Holiday for Pans (steel pans, that is) is Jaco's intended follow-up to his 1981 Word of Mouth release. However, when he presented the demo to Warner Bros. in 1983, they rejected it on the grounds that it was too esoteric and lacked commercial appeal. Recorded between 1980 and 1982, the project is basically a vehicle for steel pans master, Othello Molineaux, Jaco's longtime friend and colleague. Jaco actually takes a backseat on most of the recordings, at least audibly. The material features eight tracks, including three Pastorius originals: "Good Morning Anya," an upbeat, sprightly tune dominated by Wayne Shorter's breezy, atmospheric sax and, of course, steel pans; the CD's highlight, "City of Angels," a full-blown, jazz fusion excursion with excellent piano riffing courtesy of Mike Gerber, harmonica by Toots Thielemans and a peppering of acoustic guitar and violin; and "Birth of Island," a 23-minute session of "free play" which begins with Jaco shouting, "just play," but doesn't really show its teeth until the last 7-8 minutes.
Featured on 1994's Red Hot and Cool compilation, the Japanese production trio UFO heads a loose collective of musicians and vocalists present here. Jazz, R&B, trip-hop, Spanish, Caribbean, and Brazilian rhythms all appear in one form or another; surprisingly, these disparate elements flow well through the course of ten songs.