Jade Visions

The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro

Helene LaFaro-Fernandez,

Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro
 
 
Jade Visions is the first biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential jazz musicians, bassist Scott LaFaro. Best known for his landmark recordings with Bill Evans, LaFaro played bass a mere seven years before his life and career were tragically cut short by an automobile accident when he was only 25 years old. Told by his sister, this book uniquely combines family history with insight into LaFaro’s music by well-known jazz experts and musicians Gene Lees, Don Thompson, Jeff Campbell, Phil Palombi, Chuck Ralston, Barrie Kolstein, and Robert Wooley. Those interested in Bill Evans, the history of jazz, and the lives of working musicians of the time will appreciate this exploration of LaFaro’s life and music as well as the feeling they’ve been invited into the family circle as an intimate. HELENE LA FARO-FERNÁNDEZ was born in Irvington, New Jersey, but spent most of her youth in Geneva, New York. In 1957 she joined her brother Scott in Los Angeles and has made her home there ever since. This is her first book. GENE LEES is a four-time winner of the Deems Taylor award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and the author of over a dozen important books on jazz. He lives in Ojai, California. Number 4: North Texas Lives of Musicians Series “Fernandez’ insightful comments about her brother offer far more than jazz scholars have ever known about this significant and somewhat enigmatic figure in the history of jazz. All in all, a very complete portrait.”—Bill Milkowski, author of Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius “LaFaro’s story is compelling not only because of his own prowess as a musician, but also due to the company he kept. How many musicians by their twenty-fifth year could say they had played with Benny Goodman, Ornette Coleman, Chet Baker, Stan Kenton, and Bill Evans? Only one. Scott LaFaro.”—Frank Alkyer, publisher, Down Beat "Scott LaFaro was a true jazz innovator. His sound, sense of time and melodic invention blazed a trail for modern bassists and he was a beacon of light for those players who dreamed of more freedom within structure. Bill Evans once described Scott’s playing to me: ‘He was really discovering something every night on the bandstand. He had all these ideas that were just bubbling up out of him. And he had a way of finding notes that were more fundamental than the fundamental.’ " —Marc Johnson, bassist “Scott LaFaro was a brilliant artist whose untimely death remains one of the great tragedies of jazz more than four decades later.”—Jed Eisenman, manager of the Village Vanguard jazz club “Scotty was amazing. . . worked with all five fingers. . . ridiculously wonderful. . . most inventive.” — Dick Berk, drummer “Scotty’s playing was the bible for bass players … Jimmy Blanton the old testament, Scotty, the new.”—Christian McBride, bassist


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