I have considered it a great privilege and honor to have been delegated the responsibility of restoring Scott LaFaro’s Prescott. We are now past the 30th anniversary of this fine bass having its’ restoration completed. Over those 30 years, I have been honored to have the LaFaro Prescott displayed at numerous ISB Conventions, International Jazz Conferences, photographed in the famed Milt Hinton Scholarship Photo Session at the Manhattan Center in New York City and, being recorded for the first time since Scotty recorded the “Live at the Vanguard” album, by Jazz great Marc Johnson, last Bassist with the Bill Evans Trio. The Bass can be heard on the CD “Something for You”.
Since that time, Phil Palombi has recorded and performed with the LaFaro Prescott numerous times, as have numerous other International artists. 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Scott LaFaro, who Phil honored in his recording “Person I Knew – A Tribute to Scott LaFaro”. The recording features the working trio of piano legend Don Friedman and Bill Evans alumnus Eliot Zigmund on drums. The special guest on the recording was LaFaro’s bass. I was the owner of the bass at the time, and with the blessing of the LaFaro estate, I granted Phil the honor of using the instrument for the recording as well as the weekend CD release concerts months later at the Kitano Jazz club in Manhattan.
In 2015 Phil recorded his third CD as a leader ”Detroit Lean” with the Prescott, and headlined the International Society of Bassists convention in Fort Collins, Colorado the following month.
Perhaps the biggest event for Phil that spring was returning to the Village Vanguard with Scotty’s bass for two performances with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which marked the first time that the instrument had crossed though those hallowed doors since LaFaro himself walked through them to record Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard with Bill Evans in 1961.
In 2015, with loving honor to the LaFaro Family, the Kolstein family endowed the LaFaro Prescott Bass to the International Society of Bassists. It now has its’ home at Ithaca College, under the amazing watchful eye of Professor Nicholas Walker.
I have been most gratified to complete several copies of Scotty’s Prescott as well.
Sam and my sincere hopes were that this restoration was to not only awaken a sleeping giant, but to continue the creativity that this instrument was so well known for in the hands of Scott LaFaro.
I am most pleased that these hopes have been fulfilled.