Will Lee: The Magic of Jaco

It is always interesting to hear one prolific musician speak about another prolific musician. Will Lee did just that, sharing his thoughts on Jaco Pastorius.

From his home studio (dubbed “The Beatles Museum”), Will starts off by playing a fretless bass, points at it and says “Jaco invented this thing… it’s amazing.”

The interview covers a lot, including Will’s first experience hearing Jaco. At that stage of his career, Will was trying to play fewer notes. So when he heard a tape of Jaco, he wanted to stay away from it, for fear of that influencing him to keep playing “more”.

As Will describes it, he set out “to explain the magic of Jaco from a working bassists point of view” in this great interview.

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Share your thoughts

  1. This was terribly hip. Great video.

  2. Thank you for the information on Jaco. lets not forget Alphonso Johnson who played the fretless bass so well as Jaco also in the 70’s ,check him out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbF5RXj0vgM

  3. Jaco certainly changed my life. Seeing him live at the Pasadena Civic was a mind blower. He did his “Slang” solo while sliding around the stage on talcom powder in capezio dance shoes. The cat was an entertainer for sure.

  4. I saw Jaco many times . I love Jaco. But I had seen Rick Danko playing a Fender and/or Ampeg fretless at Watkins Glen in ’73 and on the Bob Dylan and Band ” Before the Flood ” tour in ’74 at Boston Garden. That’s about as “classic rock ” as you get. And I might’ve seen Freebo playing fretless with Bonnie Raitt at the Shabboo Inn around ’75. And now that I think about it , I saw Alphonso Johnson play his LoBue fretless at the Boston Orpheum in ’73 with Weather Report if my memory serves me correctly. I wonder who ACTUALLY put the first fretless neck on a bass guitar.

  5. One of the best fretless bass performances I’ve encountered was in 1970 on 11-17-70…Dee Murray killed the fretless on that recording. If you haven’t heard that check it out! I’m thinking even Jaco was influenced by this performance!

  6. bvdon

    Stanley Clarke was the first one to open my eyes to a progressive jazz style… and oddly, Jeff Berlin followed, and then I discovered Weather Report and Jaco. Still my three favorite players.