Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Interview with Helene LaFaro-Fernandez and her book “Jade Visions”

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Painting by Manny Fernandez

I along with my co-host Noal Cohen conducted an interview with Helen LaFaro-Fernandez, the sister of the famous Jazz bassist Scott Lafaro and the main subject of her book “Jade Visions.” This book is a biography of Scott LaFaro but with much more to offer because it is also written for musicians alike. Helene dedicated specific chapters on musical analysis with the help of Jeff Campbell and Phil Palombi. Phil was also present in this interview and provides the listeners with helpful insights on Scott Laforo’s innovative style. Altogether, it was a great introduction to “Jade Visions” and will help you understand how much of an impact Scott LaFaro had on Jazz in the little time he was on this planet. Scott Lafaro was only 25 years old when he died in an auto accident July 6, 1961. This interview was presented by yours truly, Jazz Con Class Radio and made possible by Blogtalkradio.com.

Check Out Music Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Classic Jazz Talk on BlogTalkRadio

More on the book (from Amazon.com):

Winner of the Best Book of 2009, Jazz Division, sponsored by AllAboutJazz-New York, 2009
Selected for “Best of the Best” from University Presses, ALA Annual Conference, 2010

Winner of the 2010 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in Jazz, 2010

“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

“It’s astonishing that [LaFaro’s] massive reputation is primarily based on a handful of albums that feature him in full flower: the four recorded with the Bill Evans Trio, two by Coleman and Jazz Abstractions, a Gunther Schuller recording. His work on these is so amazing, his facility on his instrument so fluid, his melodic ideas and group interplay concepts so advanced that they still reverberate today. Finally LaFaro has a worthy volume commensurate with his stature in music.”–AllAboutJazz.com……Learn More
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