Jaco Pastorius, at 26, has developed bass playing capabilities putting him at the top of the technical ladder. He combines an R&B feel with strict jazz lines to produce a style like none other. Using a distinctive muted sound and employing harmonics in a nouveau fashion, he is in constant demand as a session player.
He was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and moved to Florida at age 7. Just a few years later he picked up the bass and as he himself puts it “Hasn’t been out of work since.”
Pastorius is a reluctant interviewee. He has done very few in his career and takes no pleasure in them. But once talking he is a fountain of knowledge and while his replies are usually short, they are always to the point.
In the midst of working on a new album with Weather Report, the bassist gave a few minutes of his time. “I don’t usually do interviews but since you’re here, I may as well” was his initial comment and after much self-control this interviewer decided to remain. The following is what transpired.