Jaco Pastorius: Portrait of Tracy/Solo (Live in Juan-les-Pins, 1976)

The Jaco Pastorius Archive keeps bringing some special gems.

Here’s the background:

“On July 23rd, 1976, Weather Report performed at Jazz à Juan in Juan-les-Pins, France. Among a set of fusion classics was a 6-minute bass solo, one of the show’s highlights.

“What makes this solo so unique is the rendition of J. S. Bach’s ‘Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903: I. Fantasia.’ Although this piece has been performed on keyboard instruments since the 18th century, a bass rendition was virtually unheard of. Jaco didn’t incorporate it into his bass solo routine until 1980, which makes this early rendition so interesting. It serves as a clear reminder that Jaco was already in top form by the time he joined Weather Report earlier that same year. Whether it’s ‘Donna Lee,’ ‘The Chicken,’ or ‘BWV 903,’ he had learned it all years prior.

“The bass solo gets back on track with the usual showstopper ‘Portrait of Tracy,’ Jaco’s go-to showcase of melodicism until the late 1970s. It had been recorded for his eponymous debut album a year earlier, and was a frequent part of his solos until he and Tracy divorced.”

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