Specialized in jazz fusion rock music, bebop, and avant-garde. He was honored with Howard University's Benny Golson Jazz Master Award in 2012.
He studied music theory for a year at the Manhattan School of Music after which he began playing with jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean.
He began a seven-year gig as the keyboardist for Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1972.
He was born into a family and neighborhood that embraced jazz, and his brother was a piano player.
His first recording was an Aaron Copland opera with the Music and Arts Chorale Ensemble under Leonard Bernstein's direction.