WEATHER REPORT: This is Jazz #40 - The Jaco Years (Columbia / Legacy)

During the mid-70's, fusion was in its heyday; and groups like Weather Report, Return to Forever, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra were the reigning kings of the genre. One of the main things that made Weather Report such a hot commodity was an amazingly versatile young bassist named Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987). Jaco joined Weather Report in 1976, and spent the next six years in the group. A virtuoso in the truest sense of the word, he combined elements of jazz with rock, soul, reggae, and classical to create a technique all his own. When it came to the fretless electric bass, Jaco was (and to many, still is) the master.

The Jaco Years contains all of the tunes he wrote during his time with the band, plus live versions of three Weather Report classics. One of the best examples of his musical ability can be heard on the live version of "A Remark You Made." Listen to Jaco as his emotive bass lines on the song painstakingly accentuate the melody. "Havona" features great bass lines throughout the track, and a spectacular bass solo. Speaking of bass solos, be sure to check out "Slang." Jaco quotes Jimi Hendrix and The Sound of Music all within five minutes. How's that for versatility?


Punk Jazz * River People * A Remark You Made (live) * Havona * Three Views of a Secret * Teen Town (live) * Speechless * Port of Entry (live) * Barbary Coast * Slang (live)

© 1998 Steve Marshall