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Richard Wyands, Pianist
Richard Wyands made his first recordings in 1946, and three years later recorded with Charles Mingus. Over the intervening six decades he has remained at the top of his game, playing with elegance with many of the greatest musicians in the world. Wyands started working in local clubs when he was 16, graduated from San Francisco State College, and gained experience playing in the San Francisco Bay area. Wyands, who was a sideman on a few early dates for Fantasy, spent time accompanying Ella Fitzgerald (1956) and Carmen McRae. He moved to New York in 1958, where he played with Roy Haynes, Charles Mingus (1959), Gigi Gryce's quintet, Oliver Nelson, Etta Jones, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and Gene Ammons, among others.Wyands was associated with Kenny Burrell, with whom he toured extensively during 1964-1977, and has played with many other top musicians, including Freddie Hubbard, Zoot Sims, Frank Foster, the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, Benny Carter, Ernie Andrews, and Milt Hinton, among others. Richard Wyands has also headed his own trios, but has only had a handful of sessions as a leader thus far, including a 1978 date for Storyville and sessions for DIW (1992) and Criss Cross (1995). It was a rare night to hear from a jazz veteran whose story was fascinating.