Scott LaFaro (April 3, 1936 – July 6, 1961) was an influential American jazz double bassist, best known for his seminal work with the Bill Evans Trio.
LaFaro died in an auto-mobile accident in the summer of 1961 in Flint, New York, four days after accompanying Stan Getz at the Newport Jazz Festival. His death came just ten days after recording two live albums with the Bill Evans Trio, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, albums considered among the finest live jazz recordings.
LaFaro’s death took an enormous emotional toll on Bill Evans, who was, according to drummer Paul Motian, “numb with grief,” “in a state of shock,” and “like a ghost” after LaFaro’s death. Evans, according to Motian, would play “I Loves You Porgy”, a song with which he and LaFaro became synonymous, almost obsessively, but always as a solo piece. Evans also went on hiatus after LaFaro’s death for a period of several months. Many believe that Evans never fully recovered from the loss.
LaFaro’s death has to be one of Jazz’s greatest tragedy’s…right up there with Clifford Brown and Eric Dolphy.