Introducing Scott LaFaro—The Jazz Review, August 1960

Today is the last in a week of interviews from the music journal The Jazz Review, which has been wonderfully preserved at the great website jazzstudiesonline.org. Founded by Nat Hentoff, Martin Williams, and Hsio Wen Shih in New York in 1958, The Jazz Review was the premier journal of jazz in the United States. Short-lived as it was (1958-1961), it set an enduring standard for criticism. All the interview links point to the full .pdf for that issue, so it might take a second to load. Worth the wait!

Bassist Scott LaFaro died far too young, long before he could shore all his ideas with us. In this early interview, we get the idea that despite his changing the way Jazz bass was played, he was somewhat of a traditionalist at heart:

“I found out playing with Bill that I have a deep respect for harmony, melodic patterns, and form. I think a lot more imaginative work could be done within them than most people are doing, but I can’t abandon them. That’s why I don’t think I could play with Ornette Coleman. I used to in California; we would go looking all over town for some place to play. I respect the way he overrides forms. It’s all right for him, but I don’t think I could do it myself.”

Click here to read Introducing Scott LaFaro—The Jazz Review, August 1960