Elliot Lawrence Biography

Elliot Lawrence Broza, 14 February 1925, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. A precociously talented pianist, at the age of four Lawrence participated in his father’s children’s shows on the radio and in his teens he led an orchestra of children for a local broadcast. He continued to be active in music during his university days, and his early professional work was in dance bands and with radio orchestras, some of which he led himself. Lawrence wrote many arrangements for his own bands, accommodating, but without wholly embracing, contemporary shifts in jazz. He also used arrangements by other young men who were testing the boundaries of big band music, notably Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn and Tiny Kahn. As times became harder for big bands, Lawrence eventually abandoned his full-time band leading career, but occasionally re-formed the group for special engagements and record dates. On such sessions his choice of musicians reflected his determination to look ahead, and soloists included Cohn, Red Rodney, Zoot Sims and Urbie Green. Subsequently, Lawrence’s career took him into television and theatrical work.

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

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