Jaco Pastorius: Unpublished 1976 Interview Released

Jaco Pastorius

Reverb has shared a previously unpublished interview with Jaco Pastorius by Tony Bacon. Bacon kicks the piece off with this intro:

“I interviewed Jaco Pastorius at a London hotel in summer 1976. I wanted to talk mainly about his first solo album, Jaco Pastorius, which had just been released. He was on tour in Europe with Weather Report, which he’d joined some months earlier, and the band had arrived in England the previous day following concerts in Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, and France.”

The interview is incredible, focusing on the debut album, how Jaco learned to play the bass, and his approach to composing and arranging.

One of the more interesting topics of the interview (and there were many), was the story behind “Continuum.” Jaco shared the secret to his unqiue sound on the track, specifically noting he didn’t use any effects:

“I played the whole tune twice, note for note — that’s how I did it. Everybody thinks I’ve got all sorts of electronic gear, but I don’t use any pedals, no electronics. It’s all in my hands. But on that particular tune I played the whole tune note for note twice, solo and everything. That’s just some unique stuff. I just wanted it to sound like a couple of guys singing.”

Prompted by follow up questions on the track, Jaco went into a deeper explanation:

“When I did it, I didn’t listen to the other track. Because there’s no way to play something that close to the sound. If you play them both, you will cancel the other one out. Plus for intonation, I didn’t listen to the first one, I just had to learn the whole thing. Every inflection of that piece of music, I learned back to front. Just went back and recorded the whole thing. I took the bass track off and just played with the rhythm section.

“So when I put it together, it was just a surprise, because they were really close. See, there’s no other way to do it. Well, there is, you can listen to them both, but they’re so close, the intonation would definitely be out to lunch. That’s the personality of the tune, because if it was a phase shifter, the vibrato would go [makes wild, erratic noise], whereas with this, the vibrato is going in waves. That’s the magic of that tune. But seeing I’d played that tune so many times, there’s parts when the vibrato’s exact. Pure coincidence.”

Check out the complete interview on Reverb.com.

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