In the 1980s I became a bassist. The band I was playing with at the time already had a great guitar player and I was persuaded to take on the "driving seat". It was a big learning curve, but I loved playing bass. The guitarist, who was a big fan of Al Dimeola and Pat Metheny, introduced me to Weather Report and therefore to Jaco Pastorius. It found it a breathtaking experience, and was soon integrating harmonics into my own style.
I was instantly impressed by Jaco's playing, not just by the obvious crisp, fast and virtuosic lines he played, but by his lovely mellow sound when soloing. I loved the way he used chords of harmonics to punctuate his playing. I was impressed that he played fingerstyle like a classical guitarist (the way I started to play). I didn't much like the metallic "breaking bed spring" sounds I was hearing from slap bass players - prefering Jaco's sensous growl to their rude oinks!
Sadly, Jaco Pastorius was to die only three years after I discovered him and in the most ridiculously tragic and unforgivably violent circumstances....
Jaco Pastorius died 25 years ago tomorrow and this page is by way of a personal tribute. Here I want to take a brief look at the style of Jaco Pastorius as well as his life. I hope you will follow me on this journey.....
(Photo of Jaco Pastorius is by Stephen Fitzstephens and is from Wikimedia Commons)
Did you love Jaco Pastorius too?
I couldn't follow all the technical aspects, but I do like his sound :-)). Heard of him but that was about it. I guess I'll have to look up Weather Report.