Andy LaVerne Biography

4 December 1947, New York City, New York, USA. Playing the piano from an early age, LaVerne studied extensively including periods, sometimes brief, at the Berklee College Of Music, the Juilliard School of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music. After considering other musical forms, in the early 70s he committed to jazz and joined Woody Herman’s big band. He also played and sometimes recorded in jazz, post-bop and jazz rock groups with many musicians including John Abercrombie and Lee Konitz. Already gaining an international reputation, he underscored his presence on the world stage with a spell in the late 70s as a member of Stan Getz’s group. During the following decade he continued to play an eclectic repertoire, working with musicians from all parts of the jazz spectrum.

In the early 90s he became better known as leader of his own small groups, recording with musicians such as Joe Lovano. He also continued his ongoing musical relationship with Abercrombie. In part, LaVerne’s playing is deeply rooted in bop, and his tribute albums to Bud Powell and Tadd Dameron demonstrate how fully he has embraced the form while still managing to retain a large measure of his own post-bop sensibilities. His playing style, while constantly displaying thoughtful undertones, is vigorous and fluently inventive. LaVerne is also a composer of merit, having written material in classic style for Getz and a number of shorter pieces for his own performances.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.