Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forever Inspired by Jaco Pastorius

Many of my business associates and even many of my close friends have no idea I was a professional bassist for many years.

My first paid gig as a bassist occurred in the 8th grade, which in the music biz, made me a professional musician on that night in 1977. I went on to learn the basics of other instruments, like piano. I was interested in learning composing & arranging like my early music mentor, Shorty Rogers. I had thoughts of someday becoming a professional studio/session musician.

Shorty guided me into spend two summers between junior high and high school, studying jazz and playing bass at the Stan Kenton Jazz Clinics, which was a summer camp for high level jazz music. I got to learn from wonderful jazz educators such as Hank Levy, Leon Breeden and Stan Kenton.

Later, I went on to study bass under legends like Ray Brown and Max Bennett. I eventually ended up studying Jazz Composition & Arranging at Dick Grove School of Music, a leading music school of it's day, situated not far from the major film, TV and music studios of the West Coast.

Up until my mid twenties, I played in a wide variety of amazing bands. Thanks to Shorty and his son Michael Rogers, I got to work as a bassist on enough film & TV sessions, and some advertising campaigns that I fell into through other channels, to realize it was not exactly what I wanted to do.

That is part of my life story that leads me up to introducing Jaco Pastorius.

I still remember the first time I heard Jaco's bass playing. It was extremely humbling and inspiring at the same time. Every bass player I knew was trying to cop Jaco's groove, but nobody had it like Jaco.

As most bassists know and artists who got to play with him knew, Jaco Pastorius was one of the most prolific electric bassists in the history of electric bass, if not greatest. He is at the very least in very the top few genius level bassists ever.

Everything Jaco played was different from that of other players. He was always unique and lead the groove with style. His death in 1987 was a tragic loss for modern music.

The first video below is a treat for those who know about Jaco's music, but who have never had a chance to hear Jaco speak at any great length. For any bass player wanting to learn, this video is it! It is also a unique window into what mattered to Jaco musically, as well as other parts of his life. The video also shows, up close, how he developed and carried out his technique that delivered his trademark sound.

Jaco played with a wide variety of artists and groups. A neat performance from 1979, is when Jaco played with Joni Mitchell on her Shadows & Light tour at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Watch the full concert at this link:  TheQuietStorm.Com/2014/05/shadows-and-light.html

Just below is that first Jaco song I ever heard just after it came out. It's a very cool, yet funky and soulful song that was track #2 on his self titled 1976 vinyl album.

Jaco Pastorius - Come On, Come Over

Just below are some excellent concert takes of Jaco performing with Weather Report, live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976

Weather Report - Elegant People (Live At Montreux 1976)

Weather Report - Black Market (Live at Montreux 1976)

Weather Report - Badia (Live at Montreux 1976)

Connect direct with Jaco's official legacy website at JacoPastorius.Com


Friday, March 21, 2014

Quote of the Century (For artists of substance)

"The truth is, if you're afraid to be hated, your art is going to be worthless."

Quote by Bob Lefsetz from his March 18, 2014 post on The Lefsetz Letter titled Being Liked.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trixie Whitley

Photo of Trixie Whitley by Gregory J Chamberlain

Had one of those months where a song is heard and played dozens of times a day since love at first listen struck. Went to a early December show to see Trixie Whitley at The Satellite in Silverlake. Was already a huge fan of her songs and had never seen her live, but had featured her music videos on MusicLoad.Com, MusicTelevision.Com and TheIndies.Com more than a few times. After the show, bought all of her fan swag including 3 albums, a t-shirt and poster, which is very rare to go overboard like that, but she was just that good live and more that imagined. One of the albums had a live recording of that song not yet heard. It is titled "Breathe You In My Dreams". It was a stripped raw version with just Trixie on the piano (like the take in this first video below) and her seriously passionate voice. It set the hook and it has dominated the stereo systems and headphones all month long.

Finally found the studio version of Breathe You In My Dreams that was released on her most recent Fourth Corner album. The recording as well as the official music video shot by photographer Anton Coene is total excellence. Can't get great songs like this out of the mind.

Trixie Whitley Photo by Gregory J. Chamberlain

Above photos of Trixie Whitley by GC © Gregory J. Chamberlain