Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CD Review: Jazz Greats Jaco Pastorius And Bayete Revisit Their Best Albums

One of the most underrated jazz bassist of the late seventies was Jaco Pastorius. He became very influential as a member of the jazz-fusion band Weather Report as well as his work as a solo artist. His 1976 debut solo album became the pinnacle for bassists in both jazz, rock and funk. Pastorius would hold jam sessions "after-hours" and many of the recordings from those jam sessions never made it onto any album, until now. On Record Store Day (April 19th) Omnivore Recordings is releasing, for the first time, music from those sessions entitled "Modern American Music...Period! The Criteria Sessions." If features some of the most exciting, free-form jazz with a very loose atmosphere. The release was also produced by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo who became a big fan of Pastorius' music upon his first introduction.

The eleven song release begins with the bass solo of "Donna Lee," as it did on his debut solo album. It is a great way to begin with just Partorius laying down a bass groove without the need for excess instruments. He continues to display his talents into the eight-minute "Balloon Song 12-Tone," before allowing the band to join in on the quick-paced feel of "Pans." Pastorius turns "Kuru" into a grinding bass machine, while showcases a softer side to his performance in "Continuum." The album includes alternate takes of the songs "Balloon Song 12-Tone" and "Time Lapse," before closing with the gentle feel of "Forgotten."

This album, along with other exclusive Record Store Day releases will be available on April 19th in CD and vinyl format. For more information on this album, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/jaco-pastorius/.

American jazz/funk pianist Todd Cochran, later known as Bayete, worked alongside such artists as Peter Gabriel and Santana and was also a member of the jazz fusion band Fuse One. But, it was the release of his solo album ("Worlds Around The Sun") in 1972 that made other musicians stand up and take notice. Here was this 21 year old musician that wrote, played and produced the music for this album along with many jazz greats including Bobby Hutcherson on vibes.

Now over 40 years later, Omnivore Recordings is re-releasing this long out of print album on CD for the very first time and adds two bonus songs from the original sessions that did not appear on the album. The album touched upon the many different aspects of jazz, including the classic sound of "It Ain't" and the funky three minutes of "I'm On It." One of the most heavily sampled songs in hip-hop is "Free Angela (Thoughts...and all I've got to say)" as the drumming and guitar licks come straight from the soul of the seventies as the tempo continues to change during the final two minutes of the song. The original album ended with the slow jazz of "Eurus (The Southwest Wind)," but this new release adds two more tracks. The Latin flair of "Phoebe" and the twelve-plus minute jam session "Shine The Knock."

It's time to go back and relive the experimentation of music in the seventies with this newly released album. To find out more about "Worlds Around The Sun," please visit omnivorerecordings.com/todd-cochran/.

No comments: