“I totally respected Jaco's bass playing, but that 16th-note triplet funk thing – it just wasn't in his repertoire”: Weather Report drummer Chester Thompson on why Jaco Pastorius struggled to swing

Wayne Shorter, Alex Acuna, Jaco Pastorius, Joe Zawinul, Chester Thompson - posed, studio, group shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s been more than four decades since a 24-year-old Jaco Pastorius took the music world by storm with a singular style and sound never before heard on the electric bass guitar.

Although the skinny kid with the odd name and mind-boggling technique seemed to emerge overnight, Jaco had, in fact, spent all of his late teens and early 20s developing his unique bass concept and amazing chops, playing night after night in music clubs around Florida.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.