I spent a couple of hours searching for jaco pastorius clips on youtube this morning

I remembered…

the feeling when as a 17 year old his solo cd came out, and my musician friends and I sat dumbfounded listening to Donna Lee- it was a once in a lifetime moment- and then I saw him with Weather Report in 1976. The sight and sound of him playing Purple Haze still resonates.  He is to the electric bass what Hendrix was to the electric guitar.

Not coincidentally, he almost always quoted Hendrix in his solos. I had almost forgotten (how shall I say it) how “gorgeous” his rock star look was, and, like Jimi,  how dangerous his playing was. And like all my favorite musicians, no matter what he did, it sounded beautiful. No matter how loud, funky, over the top, it remained lyrical and aspirational.

I decided to name a violin/ cello duo I am composing

“Jaco Pastorius Ascends to Heaven”

I suppose the title is both slightly comical and deadly serious- which is maybe what it felt like to try to play electric bass AFTER him.

More importantly- what heart the guy had…each of his notes consumes you.

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