Wooten believes without a doubt that Pastorius’ contributions changed the course of the bass. Wooten states, “And even bass players who don’t know who Jaco is, they are influenced by him, whether they know it or not.”
However, the aspect of Pastorius that Wooten admires the most, and tries to capture in his own performances isn’t just about technique: “The thing I really loved most about Jaco was his energy—the energy he brought to the music and every time he stepped on the stage. He kind of broke the mold of what a jazz musician was supposed to be. At that time, it was supposed to be cool, no show-boating, playing serious music. It was all about being serious. He was about making it a performance. He would go on stage and put baby powder in his shoes so that when he jumped off of his amp when he hit the ground there would be a little powdery explosion. I love that kind of stuff. That guy was thinking beyond the music. He wanted to create an experience for his listeners and his viewers. I love that.”
Wooten released two new albums, Words and Tones and Sword and Stone, on his own VIX Records yesterday.