Newport Now 60 Band: Anat Cohen, Karrin Allyson, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield, Peter Martin, Larry Grenadier & Clarence Penn
Larry Grenadier was born into a musical family on February 6, 1966 in San Francisco California. His father, Albert, was a trumpet player, and his two brothers, Phil and Steve, would eventually play trumpet and guitar respectively. Larry too began on trumpet when he was 10 years old. His father taught him to read music and gave him his first lessons. In a year, Larry was given an electric bass so that he and his brothers could play together as a band. He took a quick liking to the instrument, playing and practicing constantly. The three brothers performed current rock songs of the day, learning the parts off of records and performing at local dances and parties. Larry's older brother Phil began listening to jazz around this time, and slowly his listening habits filtered down to the younger brothers. Larry soon got hooked on jazz as well and began listening intently to jazz bassists like Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers and Oscar Pettiford.
Hearing these legendary upright bassists inspired Larry to borrow an upright bass and try to emulate what he was hearing on records. By the time he was 12, Larry began formal study of the acoustic bass, studying with local jazz bass players Paul Breslin and Frank Tusa and later classical bassists Michael Burr and Steven Tromontozzi. At 16, Larry had a busy career playing in the San Francisco area with both local musicians and those traveling through town in need of a bass player. Some of these musicians included Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Vuckovich, Eddie Henderson, Bruce Forman, Eddie Marshall, Vince Lateano, George Cables and Donald Bailey. Other visiting musicians Larry played with at this time were Toots Thielmans, Johnny Griffin, Charles McPhersn, Anita O'day, and Frank Morgan. Larry went on to study at Stanford University and graduated in 1989 with a degree in English Literature. At Stanford Larry got to know Stan Getz who was the Artist in Residence at the time. Larry played with Stan often at Stanford, playing locally with the saxophonist as well as touring with Stan's band.
After graduation, Larry moved to Boston to play with Gary Burton. Larry toured all over the world with Gary and his band, which at that time included Donny McCasslin, Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Marty Richards. In 1991, Larry moved to New York and began musical associations with a wide variety of musicians. Some of these included musicians Larry had met during his time in Boston and included talents such as Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jorge Rossy, Mark Turner, and Chris Cheek. Others he met for the first time in New York such as Kevin Hays, Bill Stewart, Renee Rosnes, Ralph Moore, Billy Drummond, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez,Tom Harrell and Billy Hart. Larry continued his association with Joe Henderson touring with his band which at times included Al Foster, Renne Rosnes and Larry Willis. Larry also spent a few months during his earlier years in New York playing in Betty Carter's band.
In the early 1990's, Larry first met and played with pianist Brad Mehldau. Brad's trio that included Larry and Jorge Rossy went on to become one of the major groups of the time. This band allowed Larry the perfect environment in which to grow as a musician. The trio had come together out of mutual empathy and shared musical ideals. They toured constantly throughout the 1990's and recorded many influential records.
Also during this time Larry played in John Scofield's band and with Pat Metheny with whom he spent a few years touring with the guitarist in a trio with drummer Bill Stewart. Other musicians Larry played with included Charles Lloyd, Billy Higgins, Michael Brecker, and Paul Motian.
Currently, Larry finds himself continuing many of these prior musical collaborations. He focuses much of his touring time playing with Brad Mehldau's trio, which, since 2004, has included drummer Jeff Ballard. He is also a part of the collaborative trio FLY which includes drummer Ballard and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. They have recorded two critically acclaimed albums, the latest one being on the ECM label. Together they have built a trio that is unlike any other, where true musical democracy is the goal and boundaries regulated by genre and instrument are obliterated. Larry also tours and records with his wife, singer songwriter Rebecca Martin, with whom he has found a rare personal and musical kinship.
Larry lives with Rebecca and their son Charlie James in the Hudson Valley north of New York City.