Holiday For Pans

Jaco's failed "Holiday for Pans" project was supposed to be a showcase for Othello and a follow up to the "Word Of Mouth" group. It went into limbo after being rejected by Warner Brothers in 1983. The master tapes were in the possession of engineer Kenny Jackel. From Milkowski's book "JACO", "Yet a few years later, after he [Jackel] went into hiding with the master tapes and then emerged with legal council, Jackel would insist he was the original engineer for those sessions recorded between 1980 and 1982, and he would demand compensation from the Pastorious estate. In effect, he held the tapes hostage until he could collect a ransom from the highest bidder." 

But to Jackel's credit, also quoted from the book, "He [Jaco] would later call Jackel from Bellevue on a daily basis, telling him, ("Hold onto those tapes! Just hold onto those tapes! Don't give them up to anybody except me! Not even my ex-wives or my brothers or my mother. Don't listen to anybody but me")." 

Jackel later moved to Thailand, hired by Sony Records as A & R director. There he sold the tapes to Japanese entrepreneur Mr. Sasabe. The album was then released as a bootleg in Japan. Othello told me he was very disappointed with the final product. 

Again to Jackel's credit the following was received from one of the original engineers of the session, Terry James: "Mr. Jackel tried very hard to bring the tapes back to the family and was rejected every time as the project owed money to about 4 different studios who were not going to release the tapes without being paid. Incidentally no musicians were ever added to replace Jaco. All the over dubs that were done in NY and Florida were approved by Jaco. What happened after the tapes went to Japan was just a case of lousy mixing." "But a last note, the tracks did sound much better when we were in the studio, maybe one day those mixes will come out."

Bill Milkowski's Comments (Introspective)

Rich, yes, I did receive your cd and had a chance to check it out. Overall, I'd say it's very good. Your playing is strong and there's definitely the spirit of Jaco creeping through in Jack Kulp's playing. I wouldn't have opened the cd with "You Just Left," which for me isn't nearly as strong of a first impression as "Morning." And think you might've considered something a bit more evocative/provocative in terms of cover art. But it's a good outing indeed. And nice to hear Kenwood and Othello playing together again. I especially liked the arrangement of "Giant Steps." Meanwhile, congratulations on pulling off your own project. It's really got a strong vibe to it. 

Best regards, Bill Milkowski 

Bill is a New York-based freelancer who contributes regularly to Jazz Times, Modern Drummer, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Jazziz, Audio, Pulse Guitar Club (Italy), Jazzthing (Germany) and (until its recent demise) Fi magazines. He has written more than 4,000 articles for these and various other magazines since publishing his first article as a freelancer in 1974 and has penned more than 250 sets of liner notes to date. He is also the author of "Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries" (Billboard Books, 1999) and "JACO: The Extraordinary Life And Times Of Jaco Pastorius" (Miller Freeman Books, 1995), which is being made into a feature film by Blue Rider Pictures out of Santa Monica, California.

Embouchure Dystonia

In 2001 I developed Embouchure Dystonia. I had been having a serious problem with my embouchure prior to the diagnosis, which reached the point where I was struggling to keep my jaw muscles from tremoring, which resulted in poor intonation and a general lack of control.  Dr. Stephen Frucht, neurologist at Colombia Presbyterian and a pioneer in researching musicians affected by it, diagnosed me with E.D.

Embouchure Dystonia, or (Focal Task Specific Dystonia) is a neuromuscular problem associated with the basal ganglia of the brain affecting fine control repetitive tasks of certain facial and masticatory muscles. Embouchure Dystonia affects about 1% of musicians. About 90% of players affected with it have their careers ended by the condition. I'm still in denial but this explains why I had been having trouble doing the things that used to come so naturally on the axe. The problem is, I can't play the horn without my jaw tremoring; my brain won't let the muscles of my embouchure keep centered or steady.

On the up side, I purchased a Synthophone, built on a Selmer Model 80, Series II horn. Though there's no comparison with the sound and feel of playing a real horn, it's still a Godsend, I can continue to perform. E.D. doesn't affect my overall health, I'm fine.

I've been working with exercises and methods to treat the condition, allowing me some ability to play. Practicing and recording for short periods of time has allowed me to record on my latest project "Views" and perform on the horn for limited periods of time.


Embouchure Dystonia