Larry Grenadier

Larry Grenadier

Larry Grenadier (born February 6, 1966 in San Francisco, California) is a jazz double bassist known for playing with an exceptionally fat tone.

His father, Albert, was a trumpet player, and his two brothers, Phil and Steve, would eventually play trumpet and guitar respectively. Grenadier too began on trumpet when he was 10 years old. His father taught him to read music and gave him his first lessons. A year afterward, when Larry Grenadier was eleven, he was given an electric bass guitar 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 at parties by learning the parts off of records. Larry’s older brother Phil began listening to jazz around this time, and slowly his listening habits filtered down to the younger brothers. Grenadier soon got hooked on jazz as well and began listening intently to jazz bassists like Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware and Oscar Pettiford.

Hearing legendary upright bassists inspired Grenadier to borrow an upright bass and try to emulate what he was hearing on records. By the time he was 12, Grenadier 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, Grenadier 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 Harvey Wainapel, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Larry Vuckovitch, Eddie Henderson, Bruce Forman, Eddie Marshall, Vince Lateano, George Cables and Donald Bailey. Other visiting musicians Grenadier played with at this time were Toots Thielmans, Johnny Griffin, Charles McPherson, Anita O'Day, and Frank Morgan. Grenadier went on to study at Stanford University and graduated in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English Literature. At Stanford, Grenadier got to know Stan Getz, who was the Artist in residence there at the time. He played with Getz often, as well as touring with Getz's band.