Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording

Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording

by Jaco PastoriusJaco Pastorius


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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 disc 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." Disc one closes with a bumping Caribbean take on the harmonicist's standard "Bluesette." The second disc 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/26/2017
Label: Resonance Records
UPC: 0096802280344
catalogNumber: 2027
Rank: 35993

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jaco Pastorius   Primary Artist,Bass,Vocals
Peter Erskine   Drums
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Bob Mintzer   Bass Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Lew Soloff   Trumpet
Howard Johnson   Baritone Saxophone
John Clark   French Horn
Don Alias   Percussion
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Randy Emerick   Baritone Saxophone
Lou Marini   Tenor Saxophone
Othello Molineaux   Steel Drums
Jim Pugh   Trombone
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Toots Thielemans   Harmonica
Ron Tooley   Trumpet
Frank Wess   Tenor Saxophone
Peter Gordon   French Horn
David Taylor   Trombone
David Bargeron   Tuba
Ken Faulk   Trumpet
Bob Stein   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Buster Brown   Composer
Bob Marley   Composer
Peter Erskine   Composer
Bob Mintzer   Composer
Jaco Pastorius   Composer
Wayne Shorter   Liner Notes
Irving Mills   Composer
Tim Owens   Producer
Bronislaw Kaper   Composer
Zev Feldman   Liner Notes
Don Alias   Composer
John Coltrane   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Norman Gimbel   Composer
George Klabin   Executive Producer
John Koenig   Liner Notes
Clarence Lewis   Composer
Dave Love   Executive Producer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Charlie Parker   Composer
Morgan Robinson   Composer
Toots Thielemans   Composer
Victor Wooten   Liner Notes
Bill Milkowski   Liner Notes
Don Hunstein   Back Cover Photo
Tom Copi   Cover Photo
Paul Blakemore   Engineer
Burton Yount   Art Direction
Alfred James Ellis   Composer

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