Although he is widely revered as one of the 20th Century’s most accomplished and innovative musicians, the brief and troubled life of Jaco Pastorius remains a mystery to many. It’s what prompted one of his most ardent fans, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, to produce the first documentary exploring Pastorius’ prodigious talent, personal adventures, and raw human vulnerability.
The end result, Jaco, co-directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak, will be released as a deluxe 2-disc DVD/Blu Ray package on November 27 through Conveyor Canada / Universal Music Canada. The film, which recently premiered at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (near Pastorius’ hometown), was made with the co-operation of the bassist’s family and features interviews with former collaborators such as Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock, along with admirers like Geddy Lee, Flea, and Sting.
Jaco tells the story of a kid from south Florida whose brash approach to playing electric bass revolutionized the instrument’s role in jazz during the 1970s, and became an influence on fellow bassists in all other genres from then on. Yet, like many other genius-level artists, Pastorius suffered from mental illness, which led his career to be derailed by substance abuse in the 1980s, and his tragic death in 1987 following a beating outside a Florida club.
Along with the 2hr documentary, the deluxe edition of Jaco contains an additional 1hr 40min disc of Extras, including 20 never-before-seen interviews, and footage from the 2015 “Jaco’s World” tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl. There will also be an exclusive Black Friday Record Store edition, which adds the CD Mass InstruMENTALS by funk rockers Mass Mentals, comprised of 10 pieces composed by Robert Trujillo and Armand Sabal-Lecco.