Larry Klein

Larry Klein
Background information
Born 1956
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, songwriter
Instruments bass
Years active 1970s–present
Associated acts Freddie Hubbard, Joni Mitchell, Luciana Souza, Madeleine Peyroux, Melody Gardot

Larry Klein (born 1956) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and head of Strange Cargo, an imprint with Universal Music Group.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Klein began his career as a bassist, playing with jazz artists Willie Bobo and Freddie Hubbard.[1][3] He went on to perform with other jazz artists such as Carmen McRae, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, and Dianne Reeves.[1][4] As a bass player he has worked with artists such as Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Peter Gabriel, Don Henley, Lindsey Buckingham, and Randy Newman.[1][3]

Klein has produced albums for musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Shawn Colvin, Madeleine Peyroux, Melody Gardot and Tracy Chapman.[3][4] Klein has won Grammys for his work on Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo and Both Sides Now; and Hancock's River: The Joni Letters.[8]

Early life and musical career

Klein grew up in Monterey Park, California, the son of a Jewish aerospace engineer father and a stay at home mother.[9][10] When Klein was in the junior high school, his mother enrolled him in The Community School for the Performing Arts, an after-school music program sponsored by the University of Southern California.[1][3][9] Klein studied music composition and music theory through the program and began playing in rock bands.[9] By the time he was 17, Klein became interested in the technical challenges jazz music presented to him.[9][11]

Larry Klein performing at the 1978 Pori Jazz Festival

After graduating from high school early and enrolling at California State University, Klein began to work with various jazz and Latin music groups.[1][3][12] He also toured as a sideman while a student at California State.[1][3][12] His first job as a touring musician was with Freddie Hubbard.[9] He also played with artists such as Carmen McRae, Wayne Shorter, Willie Bobo and Joe Henderson during this period.[1][3][11][12] After five years of touring, Klein landed a year residency as the bass player for the TV program, The Merv Griffin Show.[3][12] As a bassist, Klein has worked with Robbie Robertson, Don Henley, Bob Dylan, Dianne Reeves, Neil Diamond, Warren Zevon and others.[3]

Marriage with Joni Mitchell (1982-1994)

In 1982, Klein began working as a bassist on Joni Mitchell's Wild Things Run Fast.[9][11] The two became romantically involved and married the same year.[11] It was during his marriage with Mitchell that Klein established himself as a music producer.[11]

In 1985, Klein co-produced Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog.[11] He secured his first solo production with The Cars' bassist Benjamin Orr's 1986 solo album The Lace.[1][3] Two years later, in 1988, Klein co-produced both Joni Mitchell's Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm and The Innocence Mission's self-titled album.[2][11] He also co-produced Mitchell's 1991 album Night Ride Home and Shawn Colvin's Fat City in 1992.[2][11]

Klein and Mitchell's marriage dissolved during 1994 while in the midst of making Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo album.[4][11] The two continued to work through their eventual divorce, and Turbulent Indigo won the 1995 Grammy for Best Pop Album.[8][11]

Klein continued to work as a bassist during his marriage with Mitchell, most notably working on Don Henley's Building the Perfect Beast, Peter Gabriel's So and Robbie Robertson's self-titled debut.[13] He also played with Tracy Chapman on her self-titled debut.[2]

Production Era (1995-2010)

Klein became known for his work with female artists during his marriage with Mitchell.[7] In 1997, he produced Mary Black's Shine.[2] In 2000, he reunited with Mitchell to co-produce her Both Sides Now, which won the 2000 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.[2][8] Klein also produced Julia Fordham's Concrete Love and was co-producer on Mitchell's Travelogue in 2002.[2] In 2004, Klein produced Madeleine Peyroux’s Careless Love.[2]

In 2005, Klein met Brazilian singer Luciana Souza while she was performing at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.[14] The two married in August 2006.[15] He produced Souza's 2007 album The New Bossa Nova.[2][15] Klein also produced Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters, a musical homage to ex-wife Joni Mitchell, in 2007.[16] River: The Joni Letters won the 2007 Grammy for Album of the Year.[8] In 2008, Klein produced Walter Becker's Circus Money and Tracy Chapman's Our Bright Future.[17][18]

