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Jaco’s Right Hand Man, Lawrence David Warrilow, Passes Away

Lawrence “Larry” David Warrilow, a prominent member of the South Florida music scene, died peacefully, at home on Tuesday, May 18. He was 64 years old. Larry’s music career began in the 1960’s while at Florida State University. He gained notoriety with “The Peter Graves Orchestra” as a guitarist and arranger at Joe Namath’s legendary night club, Bachelors III, in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The band had a 5-year run, that included notable musicians, Pat Metheny, Mark Colby, Danny Gottlieb, Mark Egan, Dan & Neal Bonsanti, Whit Sidener, Jerry Coker and Ron Tooley. It was the addition of bassist Jaco Pastorius, pianist Alex Darqui, and drummer Bobby Economou that made a lasting impact. Larry’s collaborations with Jaco, on countless musical projects, gradually developed into a relationship not unlike that of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn where it was often difficult to tell where one began and the other left off.

Over the years, Larry became an accomplished arranger, orchestrator and copyist, working with numerous “pop” stars, including the Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, and Ziggy Marley just to name a few. As a copyist his penmanship is on display at the Rock and Roll hall of fame for the Bee Gee’s “Saturday Night Fever” recordings. In 1984, Larry wrote incidental music for the first episode of Miami Vice. Also in the 80’s, he toured with Grammy award winner Bob James as his sound engineer. In 2003 and 2006 Larry paid tribute to his dear friend, Jaco, with numerous arrangements on two highly acclaimed Jaco Pastorius Big Band recordings for Heads Up, “Word Of Mouth Revisited” and “The Word Is Out”. Larry’s passing has impacted not only the South Florida music scene but nationally as well.

Randy Brecker: “Very sorry to hear that-those were some amazing charts. He’s a part of jazz history now-we all know how great those charts are, they sound like they were written yesterday.”

Mark Egan: “So sorry to get the bad news about Larry. What a great loss. Nicest of cats.”

Peter Erskine: “Terrible news! Odd timing to hear this as I am just leaving the hotel here in Budapest for a concert of Jaco’s music at the Béla Bartók Hall in the Palace of Fine Arts… will dedicate this evening’s performance to the memories of Jaco and Larry.”

Randy Bernsen: “For 35 years I would know him as a friend and musical mentor extraordinaire. If I had a nickel for every note, musical idea, arrangement consideration and encouraging words that that man gave… I’d be taking up residence at the Taj Mahal.”

Ed Calle: “Oh my God no. I am crushed. He was a great friend and one of my heroes. His knowledge of music was as inspiring as it was liberating.”

Peter Graves: “It’s a huge loss for me personally; it’s still hard to breathe. We have been close friends and colleagues for well over 50 years; having grown up on the same street in Miami. He has worked with me on virtually every music project I’ve been involved in during my career. When Jaco Pastorius joined my band in the early 70’s, Larry and Jaco formed a bond that will last forever in the jazz world with the music they left behind. I have often referred to that bond as being similar to the Duke Ellington – Billy Strayhorn collaboration. He’ll be missed on so many levels. RIP Brother Larry.”

For more about Larry, please click on this link to his Enhanced Obituary:

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