Scott LaFaro: Pieces of Jade (Resonance)

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LaFaro, Friedman, LaRoca: Woody'n You
Scott LaFaro: Pieces of Jade (Resonance)

The great jazz bassist Scott LaFaro didn't have a long time -- he was killed in a car accident in 1961 at age 25 -- but his impact on acoustic jazz was, and remains, significant for his work in the classic Fifties trio with pianist Bill Evans and drummer Paul Motian.

His gentle, often high, singing tone allowed for great emotional dexterity and depth -- and appended to this short collection of tracks there is a 13 minute interview with Evans in '66 in which he speaks of LaFaro's unique style.

Five of these six previously unreleased tracks under LaFaro's as leader (with pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete LaRoca) were recorded in New York in early '61, and another is a muffled 23 minute rehearsal tape of Evans and LaFaro on My Foolish Heart from '60 (the conversation is hard to hear in places). The album closes with pianist Friedman's moving solo piece Memories of Scotty.

This is classic piano trio jazz -- and Friedman, not exactly a name player for most listeners, will be quite the discovery.  He has an elegant tone and the two takes of his original Sacre Bleu are very diverting.

An interesting, valuable and unexpected one from the archives for those deeply into this kind of seminal jazz. 

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