Pieces of Jade
“Woody ‘N’ You”
Although he died at the age of 25, Scott LaFaro made a tremendous impression on the jazz world. The bassist is best remembered for his work in the Bill Evans Trio, although his tragically truncated career also included assignments with Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Ornette Coleman and Chet Baker, among others. LaFaro was at a creative peak in the summer of 1961, having just recorded the landmark Evans Trio albums Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, when he was involved in the car accident that took his life. Sometime earlier that year, LaFaro had recorded a brief, impromptu session with pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete LaRoca, which was released on disc in 2009 as Pieces of Jade (Resonance). The trio works out on energetic reads of the standards “I Hear a Rhapsody” and “Green Dolphin Street,” offers a couple of takes of Friedman’s jaunty “Sacre Bléu,” and dives headlong into Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody’n You,” our selection. Taken at breakneck speed, the bop classic is propelled by LaFaro’s fast-walking bass line and LaRoca’s driving rhythms, which light a fire under Friedman’s rocket-fueled keyboard attack.