Jazz bassist Phil Palombi was given the opportunity of a lifetime. For a week, he was able to borrow Scott LaFaro’s 1825 Prescott bass to record a tribute album to the groundbreaking player.
Palombi, who is an expert on LaFaro, realized there has not been a tribute album to the late bassist and decided to make one with Don Friedman and Eliot Zigmund, who both had relations to Scott. Then a conversation with LaFaro’s sibling gave the project a new twist.
“I just happened to be talking to Scott LaFaro’s sister, Helene LaFaro-Fernandez, one evening and mentioned the recording that I was about to make,” he writes. “She dropped a bomb on me- ‘How would you like to use Scotty’s bass?’ I was shocked. She put me in touch with Barrie Kolstein, whose family has owned the bass since Scott’s tragic car accident. It’s a long story, but Barrie allowed me to take the bass out of the shop for a week to practice with and record the CD. I can’t thank them enough. It was an amazing experience to actually play Scott LaFaro’s bass for a week!”
LaFaro presented a fresh style of bass playing during his tenure with the Bill Evans Trio with his more counter-melodic style that has influenced bassists ever since. Tragically, he died in a car accident in 1961, at 25 years old.
The recording will be out sometime in Spring 2011, but until then Phil is posting clips of the bass in action on his YouTube account. The album will be his second solo CD, following up his 2000 release, 80 East.