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Truth, Liberty & Soul - Live in NYC (the complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive - Jaco Pastorius
 Release Info:

Album: Truth, Liberty & Soul
Release Date: 26th May, 2017
Record Label: Resonance Records

Band Members:

Jaco Pastorius
 - bass, vocals 
Bob Mintzer - tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet 
Randy Brecker - trumpet 
Othello Molineaux - steel drums 
Don Alias - percussion 
Peter Erskine - drums 

Bob Stein - alto saxophone
Lou Marini - tenor saxophone
Frank Wess - tenor saxophone
Howard Johnson - baritone saxophone
Randy Emerick - baritone saxophone

Alan Rubin
Lou Soloff
Jon Faddis
Ron Tooley
Kenny Faulk

David Taylor
Jim Pugh
Wayne Andre

John Clark
Peter Gordon

David Bargeron 

Special Guest:
Toots Thielemans
(harmonica on "Three Views of a Secret," "Liberty City," "Sophisticated Lady,""Bluesette," "I Shot the Sheriff," "Mr. Fonebone" and "Fannie Mae")

Album Background:




Previously unreleased live album by electric bass genius Jaco Pastorius and the 
Word of Mouth Big Band featuring special guest, harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans 
Recorded at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC on June 27, 1982 
as part of George Wein's Kool Jazz Festival

First official release authorized by the Jaco Pastorius Estate, Warner Music Group and NPR Music of the Entire Concert from start to finish, including over 40 minutes of material 
not aired on the original NPR Jazz Alive! broadcast

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Resonance Records proudly announces the release of Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul — Live in NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording , a first-time release comprising more than 130 minutes of extraordinary, high-fidelity, ground-breaking music presented from beginning to end exactly as it happened at Avery Fisher Hall on June 27, 1982. This is the second historical release from NPR's Jazz Alive! radio program, following 2016's acclaimed Sarah Vaughan Live at Rosy's, which captured "the Divine One" in New Orleans on May 31, 1978.

The brightest star in the electric bass firmament, Jaco Pastorius burst onto the national scene in 1976 with his audacious self-titled album on Columbia Records, featuring a lineup of top jazz musicians. With his extraordinary fretless electric bass playing as the centerpiece, Jaco Pastorius created an immediate sensation with the public and the media. Jaco was a revelation; no one in jazz had ever played electric bass that way before.

In Jaco's work with Weather Report and beyond, the self-described "greatest bass player in the world" (an assessment shared with virtually the entire music world) established a new identity and role for his instrument and became the torchbearer for a new way of playing both technically and conceptually. But behind it all was an ever-present R&B and Latin-influenced groove and a screaming rock-'n'-roll attitude that he refined and incorporated into sophisticated jazz harmonic structures.

His legacy as a bass innovator continues to this day, nearly thirty years after his death in 1987. In addition to his extraordinary virtuosity, Jaco was also developing into an accomplished and sophisticated composer and arranger and those talents that are gloriously on display on this album.

Resonance is able to release this album thanks to the work of Tim Owens, producer of Jazz Alive!, a weekly syndicated NPR program that aired on public radio stations across the U.S. from 1977 to 1983.Jazz Alive!'s mission was to record the best live jazz being performed around the country and present those recorded performances to the public over the air.

In 2011, noted jazz producer and label executive Michael Cuscuna introduced Resonance's Zev Feldman to Owens. When they met, Feldman saw a piece of paper with a list of tapes on it and at just quick a glance the words "Jaco Pastorius" leapt right off the page.

Feldman loves Pastorius's music; he regards Jaco as a hero. From the moment he noticed there was a recording of the Jaco Pastorius Kool Jazz Festival concert out there, he was determined that Resonance would release it. Now, more than six years later, after negotiations with all the many parties who held rights to the music and the recording – including NPR, Warner Music Group and the Jaco Pastorius estate – Feldman’s dream is finally coming to fruition. And we at Resonance could not be more thrilled.

Paul Blakemore, on board to revisit and remix from the original 24-track tape reels — more than three decades after capturing it live at Avery Fisher Hall. And in addition to the exceptional sound quality, we’re elated to say the set includes more than 40 minutes of music that was not broadcast on Jazz Alive! at the time, therefore has never been available to the public, even in bootleg form. This is the complete concert, start-to-finish.

Toward the end of 1980, Jaco began recording his second album as a leader, Word of Mouth, which was more oriented toward his own compositions than his debut album had been. The Word of Mouth album features several musicians who also appear on this album: Peter Erskine, Toots Thielemans, Don Alias, Othello Molineaux, Howard Johnson and John Clark, as well as showcasing two Pastorius compositions,"Three Views of a Secret" and "Liberty City."

By 1982 Jaco and Peter Erskine had left Weather Report, and the concert captured on this release represents Jaco with the New York version of his new Word of Mouth big band. The occasion was special for him because Word of Mouth often performed as a sextet with just the core members: Jaco, Peter Erskine on drums, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Bob Mintzer on tenor sax, Othello Molineaux on steel pans and Don Alias on percussion.

On this occasion, Jaco and the core members were joined by a bevy of top-flight New York musicians who were also Jaco's close friends: saxophonists Bob Stein, Lou Marini, Frank Wess, Howard Johnson and Randy Emerick; trumpet players Alan Rubin, Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis, Ron Tooley and Kenny Faulk; trombonists David Taylor, Jim Pugh and Wayne Andre; French hornists John Clark and Peter Gordon; tubist David Bargeron; plus the special guest soloist, harmonica icon Toots Thielemans.

