Larry Bunker

born on 4/11/1928 in Long Beach, CA, United States

died on 8/3/2005 in Los Angeles, CA, United States

Larry Bunker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Lawrence Benjamin Bunker (November 4, 1928 – March 8, 2005) was an American jazz drummer, vibraphonist, and percussionist. A member of the Bill Evans Trio in the mid-1960s, he also played timpani with the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.


Born in Long Beach, California, Bunker was a central figure on the West Coast jazz scene, one of the relatively few who actually were from the region. In the 1950s and 1960s he appeared at Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, and performed with Shorty Rogers and His Giants and others. At first he played primarily drums, but increasingly he focused on vibraphone and was later highly regarded for his playing of timpani and various percussion instruments.

A dependable and in-demand studio drummer and vibist, Bunker achieved particular distinction by recording with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Diana Krall, and many other jazz greats. In 1952, he was the drummer in one of Art Pepper's first groups. In 1953 and 1954, Bunker played drums in some of the earliest of Gerry Mulligan's groups. From 1963 to 1965, he was, intermittently, the drummer in the Bill Evans trio. His work in movie soundtracks spanned over fifty years, from Stalag 17 (1953) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) to The Incredibles (2004), and included soundtracks by John Williams, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Miklós Rózsa, Jerry Goldsmith, Johnny Mandel, Lalo Schifrin and many other composers.

Bunker died of complications of a stroke in Los Angeles at age 76.[1]


As Leader

  • Live at Shelly's Manne-Hole - as The Larry Bunker Quartette featuring Gary Burton (1966 [1990])

With Chet Baker

  • West Coast Live - with Stan Getz (1953-54 [1997])
  • Chet Baker Quartet featuring Russ Freeman (Pacific Jazz, 1953)
  • Pretty/Groovy (World Pacific, 1953 [1958])

With Gary Burton

  • Something's Coming! (RCA, 1963)
  • The Time Machine (RCA, 1966)

With Buddy Collette

  • Man of Many Parts (Contemporary, 1956)

With Bill Evans

  • Time Remembered (Milestone, 1963)
  • At Shelly's Manne-Hole (Riverside, 1963)
  • The Bill Evans Trio "Live" (Verve, 1964)
  • Waltz for Debby (Philips, 1964)
  • Trio '65 (Verve, 1965)
  • Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra (Verve, 1965)

With Clare Fischer

  • Surging Ahead (Pacific Jazz, 1963)
  • Extension (Pacific Jazz, 1963)
  • Thesaurus (Atlantic, 1969)

With Stan Getz

  • Children of the World (Columbia, 1979)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • The New Continent (Limelight, 1962)

With Woody Herman

  • Songs for Hip Lovers (Verve, 1957)

With Paul Horn

  • House of Horn (Dot, 1957)
  • Plenty of Horn (Dot, 1958)
  • Impressions of Cleopatra (Columbia, 1963)
  • Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts (RCA Victor, 1965) with Lalo Schifrin

With Plas Johnson

  • This Must Be the Plas (Capitol, 1959)

With Stan Kenton

  • Lush Interlude (Capitol, 1958)
  • A Merry Christmas! (Capitol, 1961)
  • Artistry in Bossa Nova (Capitol, 1963)
  • Artistry in Voices and Brass (Capitol, 1963)
  • Stan Kenton Plays for Today (Capitol, 1966)

With Diana Krall

  • When I Look in Your Eyes (Verve, 1999)

With Johnny Mandel

  • I Want to Live (United Artists, 1958)

With Shelly Manne

  • Daktari (Atlantic, 1967)

With Carmen McRae

  • It Takes a Whole Lot of Human Feeling (Groove Merchant, 1973)
  • Can't Hide Love (Blue Note, 1976)

With Gerry Mulligan

  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet Volume 1 (Pacific Jazz, 1952)
  • Lee Konitz Plays with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Pacific Jazz, 1953 [1957]) with Lee Konitz
  • Gene Norman Presents the Original Gerry Mulligan Tentet and Quartet (GNP, 1953 [1997])
  • California Concerts (Pacific Jazz, 1955)

With Oliver Nelson

With Art Pepper

  • Surf Ride (Savoy, 1952-1954 [1956])

With Shorty Rogers

  • Wherever the Five Winds Blow (RCA Victor, 1956 [1957])
  • Gigi in Jazz (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • Jazz Waltz (Reprise, 1962)

With Pete Rugolo

  • Music for Hi-Fi Bugs (EmArcy, 1956)
  • An Adventure in Sound: Brass in Hi-Fi (Mercury 1956 [1958])
  • Percussion at Work (EmArcy, 1957)
  • The Music from Richard Diamond (EmArcy, 1959)
  • Behind Brigitte Bardot (Warner Bros., 1960)
  • The Original Music of Thriller (Time, 1961)
  • Ten Trumpets and 2 Guitars (Mercury, 1961)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • More Mission: Impossible (Paramount, 1968)
  • Mannix (Paramount, 1968)
  • Bullitt (Warner Bros., 1968)
  • Che! (Tetragrammaton, 1969)
  • Kelly's Heroes (MGM, 1970)
  • Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
  • Enter the Dragon (Warner Bros., 1973)

With Bud Shank

  • Strings & Trombones (Pacific Jazz, 1955) with Bob Brookmeyer
  • I'll Take Romance (World Pacific, 1958)
  • Bossa Nova Jazz Samba (Pacific Jazz, 1962) with Clare Fischer
  • Brasamba! (Pacific Jazz, 1963) with Clare Fischer and Joe Pass
  • Bud Shank & the Sax Section (Pacific Jazz, 1966)

With Lew Tabackin

With Tom Waits

  • One from the Heart (CBS, 1982)


  1. ^ Thurber, Jon (17 March 2005). "Larry Bunker, 76; Respected Drummer". Los Angeles Times.


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