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What’s so funny about Larry Goldings?

Larry Goldings
Til Bronner
Larry Goldings

Larry Goldings has been such a major musical force for so long, it’s hard to remember a time when he was not around. He’s one of the most accomplished, respected and admired Hammond organ players alive and much of his career has been devoted to that instrument.

The trio he formed in the early 90s with guitarist Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart has been one of the pillars of his musical life for over 30 years, and the three have remained United for decades. Their most recent record, Perpetual Pendulum, was released earlier this year. The recording session for the album marked the 30th anniversary of the release of their first record together— the 1991 album The Intimacy of the Blues. The trio plays December 15-18 at Smoke in New York.

Larry eventually moved to the West Coast and carved out a reputation as not only a jazz musician but also a highly sensitive session player, sideman, collaborator, songwriter, and film composer.

Goldings is also no stranger to social media: For years he has posted clips of himself - not only musical, but also what you might describe as schtick or comedy. His alter ego, Hans Groiner, for example, purports to be an Austrian accordion player, pianist, educator and Thelonious Monk specialist who has improved Monk's music by making it more relaxing, and less offensive to the ear.

Watch Hans Groiner's Piano Masterclass here:

Hans Groiner Jazz Piano Lesson

In recent years he’s also become a regular fixture with Scary Pockets, the LA-based YouTube famous funk collective. Larry Goldings and Scary Pockets even have their own side project called Scary Goldings. They’ve recorded a bunch of albums and videos together, and over time have brought in Larry’s longtime friend John Scofield to join them, as well as other viral superstars like Mononeon and Louis Cole.

In this conversation, originally recorded in 2016, Larry talks about his early development and influences, his ongoing relationship with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart, working with John Scofield, James Taylor, Maceo Parker, Jon Hendricks, the New York-LA thing, his approach to accompaniment, organ playing and telling jokes on the bandstand.

Leo Sidran is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist and podcast host based in Brooklyn, New York.