The Ultimate Jaco Pastorius Playlist

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.”

Listen on:

  1. Soul Intro/The Chicken
    Jaco Pastorius
    The Birthday Concert: Live at Mr. Pip’s Ft. Lauderdale
  2. Donna Lee
    Jaco Pastorius
    Jaco Pastorius
  3. Teen Town
    Weather Report
    Heavy Weather
  4. Missouri Uncompromised
    Pat Metheny
    Bright Size Life
  5. A Remark You Made – Live
    Weather Report
    8:30
  6. Coyote
    Joni Mitchell
    Hejira
  7. 4 A.M.
    Herbie Hancock
    Mr. Hands
  8. Blackbird
    Jaco Pastorius
    Word of Mouth
  9. Good Question
    Herbie Hancock
    Sunlight
  10. Barbary Coast
    Weather Report
    Black Market
  11. Punk Jazz
    Weather Report
    Mr. Gone
  12. Walking Away
    Flora Purim
    Everyday, Everynight
  13. Invitation
    Jaco Pastorius
    Invitation – Live
  14. The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines
    Joni Mitchell
    Mingus
  15. Dara Factor One
    Weather Report
    Weather Report
  16. Continuum – Live
    Trio of Doom
    Trio of Doom
  17. Palladium
    Weather Report
    Heavy Weather
  18. 6/4 Jam
    Jaco Pastorius
    Jaco Pastorius
  19. The Days of Wine of Roses
    Jaco Pastorius, Bireli Lagrene, Peter Lubke
    Broadway Blues
  20. Mood Swings
    Mike Stern
    Upside Down
  21. Three Views of a Secret – Live
    Weather Report
    Night Passage
  22. Suite: Golden Dawn
    Al Di Meola
    Land of the Midnight Sun
  23. Chromatic Fantasy
    Jaco Pastorius
    Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years
  24. Birdland
    Weather Report
    Heavy Weather
  25. Amerika
    Jaco Pastorius
    Invitation – Live

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