The "Portrait" now unfurls a series of first-hand story telling beginning with Jaco's father Jack who reminisces about how Jaco was influenced at a young age by Frank Sinatra and the Big Bands of the 40's & 50's. His brother, Gregory, tells how Jaco's drumming impacted the neighborhood revealing that Jaco's first paying job was not to play the drums while a neighbor was in town. This humorous segment is accompanied by the earliest known recording of Jaco playing drums.
Gregory describes another landmark recording where Jaco not only played the bass, but all of the instruments including the drums, guitar, and horn section. This 1968 rendition of the "Chicken" was made on a Sony reel-to-reel borrowed from his friend, Bob Bobbing. Jaco used a new technique called "sound-on-sound" and played all of the parts himself. You can actually hear Jaco, "testing, 1, 2, 3, testing, 1, 2" while setting the mic levels in preparation of this historic recording. This is the first known recording of Jaco on bass.
Next, high school friend and session drummer, Scott Kirkpatrick, reveals that Jaco's first recording session was with an artist named Miller Collins in 1968. Scott notes that although it was Jaco's first session, he quickly took over artistic control, a trait he would exhibit throughout his career. This is the first vinyl recording of Jaco [a 45 rpm single --"Suzanne"]
On track 6, you hear Jaco playing bass in a band called Woodchuck, [circa 1970]. The track "If you were mine" features a big Hammond B-3 sound. It's also important to note that Woodchuck was Jaco's first band as leader. This music track introduces Jaco's high school sweetheart Tracy Lee, who was later to become Jaco's first wife. Here Tracy shares the details of how they met. She remembers that Jaco smelled interesting, "He wore Avon Spice." Continuing, Tracy reveals that while walking that night on the beach they learned that both their fathers were jazz musicians and that their parents were divorced. She relates to her meeting Jaco as finding home.
During the early years, Jaco immersed himself in rhythm and blues. He listened to an all black AM radio station [WRBD--Rocking Big Daddy] and sought out all of the hippest R&B 45's in the hood. He also hung out at an all black nightclub called the "Downbeat" and frequently sat in on saxophone with the horn sections. A humorous story is relayed about how one of the acts he played behind was a 6-piece group of female impersonators called the Pearl Box Review. One of the dancers called Twiggy performed with live snakes. Jaco's reaction to seeing this was priceless.