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Larry Bunker, 76; percussionist played with jazz greats

LOS ANGELES -- Larry Bunker, a drummer and percussionist who played with a who's who of jazz giants and fashioned a busy career as a film musician, died March 8 of complications from a recent stroke. He was 76.

In the early 1950s, Mr. Bunker played with bassist Howard Rumsey at the fabled Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach. From then on, he played with the top names in jazz, including saxophonists Stan Getz, Art Pepper, and Gerry Mulligan, and guitarist Barney Kessel. He was also a member of singer Peggy Lee's band.

He joined Bill Evans in 1964 for one of the pianist's better trios.

''He plays excellent vibes as well as being an all-round percussionist, and being so musical he just does the right thing because he's listening," Evans told Down Beat magazine in 1964. ''He really knows music, feels music -- and is a superlative drummer."

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