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Larry Willis

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Lawrence Elliott Willis (born December 20, 1940 in New York, NY) is an American jazz pianist and composer. He has performed in a wide range of styles, including jazz fusion and rock.

After his first year studying music theory at the Manhattan School of Music he began performing regularly with Jackie McLean. After he graduated he made his first jazz recording, McLean’s Right Now!, which featured two of Willis’ compositions. His first recording of any type, however, was as a singer with the Music and Arts Chorale Ensemble, performing an opera by Aaron Copland under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. He decided to concentrate on jazz because of the difficulties African American musicians had in finding work in concert music.

Throughout his career he has performed with a wide range of musicians, including a stint of seven years as keyboardist for Blood, Sweat & Tears (beginning in 1972).

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  • romanmoeller

    Amazing!!!!

    31 Aug 2009 Reply
  • TowerFestival

    2009 marks the 50th Anniversary of the original release date of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue. Legendary jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb (the only surviving member from the original recording) leads a contemporary all-star band featuring Wallace Roney (trumpet), Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone), Vincent Herring (alto saxophone), Larry Willis (piano), and Buster Williams (bass.) The group will perform their interpretations of Kind of Blue’s five masterpieces: “So What”, “Freddie Freeloader”, “Blue In Green”, “All Blues”, and “Flamenco Sketches” plus other classics by Davis, John Coltrane, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, and original compositions inspired by this era. Go to www.towerfestival.com for information and tickets

    11 Apr 2009 Reply
  • BillyIdolsHair

    Inner Crisis is crazy.

    30 Jul 2008 Reply

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