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Biography

  • Born

    2 July 1928

  • Born In

    Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States

  • Died

    25 September 2019 (aged 91)

Richard Wyands (Oakland, California, USA, July 2, 1928 - September 25, 2019) was a pianist best known as a side-man. He began playing in his teens in San Francisco, but later moved to New York City. He worked with Kenny Burrell in the 1960s and also played in Gigi Gryce's quintet. He has headed a few trios.

A fine pianist whose chord voicings are a little reminiscent of Red Garland, Richard Wyands has spent most of his career as a sideman. He 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 Records and sessions for DIW Records (1992) and Criss Cross (1995).

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