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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 PastoriusJaco Pastorius
Remastered
Sony Legacy 2000
Audio CD$3.46
$4.38 (used)
Word of MouthWord of Mouth
Import
Warner Bros. 1990
Audio CD$2.34
$5.54 (used)
The Essential Jaco PastoriusThe Essential Jaco Pastorius
Sony Legacy 2007
Audio CD$9.37
$9.37 (used)
InvitationInvitation
Import · Remastered
Warner Bros UK 2008
Audio CD$2.87
$4.71 (used)
JACO Original SoundtrackJACO Original Soundtrack
Sony Legacy 2015
Audio CD$7.65
$5.95 (used)
Modern American Music: Period Criteria SessionsModern American Music: Period Criteria Sessions
Omnivore Recordings, LLC 2014
Audio CD$9.99
$13.99 (used)
Birthday ConcertBirthday Concert
Import
Rhino/Wea UK 2008
Audio CD$4.27
$3.25 (used)
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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)

3.91 | 15 ratings
Jaco (with Pat Metheny / Paul Bley / Bruce Ditmas)
1974
3.62 | 56 ratings
Jaco Pastorius
1976
4.06 | 25 ratings
Word of mouth
1981

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

4.00 | 4 ratings
Trilogue - Live At The Berlin Jazz Days (with Alphonse Mouzon)
1977
3.55 | 9 ratings
Invitation
1983
3.92 | 7 ratings
PDB (Pastorius/Dennard/Bullock)
1986
3.04 | 5 ratings
Stuttgart aria (with Bireli Lagrene)
1986
3.80 | 5 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 1: Punk Jazz
1990
4.75 | 4 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 2: Trio
1991
3.17 | 3 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 3: Promise Land
1991
3.17 | 5 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 4: Trio 2
1992
4.33 | 3 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 5: Raa
1993
3.71 | 6 ratings
Heavy 'n Jazz
1995
3.21 | 9 ratings
The Birthday Concert
1995
4.04 | 6 ratings
Live in Italy
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 6: Punk Jazz 2
1999
3.17 | 3 ratings
Live In New York City, Vol. 7: History
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Smoke On The Water, Live In Rome, 1986 (with Bireli Lagrene and Serge Bringolf)
2007

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

4.33 | 3 ratings
Live In Montreal
2006

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Street (with Brian Melvin )
1989
3.25 | 4 ratings
Holiday For Pans
1993
4.00 | 1 ratings
Jaco Pastorius
1997
3.17 | 5 ratings
Punk jazz
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Introducing Jaco Pastorius
2006

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Golden Roads
1997

JACO PASTORIUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live in Italy by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1998
4.04 | 6 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
3.71 | 6 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
3.17 | 3 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
3.17 | 3 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
3.55 | 9 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
3.55 | 9 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.

 Jaco Pastorius by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.62 | 56 ratings

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Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by R-A-N-M-A

4 stars I think like most people, the music of Jaco Pastorius came into my life by way of legend and hyperbole. Long before ever hearing his work I knew of him as one of the Olympian Gods of the bass guitar. Not being a bass player or a music historian, I can only offer conjecture on either point. But as a guy who listens to a not inconsiderable amount of music and knows what he likes, I have to say his skill and virtuosity are in fact indisputable.

I am a rocker by upbringing and a Rush fan to boot. Which means, my expectation is usually that bass guitar will come one of two ways: lost in the back of the mix, or heavy enough to rattle a few teeth out of your skull. As those of you already familiar with Jaco can guess, when I finally received my proper introduction to Mr. Pastorius his style and ability fell well outside my frame of reference. His sound is delicate and very clean. His technical abilities are impressive to say the least. Especially here on his eponymous album he strikes me as a very serious musician. So far removed from the out of control caricature he would be reduced to when substance abuse and mental illness eventually overwhelmed him. It is easy to see why his talents were in demand as both a producer and session man throughout his unjustly short career.

