RIP, Jaco

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by homeslice1479, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. homeslice1479


    Jun 23, 2009
    Cheraw, SC
    John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III

    December 1st, 1951 - September 21st, 1987

    On this day, 29 years ago, we lost the greatest bass guitarist who ever lived. That is my humble opinion, but I know it is shared by many, members of this forum, amateurs and professionals alike. Jaco approached our instrument in ways that none had before him, and shattering the walls of perceptions that had been built around bassists and how they played. His technique was flawless, with perfect time, intonation and articulation, regardless of how fast he played. He inspired a whole new breed of bass player, and many of the great bassists today owe much to Jaco's virtuoso playing.

    As Victor Wooten states in his song Bass Tribute:

    "Bass players used to be the ones standing in the back
    When Jaco first played Donna Lee, it sure changed that."

    RIP, Jaco. We miss you.
  2. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016

    I find it hard to think about 'what ifs' without sounding like I'm judging those around Jaco, but I like to think that with the better understanding and appreciation of mental health issues we have today that Jaco would have had a better time of it had he been alive today. Perhaps there is some small comfort in that. That isn't a criticism of the musicians, friends and family he had back then; we clearly live in a different world today, though stigmas still abound.

    I didn't get Jaco for the longest time. In fact, childishly, I took a weird pride in not getting this bassist, especially when I saw other bassists (and non-bassists) sing his praises. I recently purchased his self-titled album. Admittedly Donna Lee is a head-scratcher of an opening number, but Opus Pocus is the first track that I really liked on that album, and the rest fell into place.

    Opus Pocus is maybe a good place for others to start. Like Donna Lee I felt it was a bit impenetrable; starting with a repeating and dissonant steel drum figure that is then repeated verbatim by Jaco. However as the track gets under way it falls into this sickeningly good groove. Lenny White's playing style comes through with force, but it is still clearly Jaco's track. Amazing stuff. If nothing else it captures two sides to Jaco's playing; his ability to compose a twisting, turning melody as though it was a trumpet solo and his ability to sit back and groove perfectly.
    Pumpkin likes this.
  3. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    RIP, indeed.
  4. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Wow. 29 years. Would've rather had him around for most if not all of those.

  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Wait. Jaco died?
    PillO and Gluvhand like this.
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    A little life lesson for all of us here. The tension between Zawinul and Jaco drove them both to distraction (and destruction).

    I saw Weather Report in the early late 70's/early 80's and Jaco entered the stage, bare foot with just light woven cotton pants and tunic and he hurried out to pick up his bass and play.

    The band was great, Wayne blowing his butt off and Jaco so fluid on the fretboard.

    A great loss for us all....killed by a bouncer at the door. What a waste...RIP
  7. What do you mean we lost the greatest bass guitarist? he still plays in Fall Out Boy, Mr Pete Wentz never died.