November 24, 2021 Playlist

"Holiday For Pans" by Jaco Pastorius (1993)
Jaco Pastorius "Holiday For Pans"  rec. 1980-82, rel. 1993 (USA)
This is a peculiar CAOTW for many reasons. The legend is that Jaco recorded this album with his pal Othello Molineux (a Trinidadian "steel pan" player) in the early 1980's, and wanted his record company to release it as his third solo album, but they refused. Then around 1985, he did more mixing work on it and tried shopping it around some more, but again nobody wanted to release it. By the mid-80's, his drug and mental health issues were overwhelming him and he had developed a reputation for being extremely unreliable (missing gigs, showing up wasted and playing terrible). A couple years after that, he was basically a homeless person living in the park and he got killed in a bar fight! About 5 years after his death, some guy sold the tapes of Holiday For Pans to an overseas record label that finally released the album (though Jaco's estate fought it in court). But it gets weirder: there is a persistent rumour that Jaco doesn't actually play on this album, and the guy who sold the tapes hired an imitator to play bass on it! I think there could be a little truth to that (maybe some instruments were added to unfinished tracks), but I say it's mostly bunk because Jaco's attempts to get this album released under his own name are well documented (also, his estate eventually acknowledged this album as part of Jaco's official discography).
So who was Jaco Pastorius? His rise to fame began when he played on Pat Metheny's early breakout albums in the mid-70's, and was solidified when he joined the popular fusion band Weather Report and did tours and albums with Joni Mitchell. They called him "the Hendrix of electric bass" because of his stunning virtuosity and outrageous showmanship (a beach bum "Florida man" by upbringing, he often performed barefoot and shirtless and did tricks with his bass - pretty unusual in the stuffy world of jazz performance!) He only released two albums as a leader during his short life (more Hendrix parallels).
And why is this album interesting? The description alone lets you know this is going to unlike anything you've heard before: it's jazz fusion featuring the unusual combination of steel pans and electric bass! Pans (often called "steel drums") were pretty much unheard in jazz before Jaco brought his pal Molineux into the studio (he played pans on every Jaco album). The pans are really the star of the show here (hence the title, a play on an old standard called "Holiday For Strings" which they cover on Pans). Jaco's electrified fretless bass recalls the atmospheric vibes of his work with Metheny and Mitchell, and some heavy drumming and dashes of synthesizer give it a futuristic edge as well. But words can only say so much when writing about what music sounds like: Holiday For Pans is a relaxing, mystical soundscape of psychedelicized Carribean sunshine that barely counts as "jazz" but is a "fusion" in the truest sense. It's the most interesting and unique album that this interesting and unique musician ever made, and I sense Jaco was trying so hard to get it released because it was the truest reflection of his Florida roots and who he was as a musician. I think the music contained here meant a lot to him.
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year Country
The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceEXP
   / Up From The Skies
Axis: Bold As Love1967USA/UK
Blue CheerBabylonOutsideinside1968USA
The Bevis Frond Do Without MeLittle Eden (N)2021 (Fire)UK
Goat Queen Of The UndergroundHeadsoup (N)rec. 2012-2020  (2021 Rocket)Sweden
Ty Segall PicturesHaromizer (N)2021 (Drag City)USA
Courtney Barnett If I Don't Hear From You TonightThings Take Time, Take Time (N)2021 (Mom+Pop)Australia
Bad Bad Hats Awkward PhaseWalkman (N)2021 (Don Giovanni)USA
Parquet Courts Sympathy For LifeSympathy For Life (N)2021 (Rough Trade)USA
TEKE::TEKE BarbaraShirushi (N)2021 (Kill Rock Stars)Canada (Quebec) /Japan
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Perfect Oneisan
("Perfect Big Sister")
Candy Racer (N)2021 (KRK Lab)Japan Tamamushiiro Homo Sapiens
("Iridescent Homo Sapiens")
B-side single (N)2021 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
Suuns The TrilogyThe Witness (N)2021 (Joyful Noise)Canada (Quebec)
Shuggie OtisAht Uh Mi HedInspiration Information1974USA
Menahan Street Band & Charles BradleyCumberland Blues (Grateful Dead)Day Of The Dead (various artists compilation)2016USA
The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceI Don't Live TodayAre You Experienced?1967USA/UK
LoveYour Mind And We Belong TogetherA-side single1968USA
CreamSunshine Of Your LoveDisraeli Gears1967UK
The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceRock Me Baby (B.B. King - live)Live at Montereyrec. 1967USA/UK
Quicksilver Messenger ServiceMona (Bo Diddley)
  --> Maiden Of The Cancer Moon
  --> Calvary
  / Happy Trails (Dale Evans)
Happy Trails1968USA
Sonny & Linda Sharrock1953 Blue Boogie ChildrenParadise1975USA
Jaco PastoriusGiant Steps (John Coltrane)Holiday For Pans
rec. 1980-82, rel. 1993USA
Jaco PastoriusShe's Leaving Home (The Beatles)Holiday For Pans
rec. 1980-82, rel. 1993USA
Jaco PastoriusBirth Of IslandHoliday For Pans
rec. 1980-82, rel. 1993USA
Esperanza Spalding Formwela 1, 2 and 3Songwrights Apothecary Lab (N)2021 (Concord)USA

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