Thursday, April 3, 2008

LaFaro, Bremy, Bruce

I recently picked up a copy of Scott LaFaro transcriptions by Phil Palombi. I'm a big fan of LaFaro's. I've often joke that if Paul Chambers is the Charlie Parker of the bass, then Scott LaFaro was the Randy Rhodes of the bass, but ahead of Randy's time. (Listen to his solo on Waltz for Debbie and tell me there's not a little bit of Hessian in LaFaro.)

In any event, I've been working through this book and learning a lot. At a recent gig I was playing to an almo0st empty room with a trio and decided to try some of the LaFaro-ish tricks I had picked up from the book. I was quite happy with the results, particularly how rhythmically using triplets and quintuplets in my solos added a nice feel and gave me room to explore different note groupings. I was also incorporating a lot of double stops into my playing that night.

I was really excited when, on one of our breaks, a patron came up to me and mentioned how much he liked my playing and, to my surprise, said that some of my playing was reminiscent of Scott LaFaro. I graciously thanked him for the complement and told him about the book. A little while later somebody else came up to me and said how much they like the band and mentioned how my playing reminded them of a young Pete Bremy (of the Vanilla Fudge) or Jack Bruce (of Cream). I thanked them for the complement. That said, I liked the first complement better.

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