I love this album
Andre S. Grindle | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually didn't buy the album because all of the tracks, except one (crisis) are found on the "punk jazz" Jaco's collection, which I do have.
I listened to those tracks once and put the CD aside. I completely ignored those tracks; It took me 3 years to finally give it another try! I came to a period maturity in my life; I just used to love tons of notes, played as fast as possible, crazy solos... and this album seemed boring and confussing. But now I just think it's brilient! Every note is right where it should, the musicians are second to non! I listen to it all the time now! I recomend it highly. You'll love it (sooner or later ;)"
Brilliance Thy Name Is Jaco
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 10/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Honestly I haven't a clue how he managed it but somehow this album......PHEW it just HAS EVERYTING! One of the cheif complaints I've heard about fusion is that the musicians are playing over eachother and don't seem to hear what's going on in the music they make. Somehow on this album,with it's musical conceptualization,it's cast of over 50 different musicans and Jaco's own singular sound this somehow managed to create something unique and more than a little self expressive. Not only that but,against the hugeness of the sound that in many places goes even beyond Weather Report the rhythms,melodies,harmonies and even the very improvisational playing get you right into what your hearing. When one hears this that's all blown away! This music showcases Jaco's abilities as an arranger as well as the most inventive guy to pick up a fretless. And it really does all come together:from Count Basie,Duke,Quincy,Miles,Zawinul-ALL of those influence come into play in what's hear. "Crisis" is a great example of musical personality as the conflicted and troubled nature of Jaco's thoughts not only come out in his axe but in the avante garde noise coming at it from every which way but loose to great this cacophonous jam. Within the space of 11+ minutes "Liberty City" is one of the major high points here as the big band era comes swinging right back as swing and jazz-funk meet at this great place and in terms of arrangements and his bass work Jaco just keeps everything working together from moment to moment. You can almost imagine with it's close horn charts and many variaties of finger snapping rhythms that here is something very similar to what Duke Ellington's music might've evolved into has he lived up to the early 80's. Everything about the piece swings and grooves while the world beat and funk elements that Jaco had always explored found their way into the general flavor of the music. Talk about learning and expanding on an American master! It gets better! Jaco's solo bass arrangement of Bach's "Chromatic Fantasy" is very deep in conception as the European classical orientation of the piece is transformed into deep,no holds barred funkiness and the two fundamentally different styles again merge into just the right place. He does the same thing to a verson of The Beatle's "Blackbird" only he colors every melody of that tune even more by expanding it's harmonic range-something he was naturally excellent at. The title number is similar if somewhat less frenetic than the opener as that chaos merges into more conversational horn solos that really show you what I meant earlier where you really hear the musicians listening to everything that's happening while drawing themselves and the listener right into the sounds they create. The final tune is another extravaganza that is not only this kinetic jazz-funk-world beat workout but actually concludes with this soulful,handclapped powered gospel/funk throwdown complete with female backup and Jaco's own soulful wailing around it. How all of this wonderful mastery of musicianship,arrangement AND musical involvment all got onto one album is still something of a mystery.It might've been a stroke of luck,who knows. Anyhow it may be very full instrumentally,it may be very ambitious at parts but the fact one isn't focused on any possible indulgance in listening to this music is as much a statement as the album itself is."