Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jaco Pastorius - 1981 [2013] "Word of Mouth"

Word of Mouth was the second album by Jaco Pastorius, released in 1981 while the bassist was a member of Weather Report, and also the name of a big band group that Pastorius assembled and with whom he toured from 1981 to 1983. While his debut album showcased his eclectic and impressive skills on the electric bass, Word of Mouth focused more on his ability to compose and arrange for a larger band than was previously featured on his first album. The album still shows off Pastorius' skill, most notably in the solo opening to the Bach-written "Chromatic Fantasy" and the title track, "Word of Mouth," in which Pastorius' bass is drenched in fuzzy distortion. "Crisis" also features a fast bass pattern looping, which runs under the frantic soloing. Most of the rest of the album's bass is highly subdued and blends into the band's arrangement, allowing them to shine through. The song "John and Mary" is dedicated to Jaco's children from his first marriage to Tracy; he had two other children, twin sons Julius and Felix with his second wife, Ingrid.
The band's all-star cast included Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, Don Alias and Toots Thielemans who is featured on harmonica on many of the songs. Early pressings of the album did not include a list of musicians, though later releases listed only the names of the performers in respective, unnamed groups (for example, the main band was the first block of names.) The reason that early pressings of the album had no personnel listed was because Epic/CBS disputed Pastorius' contract with Warner, and only agreed to the album being released if no other CBS artists on the album were credited - prompting Pastorius to dispense with the credits altogether.

Track listing

All tracks written by Jaco Pastorius except where noted.

"Crisis" – 5:21*
"Three Views of a Secret" – 6:05
"Liberty City" – 11:57
"Chromatic Fantasy" (Johann Sebastian Bach) – 3:01
"Blackbird" (Lennon–McCartney) – 2:48
"Word of Mouth" – 3:53**
"John and Mary" – 10:52

For the original LP, Cassette and CD release, "Crisis" was 5:21. However, for reasons that are unclear, the current MP3 downloads cut the first three seconds of the improvisation. The 1981 Warner Brothers promo disc has the 5:17 listing for "Crisis."


Herbie Hancock: Keyboards, Synthesizers, Piano
Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, Tom Scott: Saxophone
Toots Thielemans: Harmonica
Chuck Findley: Trumpet
John Clark: French horn
Howard Johnson: Tuba
Don Alias, Robert Thomas Jr.: : Percussion
Peter Erskine, Jack DeJohnette: Drums
Jaco Pastorius: Electric bass, acoustic bass, organ, piano, synthesizers, autoharp, percussion, vocals, drums on "Word Of Mouth"
Paul Horn-Muller: Steel pans
Othello Molineaux: Steel pan
John F. Pastorius IV: vocal on "John and Mary"
Michael Gibbs: Hanging out


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hello, A very great musician! Thanks a lot !

  3. Thank you so much for this great album. Best of wishes!

  4. Much appreciated. Came to this after watching the latest documentary on his life; Jaco (2015) Worth watching.