|Birth name||Lawrence Benjamin Bunker|
November 4, 1928|
Long Beach, California
|Died||March 8, 2005
Los Angeles, California
Lawrence Benjamin "Larry" Bunker (November 4, 1928 – March 8, 2005) was an American jazz drummer, vibraphonist, and percussionist. A member of the Bill Evans Trio in the mid-1960s, he also played timpani with the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.
Born in Long Beach, California, Bunker was a central figure on the West Coast jazz scene, one of the relatively few who actually were from the region. In the 1950s and 1960s he appeared at Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, and performed with Shorty Rogers and His Giants and others. At first he played primarily drums, but increasingly he focused on vibraphone and was later highly regarded for his playing of timpani and various percussion instruments.
A dependable and in-demand studio drummer and vibist, Bunker achieved particular distinction by recording with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Diana Krall, and many other jazz greats. In 1952, he was the drummer in one of Art Pepper's first groups. In 1953 and 1954, Bunker played drums in some of the earliest of Gerry Mulligan's groups. From 1963 to 1965, he was, intermittently, the drummer in the Bill Evans trio. His work in movie soundtracks spanned over fifty years, from "Stalag 17" (1953) to "The Incredibles" (2004), and included soundtracks by John Williams, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Miklós Rózsa, Jerry Goldsmith, Johnny Mandel, Lalo Schifrin and many other composers.
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With Chet Baker
- West Coast Live - with Stan Getz (1953-54 )
- Chet Baker Quartet featuring Russ Freeman (Pacific Jazz, 1953)
- Pretty/Groovy (World Pacific, 1953 )
With Gary Burton
With Bill Evans
- Time Remembered (Milestone, 1963)
- At Shelly's Manne-Hole (Riverside, 1963)
- Trio Live (Verve, 1964)
- Waltz for Debby (Philips, 1964)
- Trio '65 (Verve, 1965)
- Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra (Verve, 1965)
With Clare Fischer
With Dizzy Gillespie
- The New Continent (Limelight, 1962)
With Diana Krall
- When I Look in Your Eyes (Verve, 1999)
With Oliver Nelson
With Lalo Schifrin
- More Mission: Impossible (Paramount, 1968)
- Mannix (Paramount, 1968)
- Bullitt (Warner Bros., 1968)
- Che! (Tetragrammaton, 1969)
- Kelly's Heroes (MGM, 1970)
- Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
- Enter the Dragon (Warner Bros., 1973)
With Tom Waits
- One from the Heart (CBS, 1982)
- Feather, Leonard (1960). The Encyclopedia of Jazz. Horizon Press.
- Gordon, Robert (1986). Jazz West Coast: The Los Angeles Jazz Scene of the 1950s. Quartet Books.
- Todd S. Jenkins, "The Last Post"
- Larry Bunker at AllMusic
- Larry Bunker discography at Discogs
- Larry Bunker at the Internet Movie Database
- Larry Bunker at Find a Grave