|Tags:||jazz jazz piano funk piano jazz-funk jazz fusion 70s|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
Lawrence Elliott Willis, 20 December 1942, New York City, New York, USA. Although destined to become a pianist of note, Willis also studied singing. His studies took him to the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music. In the early 60s he began a decade long round of playing under leaders such as Jackie McLean, Hugh Masekela, Kai Winding and Stan Getz. During the 70s he worked with Cannonball Adderley, Blood, Sweat And Tears, Ryo Kawasaki, Sonny Fortune among others. In the following decade he led his own groups but also continued playing in bands led by jazzmen such as David Fathead Newman, Nat Adderley, Branford Marsalis, Woody Shaw, the Carla Bley - Steve Swallow group, and Jerry Gonzalezs Fort Apache Band. In the 90s he was with Roy Hargrove and worked as music director for Mapleshade Records. In addition to performing, Willis has also been quietly developing his talent as a composer. A gifted post-bop player, Willis is...