Felix Pastorius: Closing the circle
On the surface, it would almost seem like the act of simply playing the bass would bear an incredible weight for Felix Pastorius. On one side, his father was none other than the groundbreaking Jaco Pastorius; one the other, his current gig finds him filling the recently vacated bass chair for the Yellowjackets when founding member Jimmy Haslip left the group after 30+ years.
But Pastorius is not intent on trying to fill anyone’s shoes other than his own. After mere seconds of listening to him play, anyone can tell the man is prodigiously talented, but he falls into a very rare camp of musical offspring. Like Julian Lennon, he can sound eerily like his famous and iconic father but at the same time, sound only like himself.
And this is precisely what drives Pastorius – establishing a musical voice that stands on its own merits. As such, the last ten years have found him working with the like of Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Band) in Mu’tet, Cindy Blackman and now, the Yellowjackets; forcing his musical range to develop and grow beyond his years.
The Yellowjackets new album, aptly titled A Rise In The Road, marks the beginning of a new chapter for the group, the closing of a karmic circle that began over 30 years ago. This circle began as YellowJackets member Bob Mintzer (tenor sax) was playing with Jaco in the early 80’s around the time that Felix was born. Coincidentally, not long after the Yellowjackets began their career. When Haslip left the group and discussion began about their future the young Pastorius’ name was the first to come up.
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