Musically, this album airs much more on the jazz side of the fusion spectrum. At times this album can be pretty rocking and never more so than the second track Come On, Come Over featuring soul stalwarts Sam & Dave. For the most part however, Jaco Pastorius, the album, is quite reserved; at least from the perspective of wanting to turn the volume all the way up to eleven. Donna Lee, Portrait of Tracy, Continuum, Forgotten Love and Okonkole y Trompa are all quite understated. That isn't to say they are dull though. Jaco, the man, is usually front centre really exploring what his now legendary fretless 'bass of doom' is capable of. For me the most exciting tracks are the bebop influenced collaboration with Herbie Hancock on 'Kuru/Speak like a Child' and the equally vivacious, but not as focused jam session 'Cha-Cha.'

In short, this is a great album. If you are a bass player and you've somehow kept your head in the sand on the subject of Jaco Pastorius, it is in your best interests to correct the omission. This album will also appeal to people like me who are taking their first tentative steps into the wide world of jazz. Finally, for fans of truly progressive music there will be plenty to take away: sublime bass playing, a variety of musical styles and an assembly of music which rarely if ever treads through its own footsteps. It isn't an essential album, but it is a reliably well above average one. Jaco Pastorius the album is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. Four stars of a possible five.

 Stuttgart aria (with Bireli Lagrene) by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1986
3.04 | 5 ratings

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Stuttgart aria (with Bireli Lagrene)
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

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

3 stars Like many albums with Jaco Pastorius, this one is very uneven. It has some soaring bass, but also some mediocre tunes. This time, Jaco is playing with guitarist Bireli Lagrene and his European jazz band.

The album begins well with the rocking American Boy and continues with an interesting version of Charlie Parker's Donna Lee. This song is essentially Jaco taking a bass solo over drums and a bass synth. It's very nice.

The first downturn is Stuttgart Aria I, which is basically a disco-funk jam, with Pastorius singing the chorus from Sly Stone's Don't Call Me Whitey, N*****. Besides the blandness of the disco, the singing comes off (at least these days) as a bit racist. Jaco Reggae is okay, and the slow version of The Chicken is actuall good, due to some fine blues playing by Lagrene.

Theresa is too slow to be interesting. Stuttgart Aria II, a much better jam than part I, is only marred by simplistic drumming by Peter Lubke. But it would have made a better closing track than the downbeat The Days Of Wine And Roses.

 Punk jazz  by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.17 | 5 ratings

BUY
Punk jazz
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

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

3 stars I really understand what a great and important bassist Jaco Pastorius was, and, as a bassist myself, I collected quite a few albums that he appeared on. And I know that a tragic and untimely death can increase the nostalgia for any celebrity. But this collection is just mediocre. Sure there is some exceptional bass playing, but not very much of it.

One problem is that Jaco often joined up with bands that didn't play much music that allowed him to show the fiery side of his playing. Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, even Weather Report didn't play much exciting, fast, bass heavy music. And Toots Thielemans could appear on an Opeth album, and turn it into elevator music.

But there are some good tracks. Especially the songs from his own albums. I happen to love his playins on Invitation and The Chicken (which appears as a home recording and the version from his album "Invitation").

So there is enough good Jaco to make this collection interesting, but not enough to make it great.

 The Birthday Concert by PASTORIUS, JACO album cover Live, 1995
3.21 | 9 ratings

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The Birthday Concert
Jaco Pastorius Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SaltyJon
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This was my second Jaco album. As a bassist, I felt compelled to check out his self-titled album, and of course I fell in love with it (and still love it dearly to this day). This one is another fun slice of music, though not everything on this live disc is up to the same standards. Things get off to an excellently groovy start, with Soul Intro/The Chicken. Jaco was such a groovy bassist, and this song shows off just how well he could sit in the pocket and have fun with it. So right out of the gates it really drew me in (again). The version of Continuum here isn't all that great though. Invitation has some good parts and some bad, but overall I think it's a bit stretched out. The album has more ups and downs, and like Slava said some of it seems to come across as nothing much more than typical big band jazzy stuff. Not a bad thing, though. Liberty City, Reza and Domingo are some other favorites of mine from this album.

For fans of Jaco, this one's a pretty safe bet. For anyone else, I'd say it's good if you like this style of music, so I'll give it a healthy 3 stars. The good songs are great, but the not so good songs kind of leave me dry some of the time.

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