2. Donna Lee
3. Bass Solo
4. Mr Phone Bone
5. Fannie Mae
Jaco Pastorius - Bass
Peter Erskine – Drums
Don Alias – Percussion
Othello Molineaux – Steel drum
Randy Brecker – Trumpet
Bob Mintzer – Tenor sax, bass clarinet
Pastorius fixed his name in the history of
jazz as the man who established the fretless
bass guitar and displayed amazing virtuosity
on the instrument. This DVD allows us to watch
that virtuosity in action, but it gives us
a lot more – a whole band playing together
with consummate skill and togetherness.
at the Montreal Jazz Festival in the early
1980s, this concert provides nearly an hour
of first-class jazz. Bob Mintzer is outspoken
on tenor sax in the opening number, underpinned
by Jaco’s clear and propulsive bass. Othello
Molineaux coaxes a wide range of sounds out
of a single steel drum – possibly the most
awkward musical instrument ever devised by
man – but Othello makes it sing radiantly.
Mintzer transfers to the bass clarinet to
introduce Donna Lee, to be joined by
gentle percussion and then Randy Brecker’s
electronically treated trumpet, and only then
does the melody emerge from the whole band.
After solos from Randy and Bob, Jaco does
a solo using lots of space for the notes to
breathe, backed by the two hustling percussionists.
Jaco is left alone on stage for what is billed
simply as Bass Solo, although he is
accompanied by a rather heavy-footed recorded
rhythm track. Thankfully the rhythm track
is eventually turned off, and Jaco goes into
what sounds like The Whiffenpoof Song
before cutting off a bass solo that should
have lasted longer (how often can you say
Phone Bone is perhaps the highlight of
the concert – introduced commandingly by Mintzer
on tenor sax. The tune is very complex but
the band plays it with complete precision.
It climaxes with a grandstanding drum solo
(although the camera regrettably doesn’t focus
on Peter Erskine throughout his solo). For
an encore, the shuffling Fannie Mae
has a relaxed, good-time feel, driven by Jaco’s
masterful bass and topped by his vocals.
the camera not always concentrating on the
right musicians, this is a keepable DVD of
a splendid concert.