Fri June 23, 2006
Last Call celebrates Jaco Pastorius
The debut of the greatest electric bassist in jazz
By Chris Cooke/Host, Jazz in the Afternoon and Last Call, KIOS.
Omaha, Nebraska – This weekend The Last Call begins a series of programs that will celebrate the arrival of Jazz Bassist Jaco Pastorius on the international jazz scene in 1976.
The arrival of Jaco Pastorius in the mid 1970's heralded a fundamental transformation of the role of electric bass. Liberating it from its previous roles in a Jazz context, Jaco's brilliant technique redefined the electric bass as a front-line instrument. Possessing a rich, melodic imagination, his debut record was a stunning document of kaleidoscopic creativity, demonstrating his wealth of melodic ideas. In addition to titanic abilities on bass he also posed a triple threat as a talented composer, arranger and producer.
Saturday(6/24)The Last Call will present Jaco's 1976 debut recording, Jaco Pastorius, available on Epic/Legacy.
On the record Jaco is joined by an all star cast of jazz and pop musicians, and adds a string section for some numbers. He also presents a mesmerizing solo performance. From the opener, a cover of Charlie Parker's Donna Lee, Jaco's bass takes center stage in a series of unforgettable performances that would soon become legendary including Jaco originals such as Continuum, Kuru/Speak Like a Child, and (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha.
Musicians on the date include familiar names such as The Brecker Brothers, Hubert Laws, Herbie Hancock, Lenny White, Don Alias, the famous vocal duo Sam and Dave, and many others.
Jaco Pastorius grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he played with visiting R&B and pop acts while still a teenager and built a reputation as a local legend. Work with guitarist Pat Metheny in 1974 started his historic climb to acclaim. His debut album in 1976 was followed shortly thereafter by an invitation to join Weather Report, where he became an essential member of the band co-founded Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter. That edition of Weather Report visited Omaha to perform three times, in 1977, 1978, and 1980. Additionally, Jaco was in constant demand as a session man and producer, playing on the albums of Joni Mitchell, Blood Sweat and Tears, Paul Bley and others. Pastorius left Weather Report in 1981. From 1980 to 1984, he toured and recorded with his innovative Word of Mouth band. Tragically, a toxic combination of mental health ailments and drug and alcohol abuse cut his career short. He died in 1987 from a physical beating sustained while trying to break into the Midnight Bottle Club in Fort Lauderdale. His death was an untimely end to a career that was one of the most groundbreaking in all of jazz history.
The Last Call will present music from the groundbreaking Jaco Pastorius debut on Epic/Legacy Saturday night, June 24th at 11pm.
Chris Cooke has hosted the Last Call on KIOS since 1996.