Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jaco Pastorius - Honestly Live

This set, consisting entirely of Pastorius solos, sounds excessive -- it is. There is no other recording remotely like it. But it's not for bass players only; in fact, as music, it stands up just fine, but, more importantly, it showcases just how restless, musical, and enigmatic a bassist Pastorius was. Each selection is numbered as a part, and each one showcases at least one or two of the artist's major styles of playing, in specific genres, and within them are three or four others whispering, shouting, or just presenting themselves to the listener. Utilizing melody, harmony (and the wildest use of natural and artificial harmonics anybody's ever employed), and rhythm simultaneously, Pastorius guides the listener on a journey through rock & roll ("Part 10"), the well oiled jazz player ("Parts 2 & 3"), the deep blues and R&B gut bucket funker in "Part 7," or the sad, lonely guy in "Part 7." Within these sections there are any number of songs, half remembered melodies, lyrical phrases, and themes and variations upon them, that reveals the deep influence of both pianists and saxophonists on his playing style. For example, while quoting from Weather Report's "Boogie Woogie Waltz" he moves off into Bach's "Chromatic Fantasy," "Surrey With the Fringe on Top," and even "Stardust" before slamming out the back door with "At Minton's." Elsewhere, long quotations from Jimi Hendrix give way to "Norwegian Wood," "The Thrill Is Gone," Dexter Gordon's "Go," and Freddie Redd's "The Connection"; there just isn't a dull moment. In all, it doesn't get much better. As revisionist history begins to settle in, and critics and fans alike try to re-evaluate Pastorius' live presence and ability, and he's either discredited or blown out of all proportion, it's nice to know there is an historical record of his worth as a solo instrumentalist and improviser. His was clearly the watermark to beat -- musically, technically, and emotionally -- and probably still is. - by Thom Yurek, AMG

Artist: Jaco Pastorius
Album: Honestly (solo live)
Year: 1986
Label: Jimco Records (1991, Japan)
Total time: 64:47

1.  Part 1 10:00 
2.  Part 2 3:57 
3.  Part 3 2:07 
4.  Part 4 3:26 
5.  Part 5 7:29 
6.  Part 6 5:44 
7.  Part 7 3:23 
8.  Part 8 10:00 
9.  Part 9 7:03 
10.  Part 10 11:33
All compositions by J. Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius (Bass Guitar)

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