Bob Florence

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Bob Florence
Born (1932-05-20)May 20, 1932
Los Angeles, California, United States
Died May 15, 2008(2008-05-15) (aged 75)
Los Angeles, California
United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, arranger
Instruments Piano

Bob Florence (May 20, 1932 – May 15, 2008) was an American jazz arranger and pianist.


Florence began taking piano lessons at five and initially intended to be a concert pianist. His direction changed when he was exposed to jazz at Los Angeles City College.

At the beginning of his career, Florence worked as a pianist and arranger with Dave Pell. He founded his first band in the late 1950s, working with, amongst others, Herb Geller, Bud Shank, Frank Capp and Bob Enevoldsen. Florence later participated in big band projects in the Los Angeles area, working mainly with session musicians and as an accompanist to various singers. Throughout his career, Florence worked as an arranger for Harry James, Louie Bellson, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Count Basie and Doc Severinsen.

In 2000, Florence won the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. He died of pneumonia, at the age of 75, in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Florence took time in his later years to pass on his knowledge at summer jazz camps such as Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington. He'd teach master classes, arranging, do live performances with other masters such as acclaimed trombonist Jiggs Whigham and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, and rehearse combos and big bands filled with young players who would normally not have the opportunity to be taught and inspired by someone with the credentials and experience that Florence had.

Selected discography[edit]

  • Meet The Bob Florence Trio (Era, 1956)
  • Name Band- 1959 (Fresh Sound, 1958) with Herb Geller and Bob Enevoldsen
  • Here and Now (Liberty Records/Fresh Sound, 1964) with Bud Shank and Frank Capp
  • Live at Concerts By The Sea (Trend, 1980)
  • Westlake (Discovery, 1981)
  • Soaring (Sea Breeze, 1982)
  • Magic Time (Trend, 1983)
  • Trashcan City (Discovery, 1986)
  • The Norwegian Radio Big Band meets Bob Florence (Odin, 1986)
  • State of the Art (USA Music Group, 1988)
  • Funupsmanship (MAMA, 1992)
  • Earth (MAMA, 1996)
  • Serendipity (MAMA, 1998)
  • Another Side (MAMA, 2002)
  • Whatever Bubbles Up (Summit Records, 2003)
  • Friends, Treasures, Heroes (Summit Records, 2005)
  • You Will Be My Music (MAMA, 2007)
  • Legendary (MAMA, 2009)

As Arranger/Conductor[edit]

With Count Basie

With Louie Bellson

With Joe Pass

With Bud Shank

As Sideman[edit]

With Bud Shank

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Bob Florence at AllMusic