Jaco Pastorius | Artist
John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III was an American jazz bassist born 1951 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A virtuoso of his instrument, Pastorius was a member of Weather Report from 1976-1981 and a successful solo artist. He also worked with Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader. His bass playing employed funk, lyrical solos, bass chords, and innovative harmonics. His father, Jack Pastorius, was a singer and jazz drummer who spent much of his time on the road. At the age of 17 Pastorius had begun to appreciate jazz and had saved enough money to buy an upright bass, which he later traded for a 1962 Fender Jazz Bass. Jaco was playing in bands by his teens and by the early 1970s, was teaching bass at the University of Miami, where he befriended jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Pastorius attended a Weather Report concert in Miami, where he approached keyboardist Joe Zawinul after the gig and gave him a demo tape. Zawinul was so impressed, he asked Pastorius to join the band after bassist Alphonso Johnson left. Pastorius first appeared on the album Black Market (1976), and was fully established as sole bass player for the recording of Heavy Weather (1977), which contained the Grammy-nominated hit "Birdland". Jaco left Weather Report in 1982 to pursue his own path and released eight solo and collaborative studio albums. Standouts include his superb self titled debut album from 1976, plus Word of Mouth (1981), Invitation (1983) and Golden Roads (1997). Also highly recommended is the 2014 archival release Modern American Music... Period! The Criteria Sessions. Pastorius suffered from drug addiction and mental health problems throughout his professional life, and despite his widespread acclaim, over the latter part of his life had problems holding down jobs. In frequent financial trouble, he was often homeless throughout the mid 1980s. He died in 1987, as a result of injuries sustained in a fight outside of a South Florida club. Well after his death he continues to influence other musicians. He was elected to the Downbeat Hall of Fame in 1988 and he was the subject of the 2014 documentary film "Jaco".
Artist Website: jacopastorius.com
Featured Albums: Jaco Pastorius
Related Artists: Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell
Video Clips: A Portrait of Tracy, Birdland, Joni Mitchell