Jaco Pastorius’s meteoric rise to fame was largely propelled by his association with jazz-rock pioneers Weather Report. During his brief life (1951-1987), his unique talent exerted a profound influence on musicians everywhere, revolutionising both the role and the sound of the bass guitar.
His 1976 self-titled debut on Epic was hailed as a bravura masterpiece. That same year, he joined Weather Report, ultimately becoming third lead alongside Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul before exiting in 1981. During that time, Pastorius was a prolific session player, lending his genius to many other artists’ recordings, some of which are featured here. From 1980 on, he toured with his own outfit, Word Of Mouth, also the title of his 1981 Warner Bros. Album. Warner Bros. put out several live discs, but never released Holiday For Pans, his second studio effort – a cut from it appears here, marking its first commercial release. By the mid ‘80s, his once-glittering career was on the rocks. Struck by mental illness exacerbated by years of cocaine and alcohol abuse, Jaco Pastorius died aged 36 at the hands of a nightclub bouncer who beat him into a coma in September 1997 - a tragic denouement to a stellar career.