About a month before I recorded my tribute to Scott LaFaro (RE:Person I Knew) with the late Don Friedman and Bill Evans alumnus Eliot Zigmund, I got a call. Don told me that a film maker named Bruce Spiegel contacted him about an interview for a Bill Evans documentary he was putting together. When Bruce heard that we were about to go into the studio together to record a tribute to Scott LaFaro, along with Scott’s Prescott bass that he used on some many recordings, he asked if I would be interested in talking a little about LaFaro for the documentary.
Bruce swung by Bennett Studio on our second day of recording for the interviews, basically hitting three birds with one stone: Eliot, of course, was a part of the Bill Evans trio, and I have my in-depth knowledge of LaFaro and how he fit into the trio musically. Don, however, had a very unique claim to fame. I don’t think this is in the film, but Don told me a story about a night he got a call from LaFaro, who asked him to run down immediately to some jazz club (in Manhattan) where the Bill Evans trio was headlining. Apparently the cops picked Evans up for something and he couldn’t make the gig that night– and that’s how Don Friedman played with the Bill Evans trio! Don, of course, was also Scott’s roommate and good friend, which he elaborates on in the film.
The documentary is very thorough and well put together with tons of great interviews. I think my favorite segment is Paul Motian, who speaks at length about that trio. From what I understand, it was difficult to get Paul to talk about that trio or anything else from the past. He was always looking to the future, so this interview is a rare treat.
I highly recommend renting this documentary! You won’t be disappointed.