December 1st marked the 57th anniversary of the birth of the greatest electric bass player ever, Jaco Pastorius. It also marks the 27th anniversary of Jaco’s live recording of his album The Birthday Concert.
This concert remains my all time favorite live concert recording. Not only for the amazing band that Jaco put together (including Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Don Alias, and Peter Erskine), or for the amazing performance that the band and Jaco put forth. But also because it was a time where a musician like Jaco Pastorius, someone troubled by alcohol abuse, and seeming only held back by that, could find the opportunity to surround himself with friends and family, and simply celebrate with music. Jaco was in amazing form, as were the musicians around him, and they were all enjoying themselves in celebration. Losing Jaco a short while later was a tragedy to the music world, and this concert represents one point in time where he could be surrounded by the people important to him and celebrate his milestone.
Below is the opening track to the concert, featuring the before mentioned musicians, as well as Melton Mustafa on the trumpet. This album is a must for anyone wanting to hear Jaco, quite possibly at his best. Enjoy!
Click here to listen to Jaco Pastorius and the band play Soul Intro/The Chicken from The Birthday Concert.