Larry Dubin

Larry (Lawrence Jacob) Dubin. Drummer, b New York 4 Feb 1931, d Toronto 25 Apr 1978. His father, Maurice, played violin briefly in Eugène Chartier's Montreal Philharmonic after moving from Russia to Canada in 1924 and was a member 1958-78 of the Kingston Symphony.

Dubin, Larry

Larry (Lawrence Jacob) Dubin. Drummer, b New York 4 Feb 1931, d Toronto 25 Apr 1978. His father, Maurice, played violin briefly in Eugène Chartier's Montreal Philharmonic after moving from Russia to Canada in 1924 and was a member 1958-78 of the Kingston Symphony. Larry Dubin began drumming professionally in Toronto during the early 1950s, initially in lounge and modern jazz groups and then, as of 1960, with dixieland bands - eg, with Mike White's Imperial Jazz Band and with his own Big Muddys, the latter working 1963-6 and in 1968 at the Last Chance Saloon, Ports of Call.

In the mid-1970s Dubin turned exclusively to free improvisation, playing in a unique melodic style which he had begun to develop in the early 1960s. He was a founding member of the CCMC in 1974 and also played with the Artists' Jazz Band and groups led by Stuart Broomer, Bill Smith, and others. At his death (of leukemia) he was regarded as a true original among Canada's 'free jazz' musicians. Michael Snow, with whom Dubin played in the Imperial Jazz Band, in Snow's quartet, and in the CCMC, wrote: 'Larry Dubin produces the most subtle range of qualities of any drummer I have heard: sprays, splashes, bursts, rustlings, flutterings, roars. His playing is orchestral... had he emerged in New York he probably would be influential' (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1 Apr 1978).


Further Reading

  • Snow, Michael. 'Larry Dubin's music,' Impulse, vol 7, no. 1 1978

    Miller, Mark. 'Larry Dubin: either you play or you don't,' Coda, 166, Apr-May 1979

    Jazz in Canada