The Essence

Last Flight

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Essence was a one-night stand. Recorded in a matter of hours on November 11, 1984, Last Flight comprises three lengthy, loosely structured studio jams. Drummer/percussionist Carlos Cervantes is credited as composer, but, interestingly, his performance is fairly dull and limited. Pianist Michael Gerber is the real standout on these instrumental cuts, along with Jaco Pastorius and flutist Yaco Grau. (Grau performed with Pastorius on Francisco Mondragon Rio's Natural, recorded just six months after Last Flight.)

Pastorius lays down some hot bass licks on "Universe Is My Home, Pt. 1," stepping up for a frenetic solo near the close, at times accompanied by flute. The 27-minute piece includes a brief foray into "Reza," a Jaco favorite. Pastorius also tosses in a few familiar riffs on the final track, "Galeon," on which Delmar Brown's synth finally cuts through to the fore. The CD wasn't released until 1989, two years after Pastorius passed away. It is available only as a Japanese import, and rarely surfaces. As the Pastorius estate has never given permission for its release, nor receives any funds from its sale, Last Flight is considered a bootleg.

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