Word of Mouth
Recorded in 1981 while he was still part of Weather Report, bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius' ambitious and richly detailed second solo album sounds like a minor masterpiece today. Harmonica and steel drums often bubble to the forefront as he inventively overhauls Bach ("Chromatic Fantasy"), The Beatles ("Blackbird"), and even Weather Report's "Birdland" ("Liberty City"). Bandmates including saxophonist Wayne Shorter and drummer Peter Erskine helped Pastorius radically extend jazz-fusion's potential into the big-band realm. Overachievement has rarely sounded as fun.