Peter Erskine, Jaco's rhythm partner for the most productive years of Jaco's career, expressed his view of the crucial importance of this release: "I think that this recording more than any other I've heard epitomizes the vision Jaco had for the Word of Mouth band. And that's what's great about it. I would dare say that there’s no finer version of what Jaco’s musical vision was than this particular concert and recording."

The great bassist Victor Wooten assessed Resonance's release of this album this way: "This is a rare find; like finding a never-before-seen Picasso or Van Gogh painting."



By Jeff Leven.   24th May, 2017

Great lost recordings are hard to come by, particularly in situations like those of Jaco Pastorius. Approaching obscurity upon his tragically early passing, the pioneering bassist’s legend has only grown with time, particularly because he’s exactly the type of figure classic jazz needs in its fight for mindshare among youth increasingly unfamiliar with the form. Pastorius was a rock star, an innovator, a flamboyant comet recognized by disciples who range across all genres (including his loudest supporter, Robert Trujillo of Metallica). All too convenient, then, that a full performance of a rare live outing reveals itself so many decades later. So the immediate question that presents itself is: “How great a find do we have here?”

In and of itself Truth Liberty & Soul is a fantastic performance. But better still, it provides a counterintuitively good look at what was special about Jaco. Those who primarily imagine Pastorius as a searing fusion pyromaniac may at first be surprised by the classicist reverence of the big band-oriented performance captured here. In 1982, his focus was on the direction he had taken on his Word of Mouth album, where the then-contemporary tropes of fusion gave way to an interest in playing with horns in traditional structures. While this performance in particular was studded with some of New York’s greatest horn-players, the gentle interplay with Toots Thielemans’ harmonica and Othello Molineaux’s steel drums show him in a different mode than the foot races he attempted with fellow Trio of Doom member John McLaughlin.

With its spare moments and occasional jaunty covers, though, this set aptly captures so many of Jaco’s main points of style: his elegant use of harmonics, the fluidity of his basslines, his ability to tear off with speed and then return to quiet, beautiful tones. Like his work with Joni Mitchell or his better moments with Weather Report, the stretches of restraint are often truly the way into his virtuosity. It’s also just a good listen; you don’t need to understand the math or theory of his playing to appreciate the variety of his choices or the thoughtful way he interacts with every other instrument in the mix. For those looking for a way into Jaco, Truth Liberty & Soul isn’t the only document you need, but it’s a very good start. For those already converted, it really does constitute an essential discovery.


By Thom Jurek

Resonance Records goes out of its way again to unearth yet another significant chapter in jazz history, and once again, it's one that relatively few fans have ever heard. This performance of Jaco Pastorius' Word of Mouth Big Band was captured during George Wein's Kool Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall. It was broadcast on NPR's Jazz Alive program, but this double disc contains the entire performance, with more than 40 minutes of additional music.

As his time with Weather Report wound down, Pastorius threw himself into Word of Mouth. A studio album was issued a year earlier, and versions of this outfit had played in Florida, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Pastorius assembled a who's who for this date. The core band featured Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Don Alias, and Othello Molineux (on steel drums). That said, the 16-piece horn section included Frank Wess, Lou Marini, Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis, John Clark, and David Bareron (on tuba), to name a few. What's more, the grandest harmonicat of all, Toots Thielemans, was a featured soloist.

Jaco's charts are exquisite, full of energy, sophistication, and humor. Check the tuba intro and burning break in the 13-minute workout on Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," amid the fiery interplay of the steel drums, Mintzer's electric bass clarinet, and the drums and bass. This space-age bebop is contrasted beautifully as Thielemans joins in for Pastorius' elegant "Three Views of a Secret," the hard-swinging Latin and Caribbean rhythms in "Liberty City" (with gorgeous contrapuntal improvising by the whole band), and a sparsely adorned, romantic read of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." Disc one closes with a bumping Caribbean take on the harmonicist's standard "Bluesette."

The second disc opens with an absolutely cooking read of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff," before a series of lengthy tunes bookended by heavy percussion workouts. "Okonkolé y Tompa" spends ten of its 15 minutes as an Alias solo before Jaco's bass and Clark's French horn join him, adding intimacy and tenderness. The glorious medley of "Reza/Giant Steps" -- a true set highlight -- displays Pastorius' canny arrangements, even as his lead guitar-like playing gets to shine. "Mr. Fonebone" brings back Toots with a joyous carnival-esque intro that leads into knotty post-bop. The extreme length of the "Bass and Drum Improvisation" will make hardcore fans of Erskine and Pastorius salivate, but for most, once or twice through will suffice. The finale is a Jaco evergreen: "Fannie Mae" is a hard-swinging blues shuffle that features his vocals and bass playing in call and response with Thielemans and Mintzer as the band wails.

Sure, Truth, Liberty & Soul is for the Pastorius fanatics, but it's much more: this fantastically recorded document is a treasure trove of modern progressive jazz. The brilliant music found on it serves to underscore that Jaco was more than a brilliant, singular bassist (though that would have been enough); he was a great composer, arranger, and charismatic bandleader -- a true jazz renaissance man.

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