In 2009, Klein produced Madeleine Peyroux's Bare Bones and Zachary Richard's Last Kiss.[19] He was nominated for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) at the 52nd Grammy Awards for his work on Melody Gardot's My One and Only Thrill.[20]

Klein continued his work with Herbie Hancock on Hancock's The Imagine Project.[21] The Klein-produced album won the 2010 Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.[22]

Strange Cargo (2011- )

In 2011, Klein partnered with the Universal Music Group and Decca Label Group to create the imprint label Strange Cargo.[3][23] The imprint’s first signing was Thomas Dybdahl.[23] The label has released albums by Thomas Dybdahl, Adam Cohen, and Rebecca Pidgeon.[1][12][23]

Klein produced Rebecca Pidgeon's Slingshot and Curtis Stiger's Let's Go Out Tonight in 2012.[2] In 2013, he produced Thomas Dybdahl's What's Left is Forever, Madeleine Peyroux's The Blue Room, Florence K's I'm Leaving You, Alfie Boe's Trust and Eddy Mitchell's Heros.[2][24][25]

In 2014, Larry began working with the Capitol Music Group, releasing the House of Lies soundtrack. Klein produced Bobby Bazini's debut U.S. album, Where I Belong, in August 2014.[26] He also produced Billy Child's, Map of The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro.[27]

Klein has produced more than 60 albums during his career.


Klein has won four Grammys: Best Pop Album in 1996 for Joni Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo, Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Mitchell's Both Sides Now in 2001, Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Herbie Hancock's album, River: The Joni Letters in 2008.[1][2][3][28][29]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1996 "Turbulent Indigo" Best Pop Album Won
2001 "Both Sides Now" Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Won
2008 River: The Joni Letters Album of the Year Won
Best Contemporary Jazz Album Won
2010 Larry Klein Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2011 "Imagine" Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Nominated
2013 Larry Klein Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Nominated

Production credits

Work in films

Klein has professional credits for film soundtracks including Raging Bull, Grace of My Heart, Sweet November and Brokeback Mountain, as well as the theme song for the television series Felicity.[3][12]

Personal life

Klein and Joni Mitchell were married in November 1982.[1][2][3] They divorced in 1994.[1][2][3] In 2006, Klein married Luciana Souza.[1][15] Klein and Souza have one son, Noah.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "Larry Klein". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Larry Klein". All Music. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "Larry Klein" (PDF). In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Larry Klein Is Doing It All". MIX. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  5. "Albums From Atoms for Peace, Ana Moura and Antonio Sanchez". New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  6. "Three Producers, One Goal: Great Sound". NPR. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  7. 1 2 "This innovative producer is more than just a ladies' man". M Music & Musicians Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Past Winners Search". Grammy. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Producer/musician's journey brings him home". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  10. Weller, Sheila (2008). Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation. New York: Atria Books. p. 438. ISBN 9780743491471.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell: Music & Lyrics". JazzTimes. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Larry Klein". Studio Expresso. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  13. "Larry Klein". All Music. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  14. "Luciana Souza Distill Everything" (PDF). Downbeat. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  15. 1 2 3 "Luciana Souza: Meet the New Bossa". JazzTimes. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  16. "Herbie Hancock rides on the 'River'". CNN Entertainment. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  17. "Slant Magazine review". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  18. The Guardian review
  19. Cohen, Jonathan (December 1, 2008). "Peyroux Goes 'Bare' On New Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  20. "Grammys To Beyonce: "I'mma Let You Finish"". American Songwriter. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  21. "In Conversation With Legendary Producer Larry Klein". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  22. "Past Winners Search". Grammy. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  23. 1 2 3 "Larry Klein's Strange Cargo With Universal Music Unveils First Signing". Broadway World. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  24. "Tenor Alfie Boe goes coolly contemporary at Birmingham LG Arena". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  25. "Great minds come together for breakup". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  26. "Bobby Bazini To Release Debut U.S. Album "Where I Belong" On August 12". PR Newswire. August 5, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  27. "Map of The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro: A Conversation and Special Performance". Grammy Museum. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  28. "Past Winners Search". Grammy. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  29. "Larry Klein Reflects On Tracking Herbie Hancock's 'River' Album". MIX. Retrieved 8 March 2014.

External links

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