5 items from 2015
It seemed almost every great bassist in L.A. turned out for the Sunday night premiere of “Jaco,” the documentary about the late bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius, including Robert Trujillo of Metallica, the film’s producer, Verdine White, Lee Sklar, Bootsy Collins, Hadrien Ferraud, Bunny Brunel and Darryl “The Munch” Jones, who holds up the bottom end for the Rolling Stones.
Not since Anaheim’s immense National Association of Music Merchant’s convention in January had so many professional bass players assembled under one roof.
The capacity event, which took place at downtown’s Theatre at the Ace Hotel, stood as a fitting tribute to a musical force of nature whose career took a tragic turn at the pinnacle of his creative powers. On-screen testimonials from such musicians as Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers — who introduced the film, along with Trujillo and the film’s co-director Paul Marchand — as well as Wayne Shorter, »
- Chris Hoard
A documentary on the late bassist Jaco Pastorius will start screening on VOD at the end of November after eight months of special screenings and film festival appearances. It will debut the same weekend, Nov. 27, that Amy Berg’s doc on Janis Joplin begins a limited run in theaters.
Together they bring to six the number of high-profile music docs released this year, following films about Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone. In each case, the film chronicles individual artists who altered the public’s vision of a musical genre and each is told through an intimate storytelling technique that allows the subject to do much of the talking via home recordings, interviews and public appearances.
- Phil Gallo
Jaco Pastorius has been called “The World’s Greatest Bass Player”. He revolutionized the way we think about and play the modern electric bass. On August 12th at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Vince Mendoza has assembled a who’s who of legendary musicians to celebrate Jaco and his music. I had a chance to chat with Wayne Shorter and Peter Erskine before the big night. The Year of Jaco Peter Erskine recalled meeting Jaco for the first time in-between sets while playing with Maynard Ferguson in 1977. He said to me “Hey man, have fun”. On Pastorius’ recommendation Erskine got the call to join Weather Report in 1978. During a recording session for Weather Report’s 1978 album “Mr. Gone”, Erskine was getting his drum sounds just right for the Wayne Shorter penned “Pinocchio”. Not thinking what he was playing was being recorded or going to be used, he went »
- Matt Perez-Mora
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in TrainwreckPhoto: Universal Pictures With Sundance just wrapping up and Berlin starting up in a few days, we are now immersed in the year-long barrage of film festivals. One such festival in South By Southwest. A few weeks back they announced the first seven films of their program, including the opening night film Brand: A Second Coming. Today, they have revealed the rest of the features to be shown in March (except for the midnight program), and some of it has me very excited. The bigger titles announced do not do much for me. Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart starrer Get Hard leave a lot to be desired in terms of anticipation, as does a work in progress cut of Judd Apatow's latest film Trainwreck. I'm guessing an Apatow work in progress is probably around three and a half hours. »
- Mike Shutt
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
5 items from 2015
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