So I confess to knowing next to nothing about Jaco Pastorius when “Jaco: Original Soundtrack” came across my desk a few weeks back. Pastorius was a legendary electric bass player whose tragic life — ruined by mental illness, drugs and alcohol — came to an end in 1987 at the too-young age of 35. At the time of his death, Pastorius was living on the streets, his contributions to the world of music all but forgotten.
The full-length documentary “Jaco” chronicles the life, music and enduring influence of the electric bass pioneer and this 16-track album is the perfect companion piece for a film that I can’t wait to see. The album features Pastorius solo tracks, collaborations with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and Ian Hunter, along with brand-new entries courtesy of rapper Tech N9ne and classical guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.
Among the highlights of the 75-minute set are Pastorius cuts “Continuum,” “Portrait of Tracy” and “Liberty City”; Tech N9ne’s “Shine”; Weather Report’s “River People” and “Barbary Coast”; and an all-star rendition of “Come on, Come Over” by Mass Mental, featuring Robert Trujillo, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Flea, Whit Crane, Benji Webbe, Stephen Perkins and C-Minus. (Jeffrey Sisk)