Jaco Pastorius

John Francis Pastorious III was born on December 1st 1951 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He was probably the most important electric bass player in the electric jazz genre, and a soloist whose singing tone on the fretless bass inspired countless imitators.

Jaco Pastorius gave the fretless electric bass a voice, a human voice, thus turning the 4-stringed instrument into a lead instrument. His stylistic trademarks were the virtuosic use of harmonics and fast staccato licks, in contrast to singing lines, with which he inspired and infected half the bass world. As one of the most important bassists of the fusion institution Weather Report, his playing of incredible melodies on the album "Heavy Weather" (1977) made the band famous worldwide. Jaco delivered more top-class recordings with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Albert Mangelsdorff, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Paul Bley and Marcus Miller. His instructional video of 1985 entitled "Modern Electric Bass" is still considered a standard for electric bass players. Jaco Pastorius died on September 21st 1987 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from the consequences of a fight that ultimately was the result of his aggressiveness caused by the excessive use of drugs and narcotics.

Pastorius played a Framus-S-380 bass when he visited bassist and producer Jan Jankeye in Stuttgart in the spring of 1986. He used that bass to record the CD entitled "Broadway Blues". When he came to Germany that time - he stayed at Jankeye´s place for 6 months -, he apparently brought no instrument with him, so he had to play with what was available. The recording engineer had a Framus bass that was modified as a fretless lying around in the studio - and Jaco was impressed. Jan Jankeje remembers: "I was the producer of those recording sessions. Jaco wrote the tune "Teresa" on an Ibanez® Jazz Bass copy, but in the studio he used the Framus bass for everything." Jan Jankeje found that bass again on eBay about two years ago, being sold by his former recording engineer. The bass then changed owners for a moderate price because the Pastorius story was arguably only mentioned in fine print. Even that is possible. The new Framus museum make it possible to admire this bass up-close!