Gene Perla grew up in northeastern New Jersey and attended Berklee School of Music and Boston Conservatory before heading to New York City. After struggling with too many notes, and thanks to Charlie Haden’s performance on Ornette Coleman’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come,” Perla, at 24, switched to the bass as his main instrument. Not long after arriving in the City his talents became in demand and he found joy in performing with artists such as Willie Bobo, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Nina Simone, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan, Elvin Jones, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra.
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