Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul is an album with more than 130 minutes of extraordinary high-fidelity ground-breaking music, on a live album with electric bass genius Jaco Pastorius and the Word of Mouth Big Band.
The band included Jaco Pastorius (Bass & Vocals), Bob Mintzer (Tenor and Soprano Saxophones and Bass Clarinet), Randy Brecker (Trumpet), Othello Molineaux (Steel Drums), Don Alias (Percussion), Peter Erskine (Drums), Blue Lou Marini (Tenor Sax), Jon Faddis (Trumpet), Jim Pugh (Trombone), David Bargeron (Tuba) and harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans as special guest.
It was recorded in 24 track Analog by the Record Plant mobile truck at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC on June 27, 1982 as part of George Wein’s Kool Jazz Festival. The album is presented from beginning to end exactly as it happened. This is an Analog Tape to DSD 256 transfer by René Laflamme at 2xHD Mastering using the Merging Technologies Horus Analog to DSD 256 converter.
Thom Jurek from AllMusic says “Truth, Liberty & Soul is for the Pastorius fanatics, but it’s much more. This fantastically recorded document is a treasure trove of modern progressive jazz. The brilliant music found on it serves to underscore that Jaco was more than a brilliant, singular bassist (though that would have been enough); he was a great composer, arranger, and charismatic bandleader — a true jazz renaissance man.”
Total time: 02:11:25
|Analog Recording Equipment||
Ampex MM-1200 recorders (2)
Horus, Merging Technologies
Rene Laflamme, 2xHD Mastering – Analog to DSD 256 Transfer
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Original Recording Format|
Tim Owens for National Public Radio Jazz Alive
Avery Fisher Hall, New York on June 27, 1982
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||May 20, 2017|
My Reel Club
Absolutely fantastic music and recording.
Resonance Records goes out of its way again to unearth yet another significant chapter in jazz history, and once again, it’s one that relatively few fans have ever heard. This performance of Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth Big Band was captured during George Wein’s Kool Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall. It was broadcast on NPR’s Jazz Alive program, but this double album contains the entire performance, with more than 40 minutes of additional music.
As his time with Weather Report wound down, Pastorius threw himself into Word of Mouth. A studio album was issued a year earlier, and versions of this outfit had played in Florida, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Pastorius assembled a who’s who for this date. The core band featured Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Don Alias, and Othello Molineux (on steel drums). That said, the 16-piece horn section included Frank Wess, Lou Marini, Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis, John Clark, and David Bargeron (on tuba), to name a few. What’s more, the grandest harmonicat of all, Toots Thielemans, was a featured soloist.
Jaco’s charts are exquisite, full of energy, sophistication, and humor. Check the tuba intro and burning break in the 13-minute workout on Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee,” amid the fiery interplay of the steel drums, Mintzer’s electric bass clarinet, and the drums and bass. This space-age bebop is contrasted beautifully as Thielemans joins in for Pastorius’ elegant “Three Views of a Secret,” the hard-swinging Latin and Caribbean rhythms in “Liberty City” (with gorgeous contrapuntal improvising by the whole band), and a sparsely adorned, romantic read of Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady.” closing with a bumping Caribbean take on the harmonicist’s standard “Bluesette.”
The second album opens with an absolutely cooking read of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” before a series of lengthy tunes bookended by heavy percussion workouts. “Okonkolé y Tompa” spends ten of its 15 minutes as an Alias solo before Jaco’s bass and Clark’s French horn join him, adding intimacy and tenderness. The glorious medley of “Reza/Giant Steps” — a true set highlight — displays Pastorius’ canny arrangements, even as his lead guitar-like playing gets to shine. “Mr. Fonebone” brings back Toots with a joyous carnival-esque intro that leads into knotty post-bop. The extreme length of the “Bass and Drum Improvisation” will make hardcore fans of Erskine and Pastorius salivate, but for most, once or twice through will suffice. The finale is a Jaco evergreen: “Fannie Mae” is a hard-swinging blues shuffle that features his vocals and bass playing in call and response with Thielemans and Mintzer as the band wails.
Sure, Truth, Liberty & Soul is for the Pastorius fanatics, but it’s much more: this fantastically recorded document is a treasure trove of modern progressive jazz. The brilliant music found on it serves to underscore that Jaco was more than a brilliant, singular bassist (though that would have been enough); he was a great composer, arranger, and charismatic bandleader — a true jazz renaissance man.
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