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Pete La Roca


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Pete La Roca (born Peter Sims; April 7, 1938 – November 20, 2012) was an American jazz drummer. He adopted the name La Roca early in his musical career when he was a timbales player in Latin bands.
Pete La Roca was born in New York City. Between 1957 and 1968 he played with Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Slide Hampton, the John Coltrane Quartet, Marian McPartland, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison, Charles Lloyd, Paul Bley, and Steve Kühn, among others, as well as leading his own group and working as the house drummer at the Jazz Workshop in Boston, Massachusetts. During this period, he twice recorded as leader, firstly on Basra (Blue Note, 1965) and also on Turkish Women at the Bath (Douglas, 1967), also issued as Bliss under pianist Chick Corea’s name on Muse.
In 1968 he left music to become a lawyer, successfully suing when his second album as leader was released under Corea’s name without his consent.
He returned to jazz in 1979, and recorded one new album as a leader, Swingtime (Blue Note, 1997).

Discography, As leader

Basra (Blue Note, 1965)
Turkish Women at the Bath (Douglas, 1967; also released as Bliss! under Chick Corea’s name in 1968)
Swingtime (Blue Note, 1997)

As sideman a.o.

With Jaki Byard
Hi-Fly (New Jazz, 1962)
With Sonny Clark
Sonny Clark Quintets (Blue Note, 1965)
With Johnny Coles
Little Johnny C (Blue Note, 1963)
With Art Farmer
To Sweden with Love (Atlantic, 1964) - with Jim Hall
Sing Me Softly of the Blues (Atlantic, 1965)
With Don Friedman
Circle Waltz (Riverside, 1962)
With Joe Henderson
Page One (Blue Note, 1963)


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