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Thread: Jaco

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937

    Jaco

    Every instrument has an innovator that changes how players perceive the instrument. In Jazz, Louis Armstrong revolutionized the Trumpet and turned playing it into a brash freewheeling affair the echoes of which can still be heard in the players of today.

    Jaco Pastorius revolutionized the electric bass in the late 1970s and brought to it a new level of technical and tonal depth that continues to influence players to this day. He was a towering figure who set the bar for guys like me back when I was a serious player making a living as a musician. (In some ways he was the Hendrix of bass)

    He fell into increasing mental illness and drug abuse in his later years and was beaten to death in a barroom altercation in 1987, dieing at the age of 35.

    To go along with this painting, I'm posting this link to a song written for Jaco and performed by myself with my current Jazz trio. It is called Lullaby for Jaco (warning: pretty large file -- my apologies to anyone on dial-up)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    14,335
    Beautiful painting Al. Thanks also for the story. Such a tragedy for such a brilliant man.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
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    937
    Thanks Sandra. Whenever I hear about some genius dieing young I wonder about the trade off.

    If someone came to you before you were born and said "You have a choice, you can be John Lennon, (or Charlie Parker, or Jimi Hendrix, or Jaco Pastorius, etc.) or you can be a person who plays a little guitar on the porch in the evening and you can live in some backwater town in the sticks and live to be 100 years old." Which would you choose?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,372
    Same choice was supposedly offered to Alexander the Great. Short dazzling life filled with immortal fame and conquest, riches and power or a very long life of comparative insignificance. Tough question, Don Corleone.

    When I was younger I would have picked the blazing light. Not so sure now, since my life's path has been unfolding in some amazing ways that I never could have anticipated. What may look like oblivion to the outside world ain't necessarily so.

    Jaco Pastorius. I remember hearing his name decades ago when the new age sort of jazz sound was coming in. A headlining bassist. That was pretty incomprehensible in and of itself. But it really was all that you said.

    So you are a jazz musician. I might have guessed from your painting. Your aesthetic awareness and your deliberate breaking of the rules has a jazzy feel. And all that saturated color, sure. You're sticking to the structure in a broad way and scrapping the fiddly quality of a lead instrument in favor of tonal segments. As bass might be considered the instrument to hold the backbone, the backbone is there in the pictures.

    And at the same time, I run the risk of missing what you're intention is completely since I'm basing the analogy on a notion of what I think the bass in music provides. Anyway, it's far more interesting to me now that I have a working idea of what are the forces in play. . . or not. hahah.

    Groovy stuff. And I really like your music, my friend.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937
    Thanks D

    You are right, the bass usually provides a foundational role -- a link between the primitive rhythm of a heartbeat (drums) and full-blown language of the lead guitar or piano. That's why it is usually best to find a neanderthal to play the bass -- they excel at repetitious pre-linguistic grunts.

    Jaco was the first modern human bass player and he forced a lot of us to evolve. I used the overall red to indicate the glowing heat he produced, even as his star was burning out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Algarve, Portugal
    Posts
    2,956
    hi alkratzer

    I like your style very light
    Visit my website here

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