Pieces of Jade (1962)

Gasparre, Friedman, Kaper, Gillespie, Evans

Scott LaFaro

Don Friedman, Pete La Roca, Bill Evans

And a little deeper understanding of who Scott is comes from a live interview George Klabin made with Bill Evans in 1966 from WKCR FM studio where Bill reminisces about his former bassist and colleague. These recollections from Bill are for me the highlight of the record.
And, there is more music. This time we hear Scotty on a recording session, again from 1961 with Don Friedman on piano and Pete LaRoca on drums. These performances have the raw feel of a jam session and you can sense this group hasn't benefited from a season of playing regularly together, yet. There are inspired moments from each musician and Scott and LaRoca hook up very effectively on Wooody'n You allowing Friedman the rhythmic freedom to execute some burning runs.

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Scott LaFaro

"During his tragically short life, Scott LaFaro quickly developed into one of the most advanced bassists around, competing with Charlie Haden and Charles Mingus. He emphasized high notes, could play with great speed, and his interplay with Bill Evans in their trio was mutually stimulating and influential. LaFaro originally played clarinet and tenor before settling on bass while in college. He was with Buddy Morrow's band (1955-1956), toured with Chet Baker (1956-1957), and worked during the next few years with Ira Sullivan, Barney Kessel, Cal Tjader and Benny Goodman, among others. LaFaro joined the Bill Evans Trio in 1959 and, although he would record with Ornette Coleman (including Free Jazz) and gig with Stan Getz, the bassist is best-remembered for his association with Evans, particularly their Village Vanguard recordings of 1961. The 25-year-old Scott LaFaro's death in a car accident shortly after was a major shock to the jazz world." -- Scott Yanow

Bill Evans

Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and attended Southeastern Louisiana University. After a period in the Army, he returned to New York in 1955 and began working and recording with Tony Scott and George Russell. His subtly swinging, lucidly constructed solos with these leaders quickly attracted attention, and provided Evans with an opportunity to begin recording under his own name; but he was modest regarding his gifts, and for a time was reluctant to push himself into the limelight. All this changed after he spent several months during 1958 in Miles Davis's band, where he played alongside John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley as well as the trumpeter and became a central figure in Davis's shift to modal improvisation.

The period with Davis allowed Evans to organize his own trio, which featured bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian by the end of 1959. These three players developed a new and more interactive approach to trio playing, one in which all instruments carried melodic responsibilities and functioned as equal voices. LaFaro's tragic death in a July 1961 highway accident ended the existence of this seminal unit; but not before it had recorded four albums, two in the studio and two at a Village Vanguard performance shortly before the bassist's death, that influenced several generations of pianists, bassists, and drummers.

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Pieces of Jade (1962)

Gasparre, Friedman, Kaper, Gillespie, Evans

Scott LaFaro

    Allaboutjazz.com

"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 ever worked. The fluid melodic counterlines and harmonic invention he brought to Bill Evans revolutionized the piano trio, while the dense, exploratory dialogue he brought to the Ornette Coleman Quartet fueled the progress of another stream of bass playing. Coleman titled a tune "The Artistry of Scott LaFaro," and LaFaro's influence is felt in both directions to this day. This is the first recording released under LaFaro's name and it provides useful insights into the bassist's talent through several varied recordings. First up are five tracks by a highly interactive trio with pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete LaRoca from 1961, almost an LP's worth of material that includes dynamic versions of standards "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "Green Dolphin Street," a fiery version of "Woody 'n' You" and two takes of Friedman's medium tempo "Sacre Bleu," which demonstrate the warm lilt and sudden flaring creativity that LaFaro combined. It all combines for a fitting tribute to an essential musician, a complement to the masterpieces LaFaro created with Evans on Waltz for Debby (Riverside, 1961) and Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961), and Coleman on Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1960) and Ornette! (Atlantic, 1961)."

Stuart Broomer[read full review]

Pieces of Jade (1962)

Gasparre, Friedman, Kaper, Gillespie, Evans

Scott LaFaro

Digital Converters:Horus
Editing Software:Pyramix
Mastering Engineer:

René Laflamme – Analog Tape to DSD 256 Transfer

Notes:

For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4", 15 IPS NAB Master Tape was played on a Nagra-T modified tape machine with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC Silver Cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 Tube. The Nagra-T has one of the best transports ever made, having four direct drive motors, two pinch rollers and a tape tension head.  

We did an Analog Transfer to DSD256 (11.2mHz) using Merging Horus and HAPI A/D converters and a dCS Vivaldi Clock. Each format (DSD 2.8mHz, DSD 5.6 mHz and DSD 11.2 mHz) was created from that transfer.

Recording Engineer:George Klabin
Recording location:New York City, 1962
Recording Type & Bit Rate:Analog to DSD256

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

Quality & Channel Selection Digitized at Analog to DSD256
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2XHDRE1058: Pieces of Jade
00:37:06   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
I Hear a Rhapsody
Gasparre
00:06:17   Select quality & channels above
2.
Sacre Bleu (Take 1)
Friedman
00:06:11   Select quality & channels above
3.
On Green Dolphin Street
Kaper
00:06:36   Select quality & channels above
4.
Sacre Bleu (Take 2)
Friedman
00:06:18   Select quality & channels above
5.
Woody 'n' You
Gillespie
00:05:38   Select quality & channels above
6.
Homage to Scott by Bill Evans
Evans
00:06:06   Select quality & channels above

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