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thebigyin

No real love for Jaco

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I know this will open a can of worms but personally i just don't get the fuss??? Admittedly he was unique and extremely talented but some of the stuff in my opinion is just a muddled up row....millions of tuneless notes played at extreme pace. Give me Jamerson anytime a master of Groove....i can feel my ears burning already lol.....Jaco played some memorable stuff but just not a fan of that nonsense noodling sorry 

 

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Fair enough, I’m not a big fan either.

The way I look at it is - I’ve heard about Jaco, but he’s never heard about me. And that goes for any other musician that I “don’t get” :-)

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1 hour ago, PawelG said:

The way I look at it is - I’ve heard about Jaco, but he’s never heard about me. And that goes for any other musician that I “don’t get” :-)

Ha-ha.

 

I'm the same mostly. I think a lot of the solo stuff where he was pushing the boundaries of the instrument is where the issue is. But some of his playing with weather report is fantastic, and I saw one of his performances with Janis on a doco on friday and his playing while supporting the sax solo was amazing. Just two or three notes repeated but so fast and consistent. So while I don't like some of his stuff there is no denying he was a talent.

Edited by fftc

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Yep , i feel much the same way, same with Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke etc, all undeniably talented and all undeniably better musicians than me but do nothing for me musically

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There’s enough music out there for everyone...

I’ve found elements I like in all genres and had my own jazz funk moment but I now find it interminable and in some cases unlistenable.

But when Jaco plays tastefully it’s fantastic.

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6 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

But when Jaco plays tastefully it’s fantastic.

Absolutely! But then sometimes taste goes out of the window... For example:

 

 

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There is no nonsensical noodling in most of Jaco's work. If it sounds like nonsense, it is because you aren't hearing it. As a fan of some of the more extreme Jazz forms, my interest in Jaco wained a long time ago but, to continue your analogies, Jaco was pretty much Jameson plus. There isn't much that he does that isn't intensely melodic or riff orientated. Sometimes he went up his own arse a bit but that is the nature of improvisation; sometimes you fuck up. Jaco pushed the envelope. A lot of what he did had precedents but he just took it all further. Except the harmonics.  That was all him.

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1 minute ago, Bilbo said:

There is no nonsensical noodling in most of Jaco's work. If it sounds like nonsense, it is because you aren't hearing it. As a fan of some of the more extreme Jazz forms, my interest in Jaco wained a long time ago but, to continue your analogies, Jaco was pretty much Jameson plus. There isn't much that he does that isn't intensely melodic or riff orientated. Sometimes he went up his own arse a bit but that is the nature of improvisation; sometimes you fuck up. Jaco pushed the envelope. A lot of what he did had precedents but he just took it all further. Except the harmonics.  That was all him.

Fair enough, but the thread title refers to "love" for Jaco (well, his playing I assume!). It is possible to appreciate his playing but not love it. I love some of it, but other stuff (like the example above) leaves me a bit cold. Still, even a master musician can have an off day... :D

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As I've not got much going on today I'll offer a thought. A common analogy for music is often that it is like a language. So, say someone is speaking Chinese and you don't understand it, does that make it nonsense? Of course not, if you learnt Chinese you would probably understand it. It can be argued that it is the same with music. If you learnt and enjoyed jazz vocabulary that is similar to those that influenced Jaco, the chances are you will then enjoy it because you can relate to it. 

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That Dry Cleaner From Des Moines clip is a 12 bar blues taken far out but there is nothing random about it. It isn't a Motown pop song. It is a Jazz blues and goes where it goes. It was clearly a showcase for Brecker and Jaco and Don Alias let go a bit. The rest of the gig was incredibly tasteful. In France The Kiss On Main Street is pure Jameson. 

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1 minute ago, OliverBlackman said:

As I've not got much going on today I'll offer a thought. A common analogy for music is often that it is like a language. So, say someone is speaking Chinese and you don't understand it, does that make it nonsense? Of course not, if you learnt Chinese you would probably understand it. It can be argued that it is the same with music. If you learnt and enjoyed jazz vocabulary that is similar to those that influenced Jaco, the chances are you will then enjoy it because you can relate to it. 

I’m not sure this is true. I understand the jazz language and what Jaco was doing, but I still think that later on in his career it was aimless plodding and pedestrian, and cliched too.

