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Ran article I did on Jaco pastorius.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dlew919, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    I actually don't think you're right about that. There was lots of "fusion" jazz using electric bass before Jaco--Miles Davis' late sixties/early seventies electric bands; the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock's electric bands: Buster Williams was playing electric bass with Herbie Hancock in the late sixties. Return to Forever as you mention, Weather Report before Jaco. Alphonso Johnson was an excellent electric bassist and took a prominent role in Weather Report--his bass was way out front on a lot of tracks, like this one:

    But it's all funk inflected--lots of jazz guys were exploring the possibilities of funk and using electric bass. Jaco knew about all that stuff.

    Aside from Monk Montgomery and Bob Cranshaw, electric bass still isn't really accepted in straight ahead jazz. It shows up a lot in fusion type stuff and I guess you could call, say Victor Wooten "jazz." but while I love Victor he's not really playing jazz in the Wynton Marsalis/Ken Burns sense. Electric bass is still mostly not credible in jazz. As someone who plays both I can see why--it's extremely hard to get the traditional mid-twentieth century jazz feel on an electric.

    He had a distinctive voice, especially on the fretless. After Jaco lots of guys bought fretless electric basses--I did--and for a while you heard jaco imitators everywhere, but you don't hear that voice anymore, not very often anyway.

    So electric bass was an integral part of jazz/funk "fusion" before Jaco came along, and while fretless playing was a fad for a while, it doesn't seem to have persisted
  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 6, 2012
    I can’t really argue with any of that. And I thank you for those points.

    Now whenever I write an article I don’t expect to be the final word. I really appreciate view Tina, respectful disagreement even if strident and further discussion.

    outside of music circles how famous are any of those? Great players undoubtedly. Known and respected musicians? Absolutely. But how many non musos could identify Alphonse Johnson? How many could identifythem. Jaco was fortunate he appears on jonis albums. But he appears on Them because she recognises how great he is.

    but I’m not trying to be argumentative. Just thinking through your points.
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