PETE LA ROCA

Post Bop • United States
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Pete La Roca's decision to leave music in 1968 and become an attorney (under his original name of Pete Sims) cut short a productive career. He started his career playing timbales in Latin bands, changing his name to Pete La Roca at the time.

He played drums with Sonny Rollins (1957- early 1959) and had associations with Jackie McLean, Slide Hampton, the John Coltrane Quartet (where he was the original drummer in 1960) and Marian McPartland.

La Roca led his own group (1961-62), was the house drummer at the Jazz Workshop in Boston (1963-64) and worked with Art Farmer (1964-65), Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison, Charles Lloyd (1966), Paul Bley and Steve Kuhn among others.

He led two impressive albums: the classic Blue Note record Basra with Joe Henderson and Bliss, a Douglas session (reissued on Muse) featuring Chick Corea and John Gilmore.

La Roca started playing jazz again in 1979 and has performed on an
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PETE LA ROCA Basra album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Basra
Post Bop 1965
PETE LA ROCA Turkish Women At The Bath album cover 4.02 | 4 ratings
Turkish Women At The Bath
Post Bop 1967
PETE LA ROCA Swingtime (as Pete (LaRoca) Sims) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Swingtime (as Pete (LaRoca) Sims)
Post Bop 1997

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PETE LA ROCA Reviews

PETE LA ROCA Turkish Women At The Bath

Album · 1967 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Pete La Roca was a really interesting musician in the mid 60s, unfortunately, after releasing two strong albums, he left the music business to become an attorney for three decades.

His debut "Basra" (1965) was an excellent advanced hard bop release. On his second album, "Turkish Women at the Bath", he continued his experimentation (after some line-up changes). One newcomer on this album is Sun Ra's sax player John Gilmore, bringing a lot of Ra's freedom and cosmic energy to the sound, but possibly an even more interesting newcomer is the young and still unknown pianist Chick Corea! Corea demonstrates some attractive moments (still not on the level of what he will perform just a few years later) which show his potential as a future piano star.

Some years later Muse label re-released this album as a Chick Corea release called "Bliss!". But it's obvious that this album is La Rock's product first. It's not as great as his debut, but this recording provides valuable evidence of hard bop on the edge of post bop. It's a pity that after this album was released Pete La Rock left the music business - one can only imagine what would have been the sound of his next possible work.

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