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.
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