Larry Bunker was an extremely talented, yet very private, renowned jazz drummer and studio musician. Larry was also an accomplished and master vibist, percussionist, timpanist, and pianist as well.

You may not know Larry’s name, but you will for sure know some of the many film/tv scores and soundtracks that he performed on, which includes Stalag 17, Bullitt, Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, Mission Impossible (tv), Kelly’s Heros and The Incredibles. Larry was a highly sought after studio musician for film and tv, he worked with a number of leading film composers, including Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Alfred Newman, Miklos Rosza, Jerry Goldsmith, Johnny Mandel and John Williams.

As a jazz drummer and performer, Larry is most famous for performing with the Bill Evans Trio, but is also well known for performing drums with Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, Clare Fischer, Bud Shank, Lalo Schifrin, Zoot Sims, Howard Roberts, and Michael Franks.

Larry joined the Bill Evans Trio in 1963 along with Chuck Israels, for one of the pianist’s better trios. In an interview with Down Beat magazine in 1964, Evans called Bunker a “marvelous musician.” “He plays excellent vibes as well as being an all round percussionist, and being so musical he just does the right thing because he’s listening,” Evans said. “He really knows music, feels music, and is a superlative drummer.”

Between 1952 and 2002 Larry performed on an amazing 469 studio recordings, on drums, vibraphone, percussion, and piano, as well as many more other recordings which he is uncredited for.

In later life Larry became an accomplished timpanist, playing regularly for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performing at more than 30 Academy Awards ceremonies, including the 77th in February 2005.



© 2018 Larry Bunker