Larry Stabbins was born in Bristol where he started playing saxophone at the age of eleven. He started a long association with pianist Keith Tippett when he was sixteen, at the same time serving his musical apprenticeship in countless soul bands, playing the music of Jnr Walker and King Curtis, James Brown and Sam and Dave. He later contributed to many of Tippett's projects such as Centipede, Ark, Tapestry and the Septet. In addition to occasional duo performances, in the mid-eighties they also worked as a trio for a time with percussionist Louis Moholo, while Tippett was himself involved in various Working Week and Weekend activities and Keith's wife Julie sang on the fourth Working Week album.
In London in the early 70’s after a short spell in the Brotherhood of Breath, he attended John Stevens’ Ealing workshops and played with the Spontaneous Music Orchestra, and occasionally with SME and the Dance Orchestra. As a result he met many of the `second generation` of British and particularly Roy Ashbury with whom he formed a regular duo. During this period in London he also worked as a freelance commercial musician, playing studio sessions, nightclubs and West End shows as well as playing in more jazz based situations such as Mike Westbrook’s `Solid Gold Cadillac`.
In 1979 he joined the Tony Oxley Quintet alongside Howard Riley, Barry Guy (later replaced by Hugh Metcalfe) and Phil Wachsmann and played in various permutations of it for many years (including one with Pat Thomas, Manfred Schoof and Sirone in 1992) and also Oxley’s Celebration Orchestra
One of the true greats of British music
Giles Peterson BBC Radio 1.
One of the most innovative saxophonists in Britain
Anthony Wood -The Wire