Before Scott LaFaro joined the Bill Evans Trio in late 1959, the young bassist’s second west coast stint included work with Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, Victor Feldman, Cal Tjader, Stan Getz and Hampton Hawes, among others. In California, LaFaro’s tone, time and adventurous ideas put him—along with Gary Peacock and Charlie Haden—in the vanguard of a new generation of bassists who took the instrument a step beyond functional time-keeping and harmonic guidance. With Evans, he would contribute to the development of an interactive approach to the piano trio that helped steer jazz in new directions.
In a May, 1958, recording with pianist Hawes, LaFaro has an eight-bar solo on the bridge section of the penultimate chorus of “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” but his swing, the richness of his sound and the fundamental rightness of his note choices are what make his performance here compelling. Harold Land is the tenor saxophonist, Frank Butler the drummer.
After 57 years, Hampton Hawes’ For Real is fresh and undated. It’s a basic repertoire item.