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Larry Gales

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Larry Gales was a fine supportive bassist best known for his five years (1964-1969) spent as a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet. He started on bass when he was 11 and in 1956 attended the Manhattan School of Music. Among Gales' key associations before joining Monk were J.C. Heard, the Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis-Johnny Griffin Quintet, Herbie Mann, the Junior Mance Trio, and Joe Williams. He traveled with Monk all over the world and then, after leaving the pianist/composer, settled in Los Angeles and became a local fixture. Gales had further opportunities to work with Joe Williams along with such top players as Erroll Garner, Willie Bobo, Red Rodney, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Benny Carter, Blue Mitchell, Clark Terry, and Kenny Burrell, among many others. Gales recorded through the years with many major musicians; in addition to the groups he was working with, he recorded sessions with Buddy Tate, Bennie Green, Sonny Stitt, Mary Lou Williams, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Criss, and Big Joe Turner, plus many others. In 1990 Larry Gales had his only chance to lead his own recording session, resulting in a Candid CD (A Message from Monk), featuring his own "A Message from the High Priest" plus five Thelonious Monk songs. ~ Scott Yanow

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Birth Name:

Lawrence Bernard Gales


25 March 1936

Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '90s