Was Jaco Overrated? (A review of Weather Report: Unreleased)

His solo albums say he was not but this collection shows just how great his predecessor Alphonso Johnson and his replacement Victor Baileywere nearly as good too. True they were probably admittedly only sidemen behind the adventurous music Zawinul and Shorter were creating(this set is also produced by the two creators with alot of work done by Zawinul himself.
jaco fans will love this album too for it contains a 6 minute version of his bass ballad to his then wife “A Portrait of Tracy”.

Listening to this I have discovered just how important all the bass players are in the music that was created. The music is terrific and demands attention for some of the amazing solos often played in it which I think sets them (the band) far above the legion of smooth jazz that has followed after them which some feel the band actually helped create.
I personally feel Jaco was a tremendious fretless bass player with a terrific knack for song writing as well which you will barely find on this set. I do love this album but long still to hear a live rendition of “Three Views of a Secret” from “Night Passage” and Jacos masterpiece “Word OF Mouth”. Three Jaco penned tunes are in this collection and he plays on nine of the cuts and still sounds different from the rest. But the others alothough the music is different to an extent were terrific in their own right, and I think that was the reason they chose not to release only “Heavy Weather” era band material and and a good mix of bands instead.
My small dislike of this album is the inclusion of “River People” which sounds very much like the original. I think it was included because the leaders were so happy with the song and their ability to record a song that sounds almost mechanic live on stage.
Do enjoy this album and investigate some others like “Live in Tokyo” and of course “8:30”. I personally like this one above the two I mention.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: