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Legend has it that when bassist Jaco Pastorius first met Weather Report keyboardist Joe Zawinul, he uttered an introduction for the ages: “My name is Jaco Pastorius,” he said. “I’m the greatest bass player in the world.”
There’s some truth to that moniker. After all, Jaco essentially revolutionized the role of the electric bass in jazz, bringing the instrument out of the background and into center stage. From his early days as the bassist for Pat Metheny’s trio to his watershed years with the fusion powerhouse Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius continued to amaze audiences with his wildly acrobatic technique, luminous tone, and punchy articulation. He was also an incredibly versatile artist, having appeared as a sideman on albums by Joni Mitchell, Flora Purim and Herbie Hancock.
His tragic death in 1987 after a fight at a bar in his native Ft. Lauderdale was a massive loss for the jazz world, but his life blazed a trail for countless bass players to follow. This playlist celebrates his important contributions to jazz and his amazing legacy as “the greatest bass player in the world.”
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