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Dang. That's sad.

I actually got a chance to play with him and we did his alto madness stuff. Was a wild time. He was hilarious.

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I have loved his playing so much, for such a long time.
The humor and intelligence that he used, were uplifting and completely refreshing!
The stuff with Eddie Jefferson remains at the top of my list and the stuff he did with Bobby Enriquez, equally as great!
He was a brilliant player and he could put a smile on your face instantly.
I got to have dinner with him in the mid 80s and it was an incredibly cool experience. I was at Berklee, and he was in town to do a show in Harvard Square. I was walking around Harvard Square early to waste some time before the show, and I ran into him on the street. He had his famous hat on and his saxophone in a soft gig bag over his shoulder. I told him how great it was to meet him and that I was going to see his show that night. We talked for a moment and I told him I was going to grab something to eat and asked if he wanted to join me.
I of course expected a no answer, but shockingly he was completely happy to join me.
I was just a young kid and he was happy to hang out with me and have dinner and talk about jazz. He was very cool and very nice and very kind to do that.

I am so saddened by this news, (in tears as I write this), but I am also so thankful we have all these great recordings out there that we can all enjoy.
The record with Boots was so fun, and out of the norm, which I like.

He brought a real humor to jazz which I think was greatly refreshing.
If you saw him live at a club, you would laugh and have fun along with hearing incredible music.
He lived in the shadow of his teacher, Phil Woods, but he always had his OWN voice and his own way of playing...and he could put a smile on your face in a heartbeat.

There is going to be one hell of a session going on at Harold’s House of Jazz tonight.
I’m going to put on something of his right now, and probably won’t stop listening for a few days, minimum.

Mr. Cole, thank you for EVERYTHING!!!!
 

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I first learned of Richie from his lead alto playing with Buddy Rich. What a brilliant soloist. One of my fraternity brothers studied with him back in the 70's. Said he was a wonderful guy and a great teacher.
 

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Maaan this one is rough...I got to learn under him for a bit back in high school, and he invited me to his house for a jam session and got to sit in with his alto madness orchestra. Had such a great attitude about music and a great sense of humor. He loved helping younger musicians out and giving back, and loved having FUN playing music!!
 

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I first learned of Richie from his lead alto playing with Buddy Rich. What a brilliant soloist. One of my fraternity brothers studied with him back in the 70's. Said he was a wonderful guy and a great teacher.
Same here; Richie was as complete a musician as they come and he was a devotee to the music as well. He brought disparate elements together and made it accessible if you were a good listener. I will remember this day.
 

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Sad to see such a great guy & musician go.
I sat in with him once and hung out several times quite a few years ago. Loved his playing and sense of humour. I stlll have a "Richie Cole Mask" he used to give out to his audience.
RIP Richie, we will all miss you.
George
 

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Wow, that's sad news. :(

Just found this: Celebrities Deaths

Seems he died yesterday 2 May 2020, same day as the cremation of my old dad (94) who died last week, so double sad for me.

I'm not really an alto guy, but I've always loved the playing and performance style of Richie Cole. Have seen him a few times here in The Netherlands at the North Sea Jazz Festival, first time in 1986:

He brought a real humor to jazz which I think was greatly refreshing.
That's what I also found, having seen him several times here in NL. I remember from one of his concerts that the rhythm section started the first tune of the concert without Richie even being present. Than he came on stage, still wearing his jacket and with his horn still in the case, like he just came in from the street. During the piano solo he started putting of his jacket and assembling his horn, immediately jumping into a long and strong alto solo!

It looked liked if he really was late for the concert, but it was of course one of his acts and a proof of his great sense of humor. :)
 

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I'm really sorry to hear this. I loved Richie's playing and I got to see him perform dozens times back in the '70s and '80s when he played a lot around the Bay Area in lots of small clubs. He always played beautifully and with lots of humor. Always looked like he was having a great time on the bandstand.
 

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Really really sad about this. I saw him a few years ago in Buffalo and reminded him of when I saw him play live as a 17 year old in Portland at a place called The Hobbit. I couldn't go in because it was 21 and over but the hard boiled club owner let me stand in the lobby and listen. At the break, Richie came over to me and asked if I wanted to go hang out in the green room with him, and I was floored. He mentioned that his reeds got trashed in the flight, so I went out to my car and got him some from my case. He let me try that old lacquerless Mark 6 that he played and it was like a dream. I played "When you wish upon a star" the way he did on his Pop Bop album with all the crazy altissimo, and of course I couldn't do it. He laughed playfully in a way that embraced both his mastery and sense of humor. When I saw him a few years ago, I had him sign the 8x10 of him that I stole off the wall of The Hobbit after his gig. He was really a character and I'm sad he's no longer with us.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your dad.

You are very lucky to have so many memories. That's a beautifully long life.
I hope you are ok, my friend.
Thanks Mark. I'm fine now, but I will miss him for sure.
 

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Thanks for this Tim. I feel a little better knowing that at least Richie was in the comfort of his home. The article was excellent and of course, I can’t pass up any Buddy Rich Big Band footage. Hope all is well with you.
 

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