Fools may our scorn, not envy raise, for envy is a kind of praise.
- Gay, English Playwright and Poet (1688-1732)
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So my buddy’s wife was asking for a drum set for Christmas and we were hanging out as he was buying it online and it was a nice little kit, but who would’ve thunk it, she wasn’t happy at all with the gift! Turns out what she really wanted was some steel drums! Wow, talk about a “lost in translation” situation. So the drum kit will probably just sit in their house gathering dust, and now he’s going to end up spending less money on the gift she really wanted.
After he told me this and I was done laughing, the thought of steel drums made me think of a transcription I did and a little music I’d like to share with you. Even if you’re not a musician and you don’t read music, it’s still kind of fun to try to read along and see each and every note that Jaco plays on that fretless bass of his.
Listen to the sound of Jaco’s bass. When he came out with his self-titled debut album in 1976, there had never been anything like it. It was like a revelation to musicians across the world.
Jaco Pastorius was to the bass like Hendrix was to the guitar, you could say there was guitar playing before Hendrix and then there was guitar playing after Hendrix. Same thing with Jaco, there was the pre-Jaco era, and then the post-Jaco era. He blew the doors wide open and every bass player who came after Jaco was stepping through those doors.
Listen to that sound of Jaco’s bass on this song! What a brilliant composer he was, to go from that freaky, spooky sound on the verses to some straight-up, kick ass funk on the choruses. There aren’t many things in this world that are as beautiful as the way Jaco played his bass.