Jaco brought the innovations that he brought to the bass guitar specifically and to its' position in music overall, early. Early and strong. He played his ass off til he couldn't play anymore. His incredible skills as a bass guitar player remained with him, obviously, through 1986 as is evidenced by the recordings posted above. RIP Jaco!
Listening To: Jaco, ECM artists including Pat Metheny, Charles Lloyd, and Keith Jarrett
Wayne, the only reason I even bring up the "later years" is because of the instigated references that preceded, that the "early years were better", all fabricated and exaggerated, (seemed you supported it) only to self-validate and avoid legal ramifications, which is why the Jaco gems are coming from overseas, not listed on the official site. Unlike the Live in NY recordings, mechanicals were issued, musicians and royalties were paid, and you could find them in the bins here in the USA, sadly they were successfully removed, and bragged over, by an UN-official who couldn't stand not making any money off of them, if that had been the case, rest assured the musicians wouldn't have gotten paid, no royalties to two of the heirs, lots of hype.
I prefer not to make the distinction between those years, but as I said, that was invented to impose his un-official place of importance and to avoid dealing with record labels Jaco signed with in the later years.
What you have described are actually the facts known worldwide, Jaco was merely living his life, just like any young and strong person, developing, achieving, normal chain of events for driven and artistically possessed, thus what needs to be remembered is that it's about Jaco living his life as Jaco, his life, his tribulations, his choices, and he deserves to be respected, even when he was "living" in the parks, regardless how well he played or not toward the end, it is about the man and his achievements, and everything that makes him Jaco, turns out he was phenomenal all the way through.
Thanks for dropping in here.