It's practically heresy among bass players to say this, I know, but here goes: I don't like Fender Jazzes. Pregnant pause while I wait for the lightning bolt to strike me down. Nope. Nothing? Maybe the God of bass is having a day off. Or a nap. I think I got away with it. So anyway ... As I was saying, I find them heavy and unwieldy, too big and slab-like. I dislike the huge goofy lopsided headstock. The string tension is all wrong for me - too loose at the neck pickup, too tight at the bridge pickup. And I just don't like scratch plates on basses at all. No particular reason, I just think they look wrong, fugly. Putting plastic on top of that lovely wood feels cheap to me. But I've tried so hard to like them - after all, Jaco and Marcus, among many others, can't be wrong, can they?
And it sounds like a cliche, but I got fed up of walking into studio sessions with my Status or the Alembic Stanley Clarke that I used to own, only for the studio engineer to take one look at it, shake his head, suck his teeth and say something like, 'Yeah, very nice, but do you have a Jazz?' Numerous times I had to reply, 'No, I don't, and the artist hired me because of the way I sound playing THIS!' But it happened enough times that I decided I'd better get a Jazz to keep these kinds of guys happy.
So, after brief dalliances with a Mexican 5-string Jazz and a standard 4 string USAJazz (hated them both with a passion!), I found this on eBay around 2008: a Fender Jazz 24. 24 frets, active electronics, no scratchplate (yay!), slimmed down body, nicely contoured, quilted maple top. Made in Korea or someplace, I think, and now discontinued. It's as close as I'll get to actually liking a Jazz. The tone is lovely, and I can manage a passable Marcus Miller impression on it, but I've discovered that huge glassy Marcus tone really doesn't suit the way I play - it's a little overbearing - and the wiry tone of the Status suits my percussive 16th note based slap style much better. Still, it's a nice looking bass, and I keep it around mainly for other guys to use, since my Statuses are set up in such a way that they feel weird to most other bass players. Anyhoo, here are the pics, and you can see and hear me tackling a solo bass version of Michael Jackson's Beat It with it here: https://youtu.be/4rYdSka4afw. Feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have!