Jaco Pastorius On Bass

Burbridge was a teenager when saw Pastorius perform live with Weather Report at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., in 1977. What heard that night motivated him to become a professional musician: “It impacted me so hard that it altered the course of my life. The synergy between Jaco, Wayne [Shorter], [Joe] Zawinul, [Peter] Erskine and Robert Thomas Jr. was pure magic living at its peak. I thought if I could reach a mere shadow of what I saw that night, it would be worth whatever trials I would have to face. Nothing tops inspiration and that is what you usually got with Jaco.”

When asked with what song he would introduce someone to Pastorius who had never heard him, Burbridge suggests, “Havona” or “A Remark You Made,” but he can’t choose one for himself. “God, how could I possibly pick one song of his to be my favorite? ‘Three Views [of a Secret]?’ ‘Continuum?’ Everything he did with Joni? Every single song on Bright Size Life?”

For Burbridge, Pastorius’ legacy is “to do what you hear in your head regardless of whether or not someone says it’s ‘allowed.’ Things are only impossible until someone proves them otherwise. Let history be the judge. Roles can be expanded, changed, or completely discarded. He didn’t care if beboppers didn’t like electric bass. He didn’t care if rockers didn’t like jazz. He took a derogatory term like “Punk Jazz” andmade it legit.”

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