As I was reading bassist Jeff Schmidt’s blog I came across an entry of his about what would have been Jaco Pastorius’ 55th birthday last year. I’ve always had a softspot for Jaco Pastorius and Weather Report from a university course in Jazz History taught by an English gal who loved Fusion and whose daughter dated drummer Tony Williams. We spent many hours listening to several musicians from the fusion time. I think a lot of what was started has really blossomed nicely through artists like Jeff Schmidt, Victor Wooten, Michael Manring, and Christian McBride.
On a related note are the words of Jeff Schmidt, “I think Michael Manring said it best when he said Jaco gave the electric bass dignity.
As I venture out into the solo bass world, I find my link to Jaco stretched thinner and thinner. That doesn’t diminish his impact on me though.
It’s important to remember the risks Jaco took with his music made possible a lot of things we take for granted today.
Jaco’s boldness, willingness to challenge convention and his spirit of experimentation is – to me – a far more valuable lesson than anything you could learn from coppin Donna Lee or Portrait of Tracy. “
Based on the above, I found two really good performances from Jaco Pastorius.
Jaco Pastorius on bass, John Scofield on electric guitar and Kenwood Dennard on the drums performing “The Chicken.”
Jaco Pastorius live solo from 1979.