Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Koch, Larry (Lawrence Owen)

Koch, Larry (Lawrence Owen), pianist, author, educator, doubles on woodwinds (mainly alto sax). b. Pottsville, PA, 16 July 1939.

He studied piano, saxophone and clarinet while in elementary school and added oboe during high school. His father, Eugene (1906-1997), directed a local amateur radio and show troupe (1949-54)  which provided some experience as a novelty vocalist and instrumentalist. During high school he was selected for performance groups at the district and all-eastern levels on saxophone and clarinet, and led his own jazz and commercial groups. He also founded the stage band at Pottsville High.

While attending West Chester U. (PA) (1957-61), he worked as a jazz pianist in the Philadelphia/Wilmington area, and did some basic study on bass and drums. After attaining a B.S. in Music Education, he became music director at Minersville High School (PA) (1961-70), did graduate work in theory and composition, and then opened his own music school, The Braun School, in Pottsville. From that point on, the main focus was on jazz and education--playing, writing teaching.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies published his studies on Charlie Parker, King Oliver, and Thelonious Monk.
In 1980, he was the founding conductor of the Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra for which he wrote two large works for jazz group and orchestra (1988/1991)  He also founded the Schuylkill Jazz Society (1988) with its own local Hall of Fame (Schuylkill Count, PA) which claims such greats as the Dorsey brothers and Les Brown. Koch was himself inducted in 1998. The Society features "name" musicians as well as local stars in their concerts. In addition to his larger works, Koch has written close to a hundred smaller compositions--jazz lines, ballads (lyrics and music), and eclectic classical works.
From 1982 to 1986, Koch was on the faculty of Moravian College (Bethlehem,PA) teaching jazz piano and directing a small jazz ensemble. He also was a pianist in the faculty jazz quartet which backed many well-known guests such as George Young and Ken Hitchcock.

He's married to the former Marilu Amour (b.1938), a vocalist who attended the Mannes Music School and Patricia Neuway's Opera Workshop (NYC), Koch has one daughter, Kerri Ellen (b. 1964)

Kim Russell-Seibert wit the Larry Koch Jazz Trio (1996); Bob Fanelli: Mood Swings (2001)

Unissued recordings:
Many unissued tapes from various venues (1977-99) including George Young with the Moravian Jazz Quartet.

New Orleans Memories: A Memorial Kaddish For Allan Jaffe, for New Orleans jazz group, piano soloist, and orchestra, 1988; Christmas Reflections, for jazz trio, optional soloists, and orchestra, 1991.

Yardbird Suite: A Compendium Of The Music and Life Of Charlie Parker, 1988, Popular Press, Bowling Green OH; revised edition 1999, Northeasten U. Press, Boston MASS.
Ornithology: A Study Of Charlie Parker' Music, Part One, Rutgers Journal of Jazz Studies Vol.2, No. 1, Dec. 1974;  Part Two, Vol.2, No.2, June 1975.
Structural Aspects Of King Oliver's 1923 Okeh Recordings, Journal of
Jazz Studies, Vol.3, No.2, Spring 1976.
Harmonic Approaches To The Twelve-Bar Blues Form, Rutgers Annual Review of Jazz Studies 1, 1982.
Thelonious Monk: Compositional Techniques, Annual Review of Jazz Studies 2, 1983.
The Jazz Composition/Arrangement, Annual Review of Jazz studies 3, 1985.
PIANO (major article) plus numerous small biographical articles in The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan, 2001.

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