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Top 25 cities to visit in the world on Quitting the group in early 1973, Pastorius returned to Fort Lauderdale and became involved with a 13 piece band called Bakers Dozen prior to joining the Peter Graves Orchestra in 1974. The Peter Graves Orchestra was the house band at the Bachelors III nightclub in Fort Lauderdale and backed such visiting headliners as The Temptations, Mel Torme, Bobby Rydell, and Charo. Through his wife Tracy, a waitress at the club, Pastorius was introduced to Bobby Colomby, drummer for the popular band Blood, Sweat & Tears. Colomby, impressed with Jaco's virtuosity, introduced the bassist to Epic Records executives in New York City.

Pastorious signed with Epic on September 15, 1975, and his first solo album, Jaco Pastorius, featuring friends and favorite musicians like David Sanborn, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock was released to strong reviews in August 1976.

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Jaco, however, attained superstar status only after replacing Alphonso Johnson as bassist for the jazz fusion group Weather Report on April 1, 1976. A dynamic stage performer who treated the bass as a solo instrument, Pastorius' inspired musical interplay with the band's other musicians earned him the nickname the Catalyst.

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