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Jaco takes an in-depth look at this talented but tormented genius. Readers follow Pastorius's development as a bassist, watch him catapult to international fame with Weather Report, learn about the formation of his own well-received band, and witness his eventual downfall. Photos.
Posted October 18, 2006
Jaco was always quoted with 'It ain't bragging if you can back it up.' Bill Milkowsi¿s book goes to show that Jaco always could. He is known today as the most influential bass player in the world. If you play the bass, you are influenced by his playing one way or another. Every time you turn on the radio, you hear a sheer imitation of what Jaco created. The Book started all the way at the beginning with Jaco growing up and being influenced by his father John Pastorius, who was a jazz singer and who was rarely there for Jaco¿s childhood. It then followed Jaco¿s career starting with him playing with Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders to playing with Pat Metheny in his trio. Jaco was young at the time, but he knew he was good and he could prove it. He always had an interest in playing with Weather Report and when he first approached Joe Zawinul, he straight up went up to him and said, ¿I¿m the greatest bass player in the world.¿ Zawinul simply shooed him away thinking that he couldn¿t back it up. He ran into him a few months later hearing him play and he couldn¿t belief what he was hearing. He immediately talked to Jaco and he became a member of Weather Report. Jaco became a hit instantly, but he also became introduced to drugs and alcohol as a cost of being famous. People would come up to him at shows and offer him drugs, and he felt like he had to in order to please his fans. It started down a long line of drug and alcohol abuse. After his days in Weather Report, his life just became a downhill slide to destruction. He was put in mental institutes and rehab, but nothing helped. Then in September 1987, he was beaten in to coma by a bouncer outside of a club. A few days later, he had the plug pulled and died on September 21. This book focused a little too much on the downfall of Jaco and how his life became such a disaster. But Milkowski did it to get the point across that drugs and alcohol can destroy you no matter how brilliant you are. I really liked how the book went into deep detail about his playing and had so many different players quoted about how much Jaco changed their lives. Bill Milkowski is a journalist for many jazz magazines, so it was nice that the author actually new what he was talking about. Although, I did think that the book focused a little too much on his demise and not enough on his brilliance, it was a still a great book that told the tale of one of jazz¿s greatest legends.
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Posted April 18, 2009
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