David Van De Pitte
🇺🇸 Detroit, MI
October 28, 1941
August 9, 2009
David Van De Pitte was an American music arranger and bass player. He is best known for his work at Motown Records during the 1960s and early 1970s, when he was responsible for arranging many of the best known and most successful of the company's records, including those by Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and many others.
Van De Pitte was born in Detroit, Michigan, and studied music at the Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles. He began his career playing bass in Johnny Trudell's orchestra, where he met many of the musicians who would later work at Motown, including James Jamerson.
In 1964, Van De Pitte began working at Motown as an arranger. He was particularly adept at using strings and horns to create lush and atmospheric arrangements.
Van De Pitte's work on Marvin Gaye's 1971 album What's Going On is widely considered to be among his finest achievements. The album's sweeping orchestral arrangements are essential to its sound and mood, and Van De Pitte deserves much of the credit for its success.
In addition to his work with Gaye, Van De Pitte also arranged many other classic Motown hits, including "My Girl" by The Temptations, "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "Reach Out I'll Be There" by The Four Tops, and "Dancing Machine" by The Jackson 5.
Van De Pitte left Motown in 1973 to pursue a career as a freelance arranger. He worked with a variety of artists throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. He also continued to arrange for Motown artists, including Marvin Gaye's final album, Midnight Love.
Van De Pitte's work has been praised by critics and musicians alike. He is considered to be one of the most important and influential arrangers in Motown history. His arrangements helped to define the sound of Motown's golden era and have inspired generations of musicians.
Van De Pitte died in 2009 at the age of 67.
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