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Joe La Barbera


Joe LaBarbera is best-known for being part of Bill Evans' last trio (1978-80) along with bassist Marc Johnson but he has remained greatly in-demand up to the present time. The younger brother of tenor saxophonist Pat LaBarbera and arranger-trumpeter John LaBarbera, Joe was originally taught drums by his father Joseph LaBarbera before studying with Alan Dawson during his period at Berklee (1966-68). Labarbera toured with singer Frankie Randall, spent two years in the Army, toured with Woody Herman's Big Band and then was with Chuck Mangione's very popular band (1973-77). After a period freelancing in New York, LaBarbera toured the world with Bill Evans, making many recordings as part of one of the pianist's finest groups. The drummer's tasteful and stimulating playing inspired both Evans and Johnson. After the pianist's death, LaBarbera toured with Tony Bennett and then settled in Los Angeles.
During the 1980's and 90's he worked steadily in a countless number of situations, becoming a fixture in Los Angeles area clubs and occasionally leading his own quintet. Joe LaBarbera has appeared on scores of recordings where his subtle yet swinging style uplifts every session. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

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