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Album Review

Although listeners often think of Jaco Pastorius' first solo album as 1976's Jaco on Epic, producer/keyboardist Paul Bley actually gave Pastorius his first official chance at professional recording two years earlier. Coincidentally titled Jaco (originally titled Pastorious/Metheny/Ditmas/Bley), this spontaneous set is also significant for being among guitarist Pat Metheny's first recordings; completing the quartet are Bley on electric piano and drummer Bruce Ditmas. The music consists of three songs by Bley, five from Carla Bley, and "Blood" by Annette Peacock. Pastorius sounds quite powerful, but Metheny's tone is kind of bizarre, very distorted, and not at all distinctive at this point. The recording quality is a bit shaky throughout the electronic set, and the group does not quite live up to its potential, but Pastorius shows that he was already an innovative player, making this an LP of historic interest.

Customer Reviews

An essential part of Jaco

The official review states that the recording quality is "shaky" on this album, and that "the group does not quite live up to its potential." I couldn't disagree more! Aside from the fact that this recording is historically important, Jaco's playing is amazing. Paul Bley plays a beautiful Rhodes piano, and contributes well. Yes, I agree that Pat Metheny hasn't created his unique clean guitar sound yet, but this is an important beginning to his career. Fans of 70s jazz will love this album. It is an important beginning to the career of a bass genius. You won't be disappointed.

Next logical step

After four years of college in the late 60s and thru '71, listening to every piece of music we could get our hands on of rock, classical, jazz, fusion, and improvisation this seems like the perfect synthesis of energy and tones.
So much left to give, so much left for us, yet we know there could have been more, if only…
We miss you Jaco Pastorius.

A genius is clubbed and dies in a park. The murderer gets 4 months. The real punishment is likely meted out each evening, during the night, every morning. The killer is responsible for taking this genius and clubbing him unto death.

RIP Jaco


Born: December 1, 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 as a talented composer, arranger and producer. He...
Full Bio