Weather Report, Night Passages
September 1997 was wrapping up and I was sitting in Sudsy Malone's on a Saturday afternoon drinking cheap beer, when a friend asked me if I was sad because Jaco Pastorious had been killed earlier that week.
I asked him who Jaco was, and he laughed and said, "You play bass and you don't know who Jaco is?" I went to Wizard's and asked for some records with this Jaco on it. The only thing they had was Night Passages, so I went home and listened to it. Cliff Burton and Steve Harris were my biggest influences on bass at the time. I thought that was as good as it got, music-wise, until I listened to my new record. I had honestly never heard anything like the sound of Jaco Pastorious' fretless bass. I was completely blown away. His bass playing sang to me. It moved me to tears at times. After listening to that record for hours, I wanted to play like that. The bass playing on "Port of Entry" changed the way I played bass. To this day, I still try to emulate the unbelievably deep groove in that tune. The solo alone is a warehouse of licks, phrases and tones I dip into every day. It's going to sound weird, but everything changed after that record. The way I dressed, the way I talked, the way I thought, even the way I listened to music. Everything changed. When I feel the need to recharge, I put that record on. It changed my life.
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