When he was on fire it was magical, but too often you got the typical and cliched rapid fire Jaco licks. 

I guess it was the same with a lot of these incredibly talented guys who extinguished that creative flame (or threw too much fuel into the fire).

His debut album is incredible, of that there is no doubt. The way he managed to make the electric bass a serious jazz instrument is important too.

 

 

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Ps my wife can sing the bass line from Dry Cleaner and she is not a Jazz fan. It's pure pure melody.

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""As I've not got much going on today I'll offer a thought. A common analogy for music is often that it is like a language. So, say someone is speaking Chinese and you don't understand it, does that make it nonsense? Of course not, if you learnt Chinese you would probably understand it. It can be argued that it is the same with music. If you learnt and enjoyed jazz vocabulary that is similar to those that influenced Jaco, the chances are you will then enjoy it because you can relate to it. "

 

However, to take that analogy further - you can understand another language perfectly, but still not like what the person is saying.

Edited by Count Bassy
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Jaco fell apart later on and relied on those licks to get him through. It was a tragedy but, had it not been for the stunning playing in his breakout period, the bad stuff would never have been released. 

Edited by Bilbo

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Apart from  some jazz funk and Django Reinhardt I detest jazz  in all its forms., especially jazz rock/jazz fusion However, I acknowledge Jaco as one of the  truly great players of  his instrument as I do John Coltrane and Gene Krupa. Because there are so many technically great bassists in the jazz fusion genre I 've tried to overcome my utter dislike of the music but I can't get beyond about 30 seconds whether it's Weather Report, Return to Forever,  Tribal Tech whoever. I get a tad irritated when people suggest I should give such and such time to sink in then I'll appreciate it. B*llocks sez I.  I don't like noodly , widdly instrumental music of any sort whether classical, jazz, rock,  electronica...

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No leading edge musician does 100% brilliant.  They define technique, place it in songs and at points amaze and at others bore/annoy.    Victor Wooten for example..re-tuning mid play...really? Jaco was a pioneer of the fretless technique.. I have 'the album' and have even tried learning portrait of tracy but in the end, only to learn the technique.   A lot of the album is very dated and actually not that well engineered.   

All techniques have a place (please note anyone who thinks slap, or hammer on or....is the be all and end all..) but in the end its the context and song that people listen to. 

Technique in the end is a tool, feel, groove and context etc is where its at.  

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Thanks for the replies guyz....i know Jaco is undoubtedly a one off and extremely talented Bassist but personally i like Bassist's who play for the song i have never been a fan of soloists be it....Bass, Guitar, Drums or any instrument to be honest i like a good pocket and groove or a tasty Guitar riff as long as it's for the song and band....i know everyone is individual in their musical tastes i know he has a multitude of disciples who odolise and want to follow suit but give me a good funky bass groove and a tight rhythm section anytime or a good Rock song...But I can appreciate folks who want to push the boundaries of music just not for me thanks again 

 

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As has been said previously, there's nothing nonsense about Jaco's playing, no accidents etc. Of course, towards the end of his life he fell apart and very much relied on his past to prop up his artistry to some degree, but he was ill. And suggesting that Jameson (whom I love a great deal) had some kind of rhythmic mastery over and above Jaco is just silly, they applied it in very different ways, but Jaco was an equal rhythm powerhouse, incredible drummer too (that's him drumming on Teen Town).

It also seems that you're judging his playing on how you think the bass SHOULD be, whereas actually it's simply another instrument that allows the player to express themselves, its role has simply been dictated by western musical styles. He wrote the music, and so why wouldn't he step out and fulfil what he feels he needs to play, he's not doing it for anyone else other than him, whereas Jameson was on a wage, playing through songs that were just put in front of him on the music stand.....who knows what he would have done given full creative freedom.

If you haven't already, listen to Jaco play through his Big Band albums, perhaps much more your thing, because it's a large band and he understands placement within a larger context. Weather Report was a much smaller band, and so more ability to step out, fill space (where appropriate) and have fun.
 

But just to further the conversation, I do love leaving this video hanging around :):

Just to be clear, i'm not saying that everyone should like Jaco, obviously not.....but appreciate him for what he was in total, not simply that he played music you don't like.

