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Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by dblbss, Sep 11, 2009.
Just got my copy in the mail today. Read the intro and looking forward to the rest.
I've read it last weekend. Very impressive.I also got the CD "Pieces of jade" today.
I've just finished the book and realy enjoyed it. Im glad it was his sister who wrote it as well. She gives a real inside perspective to his family and personal life. His music speaks for itself.
For me, the sad or ironic aspect of his life ending as it did is in the book it is mentioned he would come down on Bill Evans about his drug use. Bill Evans for better or worse survived, if you want to call it that, for some time, but it was Lafaro's driving habits that caught up with him and ended his short life.
how does Don Thompson get his nose into everything
Well if he fell asleep like the book said his driving habits didn't really matter. He just shouldn't have been on the road .
The book is fantastic. The CD is just ok. It is clearly just a few guys screwing around. It should have stayed under Don Friedman's name. It is really one of Scotty's lesser recorded works. It is sort of a shame that it is the only disc under his name.
Can you be more specific in that statement?
If one can accomplishment as much as Don Thompson has a bassist, pianist, vibes player, composer, teacher and band leader, then maybe one will find his own nose some how in everything!
I'm probably being over sensitive since Don is a friend, amazing player and great person. I just detected a bit of snarkasm in that statement.
And I would add that Bill Evans did much more than "survive 'if you want to call it that' ". Scotty came down on Bill about his drug use for one simple reason...he cared very deeply for Bill and wanted him to be well.
And Richard...you forgot to add drums into your mix.
.. and I should proof read my posts before sending them!
After reading the book, I get a little nervous driving home from late-night gigs.
I thought it would be obvious I was kidding about Don Thompson but I guess I was wrong. It was a comment on his experience and how much he has accomplished, and also being Canadian and based in Canada, where he seems to pop up from time to time.
Richard I'm well aware of Don Thompson's abilities and experience. I've seen him many times with the greatest guitar players on this planet being Ed Bickert and Reg Schwager, and if he was still around Lenny Breau.
I said I was probably being over sensitive and apparently I was.
Don's one of those guys that you say out loud, "Man, what an amazing musician!"... and then, mutter in a jealous whisper.... "mother******"
dblbss, as a peace offering for my about to go OT on your thread, below are links to some "Jade Visions" prior posts.
Since Don came up, do mind you if I tell a quick story? (guys around here hate when I do this....but oh well. )
Like I said Don is a friend and for my $ the best of the Scotty influenced bassists out there. Somehow, he gets a more "meaty" sound up in the thumb positions than some of these guys who live up there do in their solos. He's just so musical.
Anyway, he was at my house here in Denver when he was playing with Shearing to spend a few hours listening to stuff and just hanging. I mentioned something like "besides bass players, don't some players, especially pianists, get a bit pissed at the fact that you can carve most of them on their own instruments?" He said yeah it has happened. He was doing one of those "Jazz Cruises" and at the end of the night they always had a big jam for the guys. He sat in on drums and laid low most of the very good drummers on the program. Mel Torme was in the line up. Don said the next night as he was getting ready for dinner he heard a knock on his cabin door.....a note had been slid under. It read: "If you play drums again tonight...you're a dead man.....Mel."
Here are the Jade links.........
Great story , as usual, PW.
Before BET apparently gave up on actual jazz programing, I saw a CBC program on BET devoted to Don Thompson and a tenor player whose name I have unfortunately forgotten. Because the tenor player also played great piano they had them play in all possible combination's: tenor/bass tenor/piano piano/bass. That, in and of itself, was great.
Something Don said to the interviewer was fascinating. He said he attributed his ability to play multiple instruments and styles to the fact that he is able to remember solos and musical passages after hearing them once or twice, and for a long time after hearing them. He was very humble about it and was somewhat amazed that everyone couldn't do the same.
I have met exactly one person like that and it was absolutely freakish how she could say while seated at the piano for example; "one night I heard so and so play The Nearness of You and here is what he played" and then play it note for note.
I had a little to much fun with the youtube Monty Python in my last post.....
I don't know so much about the history of Scotty's bass, but I for one could have lived without the before and after pics of the Prescott. If the bass was that messed up..... I can only imagine the rest of the crash scene.
I understand that some folks need that kind of thing for closure, so the pics DO belong in the book. Just not for me.
I'll be donating my copy to the local Public Library when I'm through studying it.
Another broadcast on BET (I agree, it's too bad BET gave up on jazz) was the Ed Bickert trio with Don Thompson. Talk about a fluid player, Thompson was nailing it (not that Bickert's any slouch!).
Back on topic, I particularly enjoyed the "His Music II" (contributed by Jeff Campbell) and "His Music III (contributed by Phil Palombi) sections - insightful and informative.
The Scott La Faro book was wonderful. It was written with so much love and insight. I have always felt a strong connection with his playing but this young man carried himself with so much grace and strength of character. This booked answered so many questions for me. Now I know why he was combative with Bill Evans during the Vanguard dates; obviously it was for all the right reasons.
Even though he was a little before my time, I believe I would have loved this guy had I the good fortune and pleasure of knowing him.
It was also kind of neat to know that one of my old teachers, Herb Mickman, actually knew him and considered himself a groupie. I wished I could have known that when I was in contact with Mr. Mickman.
Finally, although I have known for a long time the basic story of how Scott died, I had to put the book down for a day or two before finishing it. The accident just seemed like such a huge waste and so tragic.
I'm very glad this book was discussed and recommended here on TBDB!
Most of the severe damage to the bass was caused by the fire. The only comfort one can take is that LaFaro almost assuredly died on impact and didn't burn to death trapped in the vehicle. Cars back then didn't have seat belts nor did the front ends accordion or crush on impact. Without seat belts, passengers weren't coupled to the vehicle and would keep moving after impact (for a few milliseconds anyway) until something stopped them like a steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. Since the front ends wouldn't crush on impact, very little of energy of the collision would be absorbed by the vehicle so almost all of the energy of the collision would be transferred to the unlucky passengers.
The impact of a 30 mph front end collision in those older cars would impart the approximately the same damage to the passengers as falling about 33 feet onto a steering wheel or dashboard. That's a 3 story fall which is can be survived but is usually fatal. So even a low speed accident which would be survivable in today's cars, would be a mess in an older car. To top it off, the old cars didn't have self-sealing gas tanks and as in the case of LaFaro's accident, if they ruptured, frequently resulted in fire.
So, don't drive when you're sleepy and ALWAYS wear a seat belt. That's my advice as a physicist.
MSW the tenor/piano player you mentioned is Phil Dwyer from British Columbia. He was in Toronto for a long time but has since moved back to B.C.