Multi-reed musician who attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, from 1961 to 1964. In 1966, he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied until 1969.
Just two years later, he was in the studio with Buddy Rich, multi-tasking on baritone sax, flute and soprano sax on Time Being, released in 1972. The following year, he stuck with baritone sax on Buddy’s follow-up album, Stick It. In 1979, he appeared in the woodwind section of Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy. He can also be heard on the soundtrack of 1981’s animated short film, The Big Band and Other Creation Myths. In 1984, he was one of the musicians on the studio cast recording, O Babylon.
At the turn of the decade, he did a musical turn with the heavy metal outfit, Damn Yankees, blowing clarinet and saxophone on their eponymous 1990 debut. In 1994, he collaborated with John Pizzarelli on New Standards, on which he is credited with baritone sax, bass clarinet, and flutes. On 31st July of the same year, he was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra on their recording of the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn composition, “Isfahan”, which later appeared on the anthology, Big Band Treasures Live. Several weeks later, he was in the studio with Gladys Knight, playing saxophone on Just for You.
In 1995, he was a member of the reeds section for The Story Goes On: Liz Calloway On & Off Broadway, and played oboe and tenor sax on A Tale of Cinderella: A New Musical for the Whole Family. A year later, he appeared on the compilation, Alternate Routes, playing flute, oboe and tenor sax. On 14th November 1996, he was in the orchestra pit for the opening night of the Chicago revival at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway, and appears on the original cast recording, released in January 1997. In 1999, he teamed up with David Lahm, playing clarinet and tenor sax on Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell.
He opened up the new millennium in the reeds section on Kristopher McDowell’s Faces of Love. In 2004, he appeared as a saxophonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra on Tribute to a Generation: A Salute to Big Bands of the WW II Era, a series of recordings they had made between 1992 and 1998. A year later, he celebrated Christmas by playing clarinet and saxophone on Broadway’s Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Vol. 7. In 2007, he appeared on Millie Vernon Sings Old and New Shoes, which was recorded in 1982 and 1995.
Later he could be heard with Marcia Lewis and the Mark Hummel Quartet.
After a career in music that spanned five decades he passed away at home in September 2017 embraced by the love and comfort of his wife and family.
Many thanks for the information generously sent to me to let me know about the sad passing of Richard.
Frank Sinatra recordings
That’s What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O’Kun)
Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)
Theme from “New York, New York” (Fred Ebb/John Kander)
Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)
Here he is with Buddy Rich and his band in a performance of the first part of “Uncle Albert”…