MI Unearths Rare Video of Jaco Pastorius Visit

Musician’s Institute has found and posted rare footage of a mid-’80s clinic with Jaco Pastorius and guitarist Frank Gambale

Since Jaco Pastorius died over twenty years before fans were recording an artist's every performance with their smart phones, it's exciting when previously unseen video of the bass legend surfaces.

Last week, Musicians Institute dug up footage of Pastorius talking about his writing process, his approach to practicing, offering tips, and then jamming with Australian jazz fusion guitarist, Frank Gambale during a visit to the campus. The exact date is unknown, but in a tribute to Pastorius two years ago, Racer X and The Mars Volta bassist, Juan Alderete, recalled seeing him play for MI's Bass Institute of Technology Department with Gambale and Jeff Berlin in 1985.

Describing the seminar, Alderete wrote, "First, Jeff and Jaco were sort of playing duets and then Jaco would fly off and play Hendrix riffs or jazz runs. When the group started to jam, Jaco really went crazy, playing more Hendrix to a seemingly unaware Gambale. Then Jaco would have these bursts of melodies roll through him and out his amps."

The video has been edited to under four minutes, so fans are hoping that more footage of the seminar and the jam will also surface.

Watch the edited version:

In related news, the Pledge campaign to raise money for the production of Jaco: A Documentary Film has just twelve days left to go. Produced by Metallica bassist, Robert Trujillo, featuring Flea, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins and Carlos Santana, the film was screened at the Grammy Museum in LA last month.

Trujillo told the audience that he hoped to screen it at Austin film and music festival, South by Southwest, in March. According to the film's website, their goal is to release it on Record Store Day April 18th.

Pre-order the DVD and support the film.


Check Out Rare Jaco Pastorius Performances on 'Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981'

Recorded "completely, totally, unapologetically and insanely live" during Weather Report's mythic concert heydays from 1978-1981, The Legendary Live Tapes showcases the group's classic line-up of Joe Zawinul (keyboards), Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Jaco Pastorius (electric bass), Peter Erskine (drums) and Robert Thomas, Jr. (Hand Drums) at the peak of their collective powers.

Image placeholder title

Learn to Play: Riffs in the Key of Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius needs no introduction. He was an innovator, a virtuoso of monstrous proportions, and a truly unique personality. Self-taught on multiple instruments (bass included), Jaco overcame an early and debilitating arm injury, a youth of poverty, and an initial backlash to his bass technique to become the legendary musician he's remembered as today.