In his brief career between 1959 and 1961, Scott LaFaro may have done as much to revolutionize the way the bass is played in jazz as Jimmy Blanton, another gifted and tragic figure, had with Duke Ellington 20 years before him. Like Blanton, LaFaro only took up the bass when he entered college and also died very young: Blanton of tuberculosis at 23 in 1942; LaFaro at 25 in a car accident in 1961. LaFaro recognized no limitations and played bass with a virtuosity and invention that made him the equal of any musician with whom he ...read more
Jade Visions: The Life And Music Of Scott LaFaro Helene LaFaro-Fernandez Hardcover; 322 pages ISBN: 1-57441-273-4 University of North Texas Press 2009 At the outset, I have to own up to bassist Scott LaFaro being a personal hero. Growing up in Geneva, NY, also home to the bassist, it was always a point of pride that this man, a major contributor in changing the role of his instrument in jazz, came from the same place I did. I never knew him, being a generation removed, but he ...read more
In the six years that he was active in the music industry, Scott LaFaro had a more notable career than many other bassists have in a much larger lifetime. He was a member of the Bill Evans Trio, one of the greatest piano trios of all time, and participated in Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1960), a session he really had no business being a part of. Most importantly, however, he developed an entirely new mode of expression for the bass, so much so that anyone who picks up the instrument must contend with his style of playing.
Because there ...read more
Bassist Scott LaFaro was killed in an auto accident in 1961 at only 25, cutting off a career in which he was destined for greatness. Before his death he had already made a name for himself in pianist Bill Evans' groundbreaking trio, which also included drummer Paul Motian. This group was immortalized by its 1961 recording at Village Vanguard, Sunday at The Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debbie, both released by Riverside the same year. These live dates set the standard for piano trios; the playing melding seamlessly, with each player given ample opportunity to stand out on his own. ...read more