Became known for his jazz, soul jazz, and smooth jazz expertise. He began performing when he was 16.
He became the keyboardist for Young Holt Unlimited after playing with the Bobby Lyle Trio.
His family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he grew up. His father was a Star Tribune sports writer.
He struck up a friendship with Jimi Hendrix in 1970. The two were planning to start a jazz-rock group together until Hendrix's untimely death.