Rocco Scott LaFaro (April 3, 1936 – July 6, 1961) was an influential jazz bassist, perhaps best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio.
Born in Irvington, New Jersey, LaFaro grew up in a musical family (his father played in many big bands). His family moved to parent's hometown of Geneva, New York when Scott was five years old. He started on piano while in elementary school, began on the bass clarinet in junior high school, changing to tenor saxophone when he entered high school. He only took up the double bass at 18, in the summer before he entered college, when he learned a string instrument was required for music education majors. About three months into his studies at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, LaFaro decided to concentrate on bass. He often played in groups at the College Spa and Joe's Restaurant on State Street in downtown Ithaca.
He entered college to study music but left during the early weeks of his sophomore year, when he joined Buddy Morrow and his big band. He left that organization in Los Angeles after a cross country tour and decided to try his luck in the Los Angeles music scene. There, he quickly found work and became known as one of the best of the young...