Jaco Pastorius?

I am pretty open minded when it comes to music and I listen to some pretty avant-garde stuff including free jazz and and contemporary classical but I find a lot of Jaco Pastorius super fast bassline really hard to stomach. It is all very clever an all but it just leaves me cold which is odd because I can listen to John Coltrane’s self indulgent solos all day long.

However, I have just discovered “The Chicken” and it has really grabbed me to the point where I really want to learn this tune.

Understand, I am very new to the world of Bass and had never heard of the dude before.

Anyone on here play it?

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I love that song by Jaco. He was an amazing bass player who’s life came to an unsavory end. Jaco is one of the bassists who inspired me to play fretless.

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I have played the chicken as a sax player… it is a very popular tune for jams. You don’t need to play it like Jaco (LOL), but of course you should nail the main bass line… (just FYI, as sax player, I didn’t play like Bob Mintzer either :grin:).

Now, apart from that, what Jaco really is demonstrating here is the variety in articulation that he could include… just watch him move his plucking hand back and forth between bridge and neck - that alone gives a lot of variety!

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Also, check this out (especially Ex. 6 later in that video):

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Thanks Joerg
That will get me started

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Wow. That is quite a line up. Is that Randy Breker on trumpet?

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Yep! Peter Erskine on drums and Don Alias on percussion. Not sure about the steel drum player, but Jaco often had a steel drum player in his bands…

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Wow, that’s like a super group

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Check out the line up that Joni Mitchell had back then:

Even Pat Metheny was part of that “backup group”:

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Right I think I have the main bassline. Just need to practice for about 10 years and I will do a cover

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I am thinking of posting a daily video of my progress
Today is day one.
Who wants to see just how bad I am at the moment and see how I improve (hopefully) over the coming days/weeks/months?

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I had a similar experience - The Chicken was not written by Jaco. It was a funky jam that he had a killer groove and arrangement for. It’s a tune by Pee Wee Ellis.
So - the aesthetic is real real different.
If you get deep into the Jaco live bootlegs (caution: real real real shitty audio quality warning at times), you’ll hear him with a trio (bass, guitar, drums) playing tons of cool covers.
Buffalo soldier, Cissy Strut… fun funky jams. Not all the Weather Report, deep fusion dive material.
Might be more up your alley?
I really dug this record:

Also, he recorded a lovely fairly mellow trio record with a similarly young and upcoming guitarist (Pat Matheny) once upon a time. Great stuff there as well.
I couldn’t find a link to the record on YouTube, so see if you can find it on Spotify or Apple Music.
Here’s them live from the era of that record:

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That would be the “Bright Size Life” record


There might not be any video from that period… but at least this link’s audio is a little bit better than on the Jaco&Pat live 1974 clip :smile:
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Found another one with Joni and the gang!

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I have a similar feeling, the chicken is a fun tune, but most of the other stuff that I’ve listened to doesn’t appeal to me… talking purely from a :+1: or :-1: perspective, nothing to do with quality, technique, etc

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Same. Really appreciate the skill, whole genre not really for me.

This is a “me” thing too, no slight on Jaco whatsoever. I feel the same way about Santana and Clapton, which I think most would disagree with :slight_smile:

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I’m with you, it typically doesn’t support what I view as the traditional role of the bass player. Not a huge Santana fan as there is typically a sameness that I can’t get by, but Clapton there are so many versions of Clapton I’m sure you could find one that you like. Blues from the Cradle Clapton or Armani suit Clapton are my favorites.

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“Shadows and Light” is a quirky, cool album :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I think that it’s the same with any “virtuoso”, right? even in other art forms
One can have mad skills, be very innovative and what not, but for the audience it comes down to taste
@howard Clapton has been around long enough for me to like several songs, but yeah I’d get a greatest hits, not individual albums, Hendrix too… same with Santana, and he has been repeating the same lick for the past 20 plus years
I think that it’s harder for an individual musician to create good songs over and over with their instrument at center of all, as opposed to a band, great music lines are great in part because they’re rare
Back to The Chicken, I think that one reason why it works and appeals to more people is because the whole band is cracking, sure Jaco lays the cool riff but it’s as the glue of the song

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I’m in agreement with @howard on Clapton; however the first thing I learned on electric guitar was the opening riff to Layla. If you don’t like that there’s no hope for humanity :grin:
Don’t know the kid on guitar but he’s killing it.

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