Jaco Pastorius – Modern Electric Bass

  John Francis Anthony “Jaco” Pastorius III  December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987) was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He 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. As of 2017, he is the only electric bassist of seven […]

 

John Francis Anthony “Jaco” Pastorius III  December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987) was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He 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. As of 2017, he is the only electric bassist of seven bassists inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame, and has been lauded as one of the best electric bassists of all time.

Pastorius suffered from drug addiction and mental health problems throughout his professional life, and despite his widespread acclaim had problems over the latter part of his life holding down jobs due to his unreliability. In frequent financial trouble, he was often homeless throughout the mid 1980s. In 1987, he got into a fight outside of a music club in South Florida and died as result of injuries sustained in the fight. He was only 35 years old.

After his death, his work continued to influence musicians, being elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1988. He was the subject of the 2014 documentary film Jaco.

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