Larry Goldings

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Larry Goldings
Lgoldings1 web.jpg
Photo by Lourdes Delgado
Background information
Birth name Lawrence Sam Goldings
Born 1968 (age 48–49)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres Jazz, folk, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano, organ
Labels Warner Bros., ECM, Verve, Palmetto
Associated acts Trio Beyond

Larry Goldings (born 1968) is an American jazz pianist, organist, and composer.

Life and career[edit]

Goldings was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a classical music enthusiast, and Larry studied classical piano until the age of twelve. While in high school at Concord Academy, he attended a program at the Eastman School of Music. During this period Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Dave McKenna, Red Garland, and Bill Evans were prime influences. As a young teenager, Larry studied privately with Ran Blake and Keith Jarrett.

Goldings moved to New York in 1986 to attend a newly formed jazz program under the leadership of Arnie Lawrence at The New School. During college he studied piano with Jaki Byard and Fred Hersch. While still a freshman, Roland Hanna invited Larry to accompany him to a three-day private jazz party in Copenhagen. While there, Goldings met jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan, and Hank Jones; and he also played piano in a band with Vaughan, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and Al Cohn. While still a college student, he embarked on a worldwide tour with Jon Hendricks and worked with him for a year. A collaboration lasting almost three years with jazz guitarist Jim Hall followed.[1]

In 1988, Goldings began his development as an organist during a regular gig at a pianoless bar called Augie's Jazz Bar (now Smoke) on New York's Upper West Side. He was featured with several bands, and his own trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart got its start there. His first release was Intimacy of the Blues in 1991.

Over the course of his career, his distinctive keyboard sound has been sought out by pop, R&B, Brazilian, and alternative artists, including De La Soul, India.Arie, Tracy Chapman, Madeleine Peyroux, Luciana Souza, Melody Gardot, Walter Becker, Robben Ford, Steve Gadd, Leon Russell, Rickie Lee Jones, Till Brönner, Priscilla Ahn, Jesse Harris, Sia, John Mayer, Lazlo Bane and Norah Jones.

Record producers he has worked with include: Russ Titelman, Larry Klein, Steve Jordan, Tommy LiPuma, Larry Williams, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Chad Fischer and T Bone Burnett.

He has collaborated with musicians such as Maceo Parker, John Scofield, Carla Bley, Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny, John Pizzarelli, Jack DeJohnette, Jim Keltner, and Charlie Haden, in genres including jazz, Brazilian, funk, and pop music as pianist (since 2001) for singer-songwriter, James Taylor.

In 2007, Larry Goldings, Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield, received a Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group for their live album, Trio Beyond - Saudades (ECM).

Style and influences[edit]

Goldings' melodic style of organ playing has often been compared to that of Larry Young. On organ, Goldings cites as his first inspirations the solo piano style of Dave McKenna "who walks his own bass lines better than anyone" and Billy Preston accompanying Aretha Franklin on "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Other musical influences cited by Goldings include the Wes Montgomery records featuring Mel Rhyne and Jimmy Smith; Shirley Scott; Chester Thompson; Joe Zawinul; and Jack McDuff.


Goldings' compositions have been recorded by Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Dorough, Jim Hall, John Scofield, Toots Thielemans, Curtis Stigers, Jane Monheit, and Sia Furler, among others. His songs and arrangements also appear in the films Space Cowboys, Proof, and Funny People. Goldings is a featured performer in the 2009 Clint Eastwood documentary, The Dream's on Me, playing original arrangements of several classic Johnny Mercer tunes on piano and Hammond organ. Goldings' musical arrangements and original songs also appear on several James Taylor albums, including October Road, James Taylor at Christmas, One Man Band, and Covers.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Best Jazz Album of the Year, The New Yorker magazine , Big Stuff (1996), Awareness (1997)
  • Organist/Keyboardist of the Year, Jazz Journalists Association, 2000, 2001
  • Grammy Award nomination, Best Jazz Album of the Year, 2007

Selected discography[edit]

  • Intimacy of the Blues, (Verve, 1991)
  • Light Blue, (Minor Music, 1992)
  • Caminhos Cruzados, (Novus/BMG, 1994)
  • Whatever It Takes, (Warner Bros., 1995)
  • Big Stuff, (Warner Bros., 1996)
  • Awareness, (Warner Bros., June 17, 1997)
  • Moonbird, (Palmetto, 1999)
  • Voodoo Dogs, (Palmetto, 2000)
  • As One 2001, (Palmetto, 2000)
  • Sweet Science, (Palmetto, 2002)
  • Quartet, (Palmetto, 2006)
  • Saudades, by Trio Beyond (ECM, 2006)
  • Long Story Short, (Sticky Mack, 2007)
  • The Carriage House Sessions, (Sweet Song, 2009)
  • When Larry Met Harry, (Café Society, 2010)
  • In My Room, (BFM Jazz, 2011)
  • Ramshackle Serenade, (Pirouet, 2014)

Selected sideman discography[edit]

