Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

5 Lessons from Jaco’s Life

Jaco Pastorius was one of the most amazing musicians, let alone bassists, to have ever lived.

He was born in Pennsylvania, but put Florida on the map of jazz globally.

Jaco expanded his explosive ideas into full-fledged works of complex and unexpected orchestrations, on par with the foremost composers of the 20th century.
Sadly, his flamboyance masked deeper psychological issues that ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of 35.

During the ’70s and ’80s, Jaco brought an aura of rock & roll celebrity to an otherwise studious genre, evoking the heyday of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.

Along the way, with ferocious speed, yet lyrical articulation, this former drummer transformed the electric bass guitar, doing for it what Jimi Hendrix did for the electric six-string.

He worked with artists ranging from Wayne Cochran & C.C. Riders to Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell and won a GRAMMY award in 1979 for his work on “8:30” with jazz giants Weather Report.

Check out his recordings. His eponymous debut is an excellent example of his diversified genius.

The following “lessons” were in a “Bassist Magazine” interview that I read and copied years ago. Listen to this advice and follow the example of the greats!

1. Surround yourself with good musicians.

Pursue situations that will force you to grow.

2. Keep an open mind.

Be like a sponge, taking what you like from where you like.

3. Stay focused.

Maintain your dedication. Distractions come in numerous forms.

4. Promote yourself.

Expect no one to know who you are without an introduction.

5. Stay true to your vision.

Turn negatives into positives.

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