LAWRENCE DAVID WARRILOW

Obituary
  • "This is still so painful.After listening to what Chris said..."
    - Debbie Spring
  • "Larry simply enjoyed life--and people. It wasn't about how..."
    - Mike Katz
  • "A kind and talented human being.That is you Larry.I will..."
    - Alex Darqui
  • "A kinder, more selfless human being I have never met...."
    - John Kricker
  • "i met Larry when I was 11.He was like a father to me.Nearly..."
    - Chris"The Mantis" Sorgi

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 was born on June 24, 1945 in Fort Lauderdale to David & Mildred Warrilow, and loved by his step-mother Louise Warrilow of San Antonio, TX. Larry is survived by his siblings Steve Warrilow of Dresden, TN, Dave Warrilow of Hawthorne, FL, Sue Warrilow Rifenburg of Lawrenceville, GA, John Warrilow of Houston, TX, and ex-wife Helen Stephens of Miami, FL. In 1946, the family moved to Michigan where his siblings were born. Larry's quest for knowledge started early on. While in junior high, he would get up at 5am and take college science courses on television. In 1959 the Warrilow family moved back to Miami, and this is where Larry and Peter Graves first met and became friends. Larry's life-long love of golf started here when he and his brother Steve would hit golf balls out of their backyard into the vacant fields surrounding their neighborhood. There were also many games of street football between Larry and his younger brothers and Peter and his younger twin brothers Dana and Barry. While attending Norland High, being a prankster, he and his brother managed to switch the "boys" and "girls" signs on all of the bathrooms at school, almost getting expelled! From 1963-1965, Larry studied physics at FSU, and was one semester shy of completing his degree. It was also here that his interest in music started to blossom and during the summer he was working in the Poconos waiting on tables by day and playing guitar on gigs at night. During this same time, he was offered a scholarship to the Naval Academy, was accepted, only to be rejected for being color-blind! Shortly thereafter, he was drafted, but chose to join the U.S. Air Force instead, serving from 1966 to 1968. Starting in 1969, Larry played with various bands in south Florida including those with Al & Sol Varon in Miami, then with Peter Graves and stints at the Newport Hotel in Sunny Isles as the house band "Gangplank". This band evolved into "Nantucket Sound" and had an extended run at the Vanguard in Coral Gables. The band included many notable south Florida musicians that went on to successful music careers as Joe Galdo, Ken Faulk and Dana Paul. All during this time Larry expressed an intense desire to learn more about composing and arranging, and took what knowledge the band members shared and literally taught himself through the study of classical and jazz scores and recordings...and a liberal dose of trial and error. From "Nantucket Sound", the nucleus of the band evolved into "The Peter Graves Orchestra" when offered the gig in the early 70's as house band at Joe Namath's Bachelors III in Fort Lauderdale. This 5-year engagement turned into one of those "magical mystery tours". Some of the musicians that came through that band included such notables as Jerry Coker, Pat Metheny, Whit Sidener, Mark Colby, Danny Gottlieb, Dan Bonsanti, Mark Egan, Neal Bonsanti, and Ron Tooley. But it was the addition of bassist Jaco Pastorius that would be the beginning of a long collaboration. It was in this incarnation, that his involvement with Jaco Pastorius would begin and flourish to the point that was similar to the relationship between Duke Ellington and Bill Strayhorn...it was hard to tell where one began and the other left off. In 1975, Larry began working primarily as a sound engineer, mixing for such notables as Jaco Pastorius, Count Basie, Randy & Michael Brecker, Bob James, Tom Scott, Toots Thielemans and Stanley Turrentine. Over the years, Larry became an accomplished arranger, orchestrator and copyist, working with numerous “pop” stars, including the Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Ziggy Marley and Jorge Calandrelli amongst others, and 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. Quotes from some of his friends and colleagues. 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.” 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... we 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."
Published in the Miami Herald on May 24, 2010