  • Before This World, 2015, James Taylor (Accordion, Fender Rhodes, Harmonium, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer)
  • Currency of Man, 2015, Melody Gardot (Organ)
  • Midnight McCartney, 2015, John Pizzarelli (Arranger, Organ, Piano)
  • Next Year People, 2015, Colin Hay (Piano)
  • No Wrong No Right, 2015, Jesse Harris (Organ)
  • Annie 2014 [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], 2014, (Hammond B3, Piano)
  • Bad Poetry, 2014, Rebecca Pidgeon (Organ)
  • It's the Girls, 2014, Bette Midler (Hammond B3 Organ)
  • Louder, 2014, Lea Michele (Piano, Composer)
  • Keep Me in Your Heart for Awhile: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux, 2014, Madeleine Peyroux (Celeste, Hammond B3 Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano)
  • Life Journey, 2014, Leon Russell (Hammond B3 Organ)
  • Silver Linings, 2014, Milow (Celeste, Chimes, Engineer, Hammond B3, Marimba, Melodica, Orchestral Bells, Piano, Producer, Vibraphone)
  • Smokey & Friends, 2014, Smokey Robinson (Organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Song Reader, 2014, Beck (Piano)
  • Sunset, 2014, Jim Oblon (Featured Artist)
  • Gattitude, 2014, Steve Gadd (Composer, Piano, Hammond B3 Organ, Keyboards)
  • Didn't It Rain, 2014, Hugh Laurie (Piano, Hammond B3 Organ)
  • Joged Kahyangan, 2013, Dewa Budjana (Piano, Hammond Organ)
  • Bringing It Back Home, 2013, Robben Ford (Hammond Organ)
  • How I Knew Her, 2013, Nataly Dawn (Piano)
  • The Heart of the Matter, 2013, Jane Monheit (Composer, Piano)
  • The Mystery of You, 2013, Spencer Day (Composer, Arranger, Piano)
  • Till Brönner, 2013, Till Brönner (Composer, Keyboards)
  • The Blue Room, 2013, Madeleine Peyroux (Hammond Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano)
  • Blossom, 2012, Amanda Brecker (Celeste, Fender Rhodes, Glockenspiel, Hammond B3, Piano, Wurlitzer)
  • Blossom & Bee, 2012, Sara Gazarek (Album Producer, Composer, Arranger, Melodica, Organ, Piano)
  • Casey Abrams, 2012, Casey Abrams (Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Continuum/Heavier Things, 2012, John Mayer (Keyboards, Organ)
  • Let's Go Out Tonight, 2012, Curtis Stigers (Organ, Piano)
  • Double Exposure, 2012, John Pizzarelli (Organ)
  • Look Out Now, 2012, The Gaddabouts (Organ, Piano, Accordion, Keyboards)
  • Organic Instrumentals, 2012, The Michael Landau Group (organ)
  • Clocked, 2012, Noam Weinstein (piano, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, Suzuki Andes)
  • A Moment's Peace, 2011, John Scofield (piano and organ)
  • Illustrated Songs, 2011, Gaby Moreno (piano, organ, celeste, keyboards, composer)
  • Alela Diane & Wild Divine, 2011, Alela Diane (accordion, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Ray Charles Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters, 2010 (piano, organ)
  • Fly Me to the Moon...The Great American Songbook Vol 5, 2010, Rod Stewart (piano, synthesizer)
  • At the End of the Day, 2010, Till Brönner (Hammond B3 organ)
  • Scenes from a Dream, 2010, Chris Minh Doky, Larry Goldings, Peter Erskine with Vince Mendoza and the Metropole Orkest (piano)
  • Home, 2010, Jane Monheit (piano, composer)
  • The Distance Between Two Truths, 2010, Mark Sholtez (piano, composer)
  • 6 String Theory, 2010, Lee Ritenour (organ, clavinet, Fender Rhodes)
  • Nikki, 2010, Nikki Yanofsky (organ, piano, glockenspiel)
  • Bionic, 2010, Christina Aguilera (piano)
  • The Imagine Project, 2010, Herbie Hancock (organ)
  • Canyon Cove, 2010, Bob Mintzer (organ, composer)
  • vosotros presents: Rhoda, 2010, Rhoda (celeste)
  • Other Covers, 2009 James Taylor (piano, organ, pump organ, accordion)
  • Bare Bones, 2009, Madeleine Peyroux (Hammond organ, pump organ)
  • Alas y Raices, 2009, Eros Ramazzotti (piano, electric piano, organ)
  • Last Kiss, 2009, Zachary Richard (piano, Hammond organ)
  • Tide, 2009, Luciana Souza (organ, piano, accordion, pump organ, Fender Rhodes piano)
  • My One and Only Thrill, 2009, Melody Gardot (Hammond organ)
  • Jack of Hearts, 2009, Anthony Wilson (organ, celeste, composer)
  • Our Bright Future, 2008, Tracy Chapman (piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Some People Have Real Problems, 2008, Sia (keyboards)
  • Incandescence, 2008, Bill Stewart (Hammond organ, accordion)
  • Covers, 2008, James Taylor (piano, organ, cello arrangement)
