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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 October 2005
This album demonstrates the awesome musical talent that was Jaco Pastorius. Who knows what heights he would have climbed to had he lived and what unexplored musical territories he would have boldly venured into.
The tracks on show clearly highlight his technical ability and prowess on his instrument. Each tune provides the listener with a challenging and rewarding listening experience.
As an entity the album doesn't hang together very well tho' - there are too many different ideas being explored. It seems like he had so many ideas in his head and in his youthful enthusiasm he tried to express them all in one album. In that sense it reminds me a bit of Courtney Pyne's debut album - each track a gem but overall the album lacks a common thread. Because of this uneveness it is difficult for the listener to settle into a groove or mood. Some tracks are funk based, some are very reminiscent of Weather Report, some sound like the furrow the Crusaders were ploughing in the late seventies and other tracks have strings added. It is probably the tracks with the strings that work least well. Jazz and strings is a hard trick to pull off - Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown tried it with only variable success.
Having said all of the above I still thoroughly recommend this as a worthwhile purchase and valuable addition to any jazz fan's collection.
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on 18 April 2017
This man will never be surpassed in his innovation and dexterity. A genius on the bass.
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This is the ground-breaking 1976 album from Jaco Pastorius, the genius manic depressive who rewrote the book of what was possible with the electric bass guitar.

Pastorius' eclectic style might be classified as jazz but incorporates 1970s funk plus ballads and latin rhythms. His music is difficult to pigeon-hole because more than anything else, it's his own style of playing which shines: fast, inventive, melodic and of awesome virtuosity, he placed bass guitar at the centre of the band and used it as a lead instrument. If you're an aspiring musician and have never heard Pastorius' playing, just listen to this and be blown away.

Pastorius always used a fretless bass for recording and on stage but practiced regularly with a fretted instrument, "because the strings eat the neck up". He is joined here by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lenny White and a host of top-flight jazz musicians (as many as 10 musicians surround Jaco and attempt to keep up with him) and the result is astounding. However on a couple of tracks - the stunning opener `Donna Lee' and `Portrait of Tracy' - Jaco basically plays solo, supported on `Donna Lee' only by the congas of Don Alias.

This release contains 2 previously unheard bonus tracks: an alternate take of `Cha-Cha', and `6/4 jam' both of several minutes' duration.

It has been said that Jaco Pastorius was the last jazz musician of the 20th century to make a major impact on the world at large, so radically did he re-define the musical landscape. His tragic death in 1987 aged 35, following a violent attack by a nightclub bouncer (who later pleaded guilty to manslaughter) was a serious loss to music, but he left behind one heck of a legacy and is revered by genuine musicians everywhere.
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The fact that Jaco Pastorius had the basic seeds for what was to be Continuum at the age of 18 shows what a mature composer he was. This album (made when he was 25-26) shows all the hallmarks of a great musician/composer. The most beautiful piece on the album is Portrait of Tracy, made even more amazing because most of the piece is played with harmonics. Not only does this album show unmatched technical ability but also melodic and rhythmical ideas that still amaze me today. The bonus tracks show jaco's amazing stamina as he sits back and just plays the grooves and lets other solo. Every track is a standout track and i recommend this album to anyone with a passion for music.
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on 10 August 2015
This rating has nothing to do with the quality of the music, Jaco was clearly a great player, I just don't like Jazz Fusion. I'll keep the disc and continue to listen to Jaco playing but it's an academic exercise rather than listening for pleasure. YMMV.
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on 16 October 2000
For those who have this record, this edition is an excellent excuse to get it on CD. Tracks are as wild, varying, exotic and eclectic as ever and the new sleeve notes make an interesting read. Don't get too exicited about the extra tracks however: the alternate take of 'Cha-Cha' is mildly interesting and the riff in 'jam' is brilliant but doesn't go anywhere except a furious percussion work-out. Never mind - it was a brilliant album anyway. How old was he when he did this!
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on 7 January 2006
Another reviewer in here said "this album is quite simply terrible buy a will to death by john frusciante", which may very well be the lamest comparison I've ever heard! Pastorius and Frusciante have absolutely nothing in common except of a few letters in their names! Everyone who have ever been blessed by hearing Jaco now that he is/was THE best bass player in the world..well close followed by Victor Wooten, but still Jaco's the best! And this album really reflects his absolute control of the instrument and his feeling for every single note he plays! Buy it, you won't regret...
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on 25 February 2017
This album which is called simply Jaco Pastorius, is probably the best of Jaco (RIP) after his brilliance with Weather Report's best times alongside Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Peter Erskine, which I think was the best WR formation, with all due respect for the others...

It is IMO better than the other Jaco's project, Word of Mouth, and the jams recordings with Lagrene Bireli, and so forth. In here there is not only technical abilities and playing virtuoso on the instrument, but so many emotions are running here with "Continuum", "Portrait Of Tracy" and tracks where he is really throwing in the kitchen sink as "Cha-Cha" in 2 takes, 6/4 Jam.

This is a special moment in my collection which always reminds me what a man John Francis Pastorius III aka Jaco was and how the "jazz" establishment treated him when he was alive, only to realize what a genius and they then all paid tribute like Pat Metheny which I always thought was his nemesis, musically I mean.
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on 10 September 2000
Jaco pastorius was a legend among bass players and has affected music from all around us. His playing is distinct. This album is not however, just a bass players album, it is an excellent jazz record, with guests such as Herbie Hancock on many of the tracks. There is such a strong sound from Jaco's music, it strikes the listener straight away. Highlights include Come on Come over, and Donna Lee. If you're into jazz, you must have a listen to this.
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on 23 December 2009
Amazing bass playing and some lovely tracks, as one would expect from this giant of the 4-stringer
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