Well from the heady days in the 1970’s of working as the pianist with a 12 piece band called Rubber Duck led by John Hurt then At Swim Two Birds in which Richard wrote the music which got recorded at the Abbey Road Studios, he moved on to doing session work for the Robert Stigwood Organisation and later, Andrew Lloyd Webber in Joseph and the Amazing Technocolour Dreamcoat where he met co-sessionists Bill Le Sage and Hank Shaw of the BeBop Preservation Society. The orchestra played at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm London in 1982 and recorded the whole musical at Granada Studios in Manchester.
Richard had the opportunity to jam with the others on a regular basis between recordings where experimental jazz started to shape Richards musical leanings. He also learned oif a strange concoction called a Green Dragon made of many mysterious liquors invented by Bill that knocked you out in case you had nerves for the following days recording session. Ohh boy did it work. We often found ourselves totally slaughtered but happy. “I am sure they are still talking about my dreadful playing but one in a million....(the notes I get right) thats what happens if I tried to read music in those days” Richard tells us but it was all a lot of fun, even when pressured.
More recently he wrote a few musical bits and pieces for various productions at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin Hertfordshire and was re-introduced to playing jazz when one night he met Roger Nobes (Vibes, drums and Musical Director) who was playing with the DaveShepherd Sextet at the QMT with the brilliant but sadly late Ronnie Verrell (Drums).
Roger persuaded Richard to help him with a very busy Jazz project he was running called The North Herts Youth Jazz Orchestra which was made up of twenty two very talented 8th graders making steps into the jazz world. Richard took a few of the then up and coming players in a small group including Lisa Garretty (Alto), Ross Harley (Tpt), Matt Watson (Drums) and Elenor their double bassist playing popular standards. Since the 1980’s Richard has been writing musicals and recording local bands. Richard joined Ray Batsons’’ Melbourn Jazz group and formed the new Ad-Hock Jazz Combo with George Howe in 2002.
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