Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Rest not! Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
- Goethe, German Poet, Dramatist, Novelist, and Scientist (1749-1832)


[mp3j autoplay=”y” track=”http://www.mikecornelison.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/06-Opus-Pocus.mp3″]

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.

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.1

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.2

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.3

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5 Responses to Opus Pocus

  • I read music, but when you get to 32nd notes, my reading skills become a little more \”lacking\”. Maybe it\’s just my age because I can\’t seem to \”keep up\” with anything. Ha I played clarinet & some piano, & could kick myself in the butt for losing interest in my young adult life. My dad played trumpet & my son is phenomenal on a guitar. Music is a great escape for me! Thanks, once again, for sharing. Hope they got the drum kit situation straightened out! :-). Merry Christmas to you & yours!

    • Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

      Hey, it’s never too late to get back into it with the music, but to watch your son progress as a phenomenal guitar player might be just as satisfying, because you helped nurture that!

  • I received a set of \”Guitar Pans\” in lieu of money owed (about twenty years ago). My brother in LA may still have them.

    I\’m a drummer too and have loved Weather Report for decades.

    BTW, what happened on Twitter?


  • Great phrase: “There aren’t many things in this world that are as beautiful as the way Jaco played his bass.”

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