August 12: The Hollywood brought together some of the greatest musicians of jazz/fusion for one night to honor legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius best known for his work with Joni Mitchell and a member of Weather Report. This show titled “Jaco’s World” honored the late Pastorius, who passed away at the age of 35in 1987 and to still day has been one of the most influential bassists and fusion musicians. Jaco’s World included footage from the upcoming documentary “Jaco,” produced by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo.
The host for the evening was none other than Herbie Hancock, who most recently played the Hollywood Bowl for the Playboy Jazz Festival. Hancock introduced the show, briefly commenting on the importance of Pastorius’s career and musical influence, before announcing the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Perez (Piano), John Patitucci (Bass), and Brian Blade (Drums). Shorter launched into lengthy improvised compositions. Rather than pushing the audience to engage in the form or melody of the composition, the quartet engaged the listener by inviting them to view and hear the channels of musical communication that improvised music consists of. Blade, known for his mastery and exploration of the drum set’s dynamic range, employed everything from mallets to brushes to sticks to provide a never ending array of textures. Perez accompanied and soloed with a loose and spontaneous flair that floated through each composition. His ability to weave sound of Shorter’s horn created an ethereal effect, as it reverberated within the bowl. Patitucci grounded the quartet on the double bass. The large screens at the Hollywood Bowl allowed the audience an up close view of the intense expressions on Patitucci’s face as he grooved with Blade. Seeing shorter is always special especially at the Hollywood Bowl.
The 2nd half of the concert featured a collection of musicians who performed and composed alongside Jaco as well as jazz/fusion legends. This performance brought together 4 members of weather report which included drummer Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna (Percussion), and Manolo Badrena (Percussion) who played throughout the set and Shorter joined in for a few songs. Booker T Jones, the leader of the Stax records house band the MG’s played organ most of the set with John Beasley on piano. Also in the house band was bassist Will Lee (Paul Schaeffer Orchestra), legendary session guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. and the Yellowjacket’s Bob Mintzer (Sax). A big highlight was the bass duet of Trujillo and Pastorius’s song Felix (Yellowjackets). Some of the biggest guests of the night were bass legend Jerry Jemmott and Sam Moore (Sam & Dave). To see Moore and Jones together was quite an honor since it was the Mg’s that played on all of Sam & Dave’s hits. This was the perfect night to honor Pastorius. The show ended with the band playing to clips from Jaco, depicting his life as a child and young man growing up in Florida.
Review: Cam Johnson/ Alex Kluft