Pete LaRoca's decision to leave music in 1968 and become an attorney (under his original name of Pete Sims) cut short a productive career.
Born in New York City on April 7, 1938, LaRoca started his career playing timbales in Latin bands, changing his name to Pete LaRoca at the time. He played drums with Sonny Rollins (1957-1959) and had associations with Jackie McLean, Slide Hampton, the John Coltrane Quartet (where he was the original drummer in 1960), and Marian McPartland. LaRoca led his own group (1961-1962), was the house drummer at the Jazz Workshop in Boston (1963-1964), and worked with Art Farmer (1964-1965), 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!, and 'Turkish Women at the Bath' a 1967 Douglas session featuring Chick Corea...