RNCM Big Band with Laurence Cottle (bass)
Portrait of Jaco
Wednesday 28 June 6.30pm
Our Summer Big Band show is something very special indeed as Laurence Cottle collaborates with our students to pay tribute to the legendary American bassist Jaco Pastorius on the 30th anniversary of his death. Laurence first became aware of Pastorius via his 1976 eponymous album. He had started out playing trad jazz trombone, switched to bass, then his discovery of Jaco’s album had a profound effect on Laurence: ‘hearing that first album completely changed the way I approached the instrument.’
Best known for his work with Weather Report, Pastorius revolutionised how the bass guitar is played. He was one of the first to present the bass as a melodic lead instrument, a rare occurrence in the bass world where most just try to keep things simple and solid, and this is what set him apart from other players. For many (including Cottle) he was one of the most influential bass guitarists ever, during his prolific but all too short career. The two men actually met in 1979 at Pastorius’ last gig with Weather Report, of which Laurence said: ‘I just used to listen and be in awe’.
Having transcribed and played Pastorius’ music for most of his professional life, Cottle is a commanding presence on fretless (bass) himself, evoking Pastorius’ signature sound with punchy, syncopated basslines. He has a mind-blowing CV, having worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Clark Tracey and numerous others.
Tonight’s gig will include Laurence’s Big Band arrangements of Pastorius classics including The Chicken, Liberty City, Three Views of a Secret and Weather Report’s Birdland.
Support will be provided by Artephis who will be on stage at 6.30pm.
PS The Big Band will be on stage at 7.30pm