  • Stones World: The Rolling Stones Project, 2008, Tim Ries (organ)
  • Thirteens, 2008, Leona Naess (keyboards)
  • Like a Fire, 2008, Solomon Burke (piano)
  • Circus Money, 2008, Walter Becker (organ)
  • Christmas, 2008, Al Jarreau (organ)
  • Good Day, 2008, Priscilla Ahn (piano, organ)
  • Cannon Reloaded: An All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley, 2008, Tom Scott (organ)
  • Behind the Velvet Curtain, 2008, Rebecca Pidgeon (Wurlitzer)
  • One Man Band, 2007, James Taylor (piano, organ, harmonium, synthesizer, keyboards)
  • Real Emotional, 2007, Curtis Stigers (producer, composer, arranger, piano, organ, keyboards)
  • Are You Lookin' At Me?, 2007, Colin Hay (piano, organ)
  • Sitting in Limbo, 2007, Jessica Molaskey (piano, organ, arranger)
  • Not Too Late, 2007, Norah Jones, (organ, Hammond organ)
  • Truth, 2007, Robben Ford, (Hammond organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Continuum, 2006, John Mayer (organ, keyboards)
  • James Taylor at Christmas, 2006, (arranger, piano, organ, melodica, harmonium)
  • Oceana, 2006, Till Brönner (composer, piano, Hammond B3 organ, electric piano, Wurlitzer)
  • Mineral, 2006, Jesse Harris (piano, organ, Wurlitzer, accordion, vibraphone, Kalimba)
  • Half the Perfect World, 2006, Madeleine Peyroux (celeste, Wurlitzer, soloist)
  • That's What I Say: John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles, 2005, (arranger, Hammond organ, vibraphone, Wurlitzer)
  • Knowing You, 2005, John Pizzarelli (arranger, piano, organ)
  • Closer, 2005, David Sanborn (piano, organ)
  • Way It Really Is, 2004, Lisa Loeb (piano)
  • Chiara Civello, 2004, Chiara Civello (Hammond organ)
  • Careless Love, 2004, Madeleine Peyroux (piano, celeste, Hammond organ, pump organ, Wurlitzer)
  • Colour the Small One, 2004, Sia (piano, composer)
  • You Inspire Me, 2003, Curtis Stigers (producer, arranger, piano, organ)
  • October Road, 2002, James Taylor (piano)
  • Pentimento, 2002, Jessica Molaskey (piano, arranger)
  • Four Songs, 2002, Alexi Murdoch (piano, organ)
  • Play It Cool, 2001, Lea DeLaria (bass, piano, arranger)
  • Acoustic Soul, 2001, India.Arie (organ, Wurlitzer, string contractor)
  • AOI: Bionix. 2001, DeLaSoul (organ)
  • Arts and Crafts, 2001, Matt Wilson (piano)
  • Christmas in Swingtime, 2001, Harry Allen (organ)
  • Buttermilk Channel, 2001, Adam Levy (organ)
  • 4 x 4, 2000, Carla Bley (organ)
  • The Still of the Night, 2000, Tom Wopat (arranger, piano)
  • Time is of the Essence, 1999, Michael Brecker (composer, piano, organ)
  • Minh, 1998, Chris Minh Doky (piano)
  • Earth Tones, 1998, Peter Bernstein (organ)
  • Warner Jazz Christmas Party, 1997, compilation featuring the Warner Jazz Artists (Joshua Redman, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Michael Franks,
    Gabriela Anders, Larry Goldings, Boney James, Kevin Mahogany, Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Bob James)(Hammond organ)
  • Warner Jams 2: The Two Tenors with Larry Goldings, 1997, James Moody and Mark Turner (piano, arranger)
  • Kevin Mahogany, 1996, Kevin Mahogany (arranger, piano, organ)
  • Young At Heart, 1996, James Moody (piano)
  • Groove Elation, 1995, John Scofield (piano, organ)
  • Pure (Concord Records), 1994, Chris Potter (piano, organ)
  • Hue and Cry, 1993, Bobby Previte (organ)
  • Hand Jive, 1993, John Scofield (piano, organ)
  • Something Special, 1993, Jim Hall (piano)
  • Six Pack, 1992, Gary Burton & Friends (organ, keyboards)
  • Life on Planet Groove, 1992, Maceo Parker (organ)
  • Mo' Roots, 1991, Maceo Parker (organ)
  • Subsequently, 1991, Jim Hall (piano)
  • Freddie Freeloader, 1990, Jon Hendricks & Friends (piano)
  • On Course, 1990, Christopher Hollyday (piano)
  • Best of John Scofield, 1989, John Scofield (organ)

Selected film and TV credits[edit]

  • 2009 The Dream's on Me (featured in film and on soundtrack)
  • 2009 Funny People (featuring "Tuscany" (originally titled "Dario and Bario"), an original composition)
  • 2008 Bernard and Doris (HBO) (performs on soundtrack)
  • 2008 The Office (NBC)
  • 2005 Proof (featuring "Uganda," an original composition)
  • 2000 Space Cowboys (performing several arrangements of jazz standards)


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Larry Goldings: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  2. ^ Larry Goldings - official website

External links[edit]