LIVE FROM NYC- I first got introduced to Jaco Pastorius several years ago when a close friend wanted a couple of albums converted to MP3. He gave me 3 albums to transfer, but for some reason, this one album was just calling me – Jaco Pastorius self titled album on Epic Records released in 1976. I knew he played for Weather Report, but I never looked into his solo or guest appearance credits. I was in for a treat once I played the first track “Donna Lee” originally played by Charlie Parker.
Before recording with Weather Report he released this album, which had special guest such as Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, Narada Michael Walden, David Sanborn, Wayne Shorter, just to name a few. The list features the best in jazz during a time where everyone’s outlet was music and everything was groundbreaking.
In 1977 Jaco joined jazz fusion band Weather Report and blew the world apart with the album “Heavy Weather” their most successful album ever! Jaco continued to record with Weather Report until 1982. During the times with Weather Report, Jaco would dabble in heavy drugs where friends noticed his erratic behavior when in the studio. Jaco was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His health started to deteriorate and by 1986 he was living on the streets of New York City. With the help of his ex wife and friends he was back home in Fort Lauderdale Florida in 1987. He got into a fight with a bouncer at a club where he received multiple facial fractures and a broken arm. He fell into coma and the great bass legend passed away on September 21, 1987, aged 35.
Jaco played a fretless bass!!! Guitar frets are the strips made of stainless steel or nickel alloy embedded along the fretboard (in simple terms the neck) located at exact points that divide the scale length in accordance with a specific mathematical formula. A fretless bass??!! Do you know what that means? It means freedom, the freedom to create your own style. He had such a unique style of playing, a bit avant garde, but with structure. He’s one of those guys where it’s hard to describe and if you love music like I do, then no matter what background you will appreciate his style. The tones and intricate fast pace picks changed the bass world forever.
Jaco’s the father of all electric bass players!!
Here’s the link to his album “Jaco Pastorius” uploaded by yours truly: