Jaco Pastorius – bass-guitar original
Jaco Pastorius was an American jazz bass player and composer. Having developed the original style and technique of playing the instrument, he became one of the most authoritative bassists of the second half of the 20th century. Pastorius is best known for his work with Weather Report from 1976 to 1981, as well as working with Joni Mitchell and his own solo projects.
John Francis Pastorius III was born on December 1, 1951 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. His father was famed jazz drummer Jack Pastorius. Until he was thirteen, Pastorius had played only percussion. Soon he became a local wonder because of his bass craft.
In 1974, he began playing with his friend Pat Metheny. In 1976 Pastorius was invited to the Weather Report group, where he played with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter until 1982.
The first solo album of Jaco Pastorius was released in 1976. In 1980-1984, Pastorius toured the United States and Japan (1982) with his big band Word of Mouth.
Pastorius also recorded several albums with singer Joni Mitchell and other famous jazz and rock musicians.
Pastorius’s genius came severe mental and psychological problems, only intensified by his growing dependence on drugs and alcohol. By 1986 Pastorius was diagnosed manic depressive and committed to New York’s Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. From this point on, the musician lived his life in the shadows.
On the night of 12 September 1987, Pastorius attempted to enter Fort Lauderdale’s Midnight Bottle Club, but was refused entry by a security man. In a fit of anger, Pastorius tried to kick in the door and a martial-arts expert, beat him senseless. The musician’s skull fractured in several places. Pastorius never emerged from a coma, and died in his father’s arms nine days later, on September 21.
Although Pastorius was canonized within the music industry, his death went almost unreported by the media.
In 2011, Pastorius was recognized as one of the best bass players of all time, according to a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine. In honor of the great bass player Miles Davis together with Marcus Miller recorded the composition Mr. Pastorius.
Pastorius was married twice. From his first marriage he had two children – Mary (born in 1970) and John (born in 1971). In 1978, Pastorius married for the second time and became the father of twins – Felix Pastorius (plays the bass guitar) and Julius Pastorius (plays drums). His daughter Mary Pastorius is also involved in vocal jazz.