Half an anthology just isn't enough
From the Summer 2003 issue.
Punk Jazz: The Jaco Pastorius Anthology
By Jaco Pastorius
Rhino / Warner Bros.: 2003
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Dying young and tragically (beaten to death by a bouncer at age 35) allowed Jaco Pastorius to be elevated to jazz godhood. But if he's largely forgotten today by all but the hardest jazzsters, his once-revolutionary approach to the electric bass shouldn't be forgotten he and Stanley Clarke created the modern electric bass sound in the '70s.
A new two-disc set from Rhino holds out the promise of illuminating his contributions to jazz, rock and everything that's followed but falls short.
The problem? Lawyers.
See, some, maybe most, of Jaco's heaviest playing was with the Weather Report combo in the late '70s and only one track from those efforts is included here (the huge hit "Birdland"). Weather Report was on Columbia/Sony; Rhino is owned by Warner Bros.
His work with Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny and Flora Purim is all nice, his solo work interesting but uneven but without the Weather Report stuff, this collection is only half an anthology. Wait for a box set on Weather Report if you want to hear Jaco at his twisted genius best.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).