Recorded live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, September 1979, Joni Mitchell once again assembles an incredible band – Pat Metheny on guitar, Lyle Mays on keyboards, Michael Brecker on sax, Don Alias on drums, and of course, Jaco on bass. The band plays Joni’s songs with renewed energy, each bringing their own unique sound. This concert was also available on video.
Charles Mingus had called upon Joni Mitchell in the last months of his life to work on a musical version of T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets, a project which ultimately was scrapped but served as the catalyst to Joni’s “Mingus” album. Initial recordings for this album were done with other musicians, but Joni settled upon an all-star cast of Jaco on bass, along with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Don Alias and others. Sadly, Mingus died before this album was completed.
Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter was released in 1977 as a double-LP, once again featuring Jaco’s lengendary bass work. Bringing in a group of jazz players such as Larry Carlton and Wayne Shorter, the album consists of many improvisational tracks. Shortly after the release of this album, Joni was contacted by Charles Mingus, which eventually led to her next album, Mingus.
Jaco’s first album with Weather Report, performing on two tracks, one of which was his own composition, Barbary Coast. Alphonso Johnson, Weather Report’s former bass player, performs on the other tracks. This recording led to Jaco officially joining Weather Report.
On Jaco’s 30th birthday (December 1st, 1981), he held his own “surprise” party at Mr. Pip’s in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This recording documents the birthday party concert with 11 tracks.
The Peter Graves Orchestra and other Jaco favorites were brought together as The Word of Mouth Band for this spirited performance. Peter Erskine contributes liner notes for this release and is also the album’s producer.
Jaco’s Word of Mouth big band recorded live in concert in Japan in 1982. Invitation was the U.S. release through Warner Bros., which included 9 tracks. A Japanese 2-LP release (Twins I & II) contained 13 tracks. Both are available as re-issues today.
In 1981, while still with Weather Report, Jaco created the Word of Mouth Big Band, featuring Toots Thielemans on harmonica as well as an all-star cast made up of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, Don Alias, and others.
The album that started it all — Jaco’s debut solo album. Features a blistering rendition of Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee and two of the tracks that changed bass playing forever: Continuum and Portrait of Tracy. Reissue liner notes provided by Pat Metheny