Few bassists were notable for elevating the electric bass to a new art form like Jaco Pastorius. A self-taught sensation, Pastorius has been credited with changing the landscape of American jazz music. The new documentary Jaco utilizes primary footage, including never-before-seen 8-millimeter films, photographs, and audio recordings to tell the story of Jaco's quick rise to fame and tragic decline.
A musical prodigy who contributed to several jazz and R&B bands, Pastorius played with numerous diverse artists, including Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople. He is perhaps most famous for his innovative solo work redefining the role of the electric bass and his work with the renowned jazz group Weather Report. Exclusive material from the Pastorius Family Archive highlights several of these performances. In addition, the film contains testimonials from the many artists whose lives he shaped, including Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, and Herbie Hancock, among many others.
Pastorius's music career was cut short due to complications with his bipolar disorder, which also helped fuel his prolific creative output. After this led to a violent conflict with a club bouncer, Pastorius was hospitalized and eventually died at the age of 35 in Fort Lauderdale.
Jaco garnered positive reviews when it premiered earlier this year at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, and has continued to win praise with audiences and critics alike. Directors Paul Marchand and Steven Kijak, working in conjunction with Passion Pictures (Searching For Sugar Man, Project Nim), have been lauded for presenting, through interviews with the many people who knew him intimately and stunning live footage, a complex portrait of a trailblazing artist.
The film will be unveiled in a number of advance screenings, including events scheduled through October in Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, and Portland, with more cities to be announced soon (log on to jacothefilm.com/news for new dates). The film will be released on demand via streaming services on November 27th. Sony Legacy will release the film's soundtrack on November 27th.