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Album Review

Jaco Pastorius' recording sessions with drummer Brian Melvin resulted in five releases: four studio (including Jazz Street) and one live. This body of work is unique in that it not only takes the electric bassist out of his New York element but also represents a focused, reinvigorated Pastorius.

The instrumental Jazz Street, one of Pastorius' last studio dates, places him in a west coast pop-jazz climate and he comes through with flying colors. His playing is clear and vibrant, best exemplified on Joe Henderson's "Out of the Night" which features extended, fluid soloing by Pastorius. He's also quite prominent on "No Slack" and the title track, two upbeat cuts on which Pastorius slickly executes some very familiar licks and riffs. Honorable mentions go to Jon Davis' bluesy piano piece "Wedding Waltz" and Melvin's atmospheric "Drums of Yadzarah," an offbeat drums/percussion/synth creation.

Though Jazz Street was most likely the last Pastorius/Melvin collaboration, it most closely resembles their first, the superior Night Food, recorded almost two years earlier — not to be confused with Melvin's later, nearly identically titled release, Nightfood, featuring Bob Weir.

Biography

Born: 01 December 1951 in Norristown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Jaco Pastorius was a meteor who blazed on to the scene in the 1970s, only to flame out tragically in the 1980s. With a brilliantly fleet technique and fertile melodic imagination, Pastorius made his fretless electric bass leap out from the depths of the rhythm section into the front line with fluid machine-gun-like passages that demanded attention. He also sported a strutting, dancing, flamboyant performing style and posed a further triple-threat...
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