me.

My impression is that he was much more innovative as a band member than as a solo artist taking liberties. Based on these series, he appears to be a rather overrated artist and by no means would I belittle his general talent. The fact is that there is hardly anything outstanding here.

As of these series I'd recommend either this, Vol. 2, or Vol 4, but I see little point in obtaining more than one, or two discs of Jaco just having some fun.

It certainly is good, but as for one who enjoys Jazz, I'd be reluctant to call it an excellent addition, let alone essential.

 Live In New York City, Vol. 3: Promise Land by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1991
3.29 | 5 ratings

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Live In New York City, Vol. 3: Promise Land
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

3 stars Just how many times can one skin the same cat?

I am "fortunate" to have almost the entire Discography of Pastorius and after having paid mega- premium price for each of his live releases, I consider that it was money (not) well spent.

Not questioning his remarkable skills, but the excitement tends to wear off after having heard the same riffs in an almost identical set-list over and over again. The odd variation to that is often just indulgent meanderings that lead to little substance.

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate Jaco's work in general, but he appears to have performed better in the employ of others (Weather Report, DiMeola, etc.) than on his own.

In a trio format he is compelled to excel, but here, there is too much reliance on the others and that affects the overall delivery. A number of rather mediocre Gospel/Soul like vocal pieces tend to disappoint - not unlike McLaughlin's disastrous attempts to do Santana imitations in the mid- '70s.

Not a bad album, but excellent - it isn't. Given half a chance, I'd let it go any minute in return for the money I paid for it.

 Invitation by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1983
3.33 | 16 ratings

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Invitation
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This album has been in my collection for so long and it might have been since this live album was released some time in 1983 when I got the first version in cassette format. Only last year I got the CD version. For me personally, Jaco is not just a music player but he went beyond his bass-laying world but also in composing excellent music inviting many stellar musicians in his live records. Yes, he is a very talented and distinctive bass player where many have tried to emulate his style of bass-playing. For this department he is so unique as his bass guitar work has distinctive sound that is not similar with any bass player like Chris Squire or Geddy Lee in rock or Marcus Miller or Stanley Clarke in jazz fusion.

In this live record he collaborated with many musicians as he is performing in full big-band style. I really love with the way he plays hiss bass on he "Soul Intro / The Chicken" track. It's really enjoyable as the bass-work is dominant and unique. All music played here are performed in big-band style where brass section is quite dominant. Peter Erskine is also excellent as the solo drums was performed dynamically. What makes this album interesting is that it combined the big-band style and jazz-rock fusion. The bass solo section is also interesting to enjoy. Jaco can communicate nicely with the audience through his bass guitar work.

It's an enjoyable album and I recommend those who love jazz-rock have this album in your collection. Keep on proggin' ....

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Invitation by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1983
3.33 | 16 ratings

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Invitation
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars I have always had mixed feelings about Jaco Pastorius. As a bass player myself, I appreciate his overwhelming talent and what he brought to the instrument. But on the whole, while his playing was phenominal, the majority of the bands and the music he chose to play just didn't match his abilities.

This live album is one of the recordings I've heard where he really could shine, with music that could really push his bass to another level.

Invitation starts the album on a high note, with Jaco playing ferociously fast behind his big band orchestra. Amerika is a nice quick bass solo on the traditional patriotic piece (but why the "k"?). The Chicken was one of Jaco's signature pieces, and this is one of the best recordings of it I've heard. Othello Molineaux' steel drums really liven the song.

The second side drops a bit in quality. The songs are somewhat more low key, and Jaco's playing, while good, just doesn't elevate the songs. And strangely, I notice that the volume levels seem to fluctuate during many of the songs.

Thanks to easy money for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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