Si

Edited by Sibob
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5 hours ago, thebigyin said:

I know this will open a can of worms but personally i just don't get the fuss??? Admittedly he was unique and extremely talented but some of the stuff in my opinion is just a muddled up row....millions of tuneless notes played at extreme pace. Give me Jamerson anytime a master of Groove....i can feel my ears burning already lol.....Jaco played some memorable stuff but just not a fan of that nonsense noodling sorry 

 

Pretty much sums it up for me too, incredible talent, but just leaves me cold.

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We've been here before many times and it's obvious that Jaco isn't everybody's Cappuccino but most people will agree that he was a bass genius. His inspiration can be heard all over the place from Yellowjackets, Michael League to Richard Bona.

Personally I love his work even though I can only aspire to be a tenth of the player he was. 

The comments about "I just don't get him.." is fair - I feel exactly the same way about lots of Rock bassists - Flea, Trujillo, Geddy Lee - all pass me by...I can't see the fuss about any of these guys even though I accept that they're well respected in our field..

Horses for courses I suppose.

 

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I saw Jaco live in 1985 at the Hammersmith Odeon with his Word of Mouth band.  

IT WAS CRAP and HE played mindless noodling and overcomplicated scat lines.   We were SO disappointed.  18 months later he was dead.

He was seriously falling apart by the end, sufferring from severe bi-polar disorder; drunk, homeless and trying to force himself a) on stage with Carlos Santana then b) into a bar where the bouncer beat him up.  By the time I saw him the famous members of the band had left in horror (Don Alias was there, and brill mind); they had evidently not rehearsed enough to fill a gig and were making time by playing extended solo sets ... during Jaco's, people were yelling "give us a tune man".  Very very sad.  I also have an album of bits of  a gig he did in Stuttgart in 1986 .. probably his last recording, which has moments of greatness, but generally ... oh dear.

But at his best (Hejira with Joni Mitchell, some of the Weather report stuff like Birdland & Teen Town, some of "word of mouth" which he also mostly wrote) he was amazing and without him so much that came later would not have happened.  You will not find a Jazz bassist who does not count Jaco as an influence.  Learning a bit of his Donna Lee transcription is a technique lesson of itself and even aside from the notes, he probably invented "Mwah", redefining the sound of fretless bass playing.

Personally I'm not keen on Mozart, but without Mozart there would never have been Beethoven.

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I'm old enough to remember buying his first solo album when it came out,  and though the technique was dazzling, it just didn't make me smile the way, for example, Duck Dunn's playing does.

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50 minutes ago, Sibob said:

As has been said previously, there's nothing nonsense about Jaco's playing, no accidents etc. Of course, towards the end of his life he fell apart and very much relied on his past to prop up his artistry to some degree, but he was ill. And suggesting that Jameson (whom I love a great deal) had some kind of rhythmic mastery over and above Jaco is just silly, they applied it in very different ways, but Jaco was an equal rhythm powerhouse, incredible drummer too (that's him drumming on Teen Town).

It also seems that you're judging his playing on how you think the bass SHOULD be, whereas actually it's simply another instrument that allows the player to express themselves, its role has simply been dictated by western musical styles. He wrote the music, and so why wouldn't he step out and fulfil what he feels he needs to play, he's not doing it for anyone else other than him, whereas Jameson was on a wage, playing through songs that were just put in front of him on the music stand.....who knows what he would have done given full creative freedom.

If you haven't already, listen to Jaco play through his Big Band albums, perhaps much more your thing, because it's a large band and he understands placement within a larger context. Weather Report was a much smaller band, and so more ability to step out, fill space (where appropriate) and have fun.
 

But just to further the conversation, I do love leaving this video hanging around :):

Just to be clear, i'm not saying that everyone should like Jaco, obviously not.....but appreciate him for what he was in total, not simply that he played music you don't like.

Si

I understand your quote regarding Jamerson been a session/studio musician and his scores been penned out beforehand but he often adlibed and made the song better....and here's the big one played on 100's of hits...if you read my original quote i state Jaco has been incredibly talented but like a lot of others i find some of his work just leaves me cold and doesn't inspire....love his playing on The Chicken and Come on, Come over great grooves and some of his Harmonic pieces brilliant but when he starts the fast tuneless noodling just off putting but like someone quoted horses for courses......Jamerson, Weeks, Cogbill, Jemmott, Babbit, Dunn are my inspiration and idols 

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