The Last Word Story Return to the Last Word
Some twenty plus years ago while gigging out of Port Everglades Florida, I heard that Jaco Pastorius was having a birthday party and concert at Mr. Pipps in Fort Lauderdale. Some friends in the group and I went down to the club and attended one of the most memorable and inspiring musical experiences of my life. It was the first time I had ever seen Jaco Pastorius perform live. It left a permanent imprint upon me and as fate would have it; that show was the recording of the historic "Word of Mouth" Birthday Concert album.
A year or so later while working in the Caribbean and in South America I visited Venezuela. I walked into a Caracas jazz club one night, sat in and was offered the gig. The sax player decided to take a 2 week vacation. It was in Caracas that I met Otmaro Ruiz. He was only about 18 years old at the time but I could see that his talent went way beyond his years. Unfortunately my stay in Caracas was much too short, as was the time I spent playing with Otmaro. My visa ran out and I had to return to the states.
In 1999, while I was planning and writing the material for Introspective, I attended a Larry Coryell concert at The Van Dyck. Kenwood Dennard was playing drums on the gig. I had never heard Kenwood play live before but there was something very innovative and intense about his style and energy; Kenwood had to be on the Introspective session. He later introduced me to Othello Molineaux when recommending a steel drummer for the cd. Both Othello and Kenwood were Jaco associates during the "Word of Mouth" years. Othello also played on Jaco's debut album.
It was about this time that I realized something unusual was going on here. The song, JacoPastOverUs, which was co-written by bassist Jack Kulp and myself, was planned for the cd. It had a Jacoesque feel to it and was my little tribute to Jaco who had such a great influence upon all of us. Well given the opportunity to record with Othello, Jaco's coveted steel drummer, for whom the unfinished album "Holiday for Pans" was written around, was more than just an opportunity for me. It was a dream come true!
What was more incredible to me was this. Shortly after planning the project, I was reunited via the internet with Otmaro Ruiz who agreed to perform on the cd. I needed a percussionist for the recording and Otmaro recommended the legendary Alex Acuna of Weather Report fame. Alex agreed to play on the project.
So how did this all happen then? What were the odds of Alex, Kenwood, Othello appearing with the rest of us for my obscure debut cd. I would have to attribute it partly to coincidence and partly divine intervention and possibly more than this. It was because of these previous Jaco associates that the group was named "The Last Word", (Aine's idea, a play on "The Word of Mouth"). Thank you Jaco for the Inspiration!!!!!