Jaco Pastorius

John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III (/ˈdʒɑːkoʊ pæˈstɔːriəs/; December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987) was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He worked with Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader. His bass playing employed funk, lyrical solos, bass chords, and innovative harmonics. As of 2017, he is the only electric bassist of seven bassists inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame, and has been lauded as one of the best electric bassists of all time.

Pastorius suffered from drug addiction and mental health issues and, despite his widespread acclaim, over the latter part of his life he had problems holding down jobs due to his unreliability. In frequent financial difficulties, he was often homeless in the mid-1980s. He died in 1987 as a result of injuries sustained in a fight outside a South Florida after-hours nightclub.

Since his death, his work has continued to be widely influential. He was elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1988 and was the subject of the 2014 documentary film Jaco.

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