Joe La Barbera is best-known for being part of Bill Evans' last trio (1978-1980) along with bassist Marc Johnson but he has remained greatly in-demand up to the present time.
The younger brother of tenor saxophonist Pat La Barbera and arranger-trumpeter John La Barbera, Joe was originally taught drums by his father Joseph La Barbera before studying with Alan Dawson during his period at Berklee (1966-1968). La Barbera toured with singer Frankie Randall, spent two years in the Army, toured with Woody Herman's Big Band and then was with Chuck Mangione's very popular band (1973-1977). After a period freelancing in New York, La Barbera toured the world with Bill Evans, making many recordings as part of one of the pianist's finest groups. The drummer's tasteful and stimulating playing inspired both Evans and Johnson. After the pianist's death, La Barbera toured with Tony Bennett and then settled in Los Angeles. During the '80s and 90s, he worked steadily in a countless number of situations, becoming a fixture in Los Angeles area clubs and occasionally leading his own quintet. Joe La Barbera has appeared on scores of recordings where his subtle yet swinging style uplifts every session. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi