Post-bop, Latin jazz, hard-bop artist. He worked with many Latin and non-Latin artists. He was known as an arranger, bandleader, and composer.
He enrolled in Ohio's Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied classical piano. He worked with Sonny Rollins and Chet Baker when he was starting out.
His frequent collaborator and touring companion beginning in 1982 was Dave Valentin.
He grew up in Port Washington, Long Island.
His lyrical style was influenced by artists like Herbie Hancock.