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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was reading the thread Underappreciated Masters, and Richie Cole's name kept coming up; somebody questioned whether he was playing any more. This made me worry. I met Richie Cole some years ago -- had the great privilege of playing with him a little; he was a terrific man, great player of course, and full of information: what a long memory! The only sax player I could mention -- from Bostic and Bird on -- with whom he had not played was Coltrane.

My question is: does anyone know what's up with Richie Cole? Is his health OK, is he playing? I checked his web site, and his tour schedule there has not been updated since 2006. This may not mean anything, of course. Anyone know him, anyone seen him?

Thanks!
 

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Cole

Yes, Ritchie is still around. I know someone who recently backed him up over in Japan.

I think Ritchie's best playing was back in the days with Eddie Jefferson. Like the songs: "Groovin' On A NY Afternoon", and "Harold's House of Jazz".
 

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Looks like Richie dug a treasure out of his garage recently

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Horn-Rich...7740900?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1189292613&sr=1-1

I have this, and it is really good. Holy crap, what a pianist Bobby Enriquez was!

It's a real pity that Cole isn't recording more. I love his sound, and above all,
his sense of humor when he plays. I think his playing with Enriquez (you can
find YouTube examples) is some of his best. I've heard that at this time he had
alcohol/drug issues. Maybe, but he was on fire then.
 

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Richie was my first and greatest inspiration as an alto player. When I met him, it was life-changing. I remember every minute. He was so kind to me, and helped me find new places in myself and in music to explore. He also helped me get my altissimo chops together. I really owe him a great debt of gratitude and would love to have the opportunity to tell him so.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jason DuMars said:
Richie was my first and greatest inspiration as an alto player. When I met him, it was life-changing. I remember every minute. He was so kind to me, and helped me find new places in myself and in music to explore. He also helped me get my altissimo chops together. I really owe him a great debt of gratitude and would love to have the opportunity to tell him so.
He was also extremely kind to me. He wandered into a club where I was jamming, while he was in town to do a concert (which I'd attended earlier), and took me under his wing for a couple of days, for no reason other than kindness and that I wasn't afraid to talk to him (all the other musicians hung back). I learned a lot from him in a short time. A real sweetheart. And his show was a killer!
 

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Is it true that he is a big hotshot?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Martinman said:
Is it true that he is a big hotshot?
Uhhh . . . I'm not sure what you mean. You mean has attitude? Not at all (not in my presence anyway) -- I found him both accessible and humble. Do you mean is he famous? Sure (for a sax player:D ).
 

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Reedsplinter said:
Uhhh . . . I'm not sure what you mean. You mean has attitude? Not at all (not in my presence anyway) -- I found him both accessible and humble. Do you mean is he famous? Sure (for a sax player:D ).

I mean ATTITUDE. I told this story on here a few times about him and Grover Washington Jr.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Martinman said:
I like the one where at some jazz festival Ritchie Cole is talking smack about how Grover Washington Jr. can't play jazz. So Grover sits in with Cole's band, and they go at it, and Grover buries him.
You mean this one? Dunno; could be true. Cole told me a similar story about an encounter between Earl Bostic and Charlie Parker -- a three-night battle of the altos. Bostic destroyed Parker the first night, because Parker underestimated him. Then the next two nights they went head to head and the crowd loved every minute.

Stories. Who knows the truth?
 

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All may not be as reported by some!
Apparently Mr. Cole is "giving back" to students in the best tradition - the following email was just received from Scott:


Dear Friends,

I have just arranged, I know its short notice, a clinic/discussion with saxophone legend Richie Cole. Richie will be at Walker recital hall this Saturday on the Mercyhurst College campus at 3pm. The session is free and open to the public, sponsored by JazzErie and the Mercyhurst Jazz Ensemble.

Also, Richie will be performing w/ Greg Abate Saturday night at 8pm on the Gannon campus in the Yehl Room, upstairs in the student union. Students $5, adults $25, JazzErie members $20. It goes without saying that this will be an extraordinary performance.

Scott Meier
Director of Bands
Mercyhurst College
 

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30 years ago I played a regular Fri-Sat dinner music gig at the Rusty Scupper in New Jersey. One weekend we are bumped by Ritchie. Though I had been playing for only about 2 years I had the nerve to go to the restaurant, and ask to sit in with him. He asked what I wanted to play. I said Cherokee. Sure, he says, and launches into it a capella, very up tempo, After tearing it up for a couple of choruses the band consisting of experienced NY guys comes in, smoking. He plays a couple more, then leaves it to me. I start to play, in a state of momentary confusion I think my horn is actually broken. Then to my dismay, I figure out that he's playing it in B natural, which he hadn't mentioned and which I am not prepared to navigate. Shell shocked, I crawl off the bandstand. 20 years later I was lucky to play a gig with him. I mentioned it, but he'd didn't remember as clearly as I did. We did get a laugh.
 

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Richie Cole is alive and playing well. Saw him last night with Greg Abate at Nighttown. He had a pretty good cough and disappeared between sets, but when he started trading fours with Abate it made a really nice night even better.
He had a comical way of starting to walk off the stage while he was still playing the last notes of his solos and threw in some funny quotes. It looked like he was having a good time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pgraves said:
30 years ago I played a regular Fri-Sat dinner music gig at the Rusty Scupper in New Jersey. One weekend we are bumped by Ritchie. Though I had been playing for only about 2 years I had the nerve to go to the restaurant, and ask to sit in with him. He asked what I wanted to play. I said Cherokee. Sure, he says, and launches into it a capella, very up tempo, After tearing it up for a couple of choruses the band consisting of experienced NY guys comes in, smoking. He plays a couple more, then leaves it to me. I start to play, in a state of momentary confusion I think my horn is actually broken. Then to my dismay, I figure out that he's playing it in B natural, which he hadn't mentioned and which I am not prepared to navigate. Shell shocked, I crawl off the bandstand. 20 years later I was lucky to play a gig with him. I mentioned it, but he'd didn't remember as clearly as I did. We did get a laugh.
Great story, man! Thanks!
 

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Not to be a party pooper, but I never really got into Cole's playing. His solos sounded gimmicky to me, and I didn't dig his tone in the upper register. Hearing him play with Phil Woods is enough to tell me that he's got skills (or good salesmanship), but a master like Woods schooled him regularly during sessions. Just my $0.02.
 

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I played Cherokee with Richie in a club here. I was playing piano. He called the tune and kicked it off at about 280, I'm thinking. He played it in Bb, but the bridge does start out in a B tonal center. Is that what you mean, or was your mouthpiece jammed in too far? :D
 

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Al Stevens said:
I played Cherokee with Richie in a club here. I was playing piano. He called the tune and kicked it off at about 280, I'm thinking. He played it in Bb, but the bridge does start out in a B tonal center. Is that what you mean, or was your mouthpiece jammed in too far? :D
Nope, he played the tune starting on Bmaj on the A section.
Afterwards he said something about it like "Oh, didn't I say we played it in B?"
 

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Good on Richie. One of the exercises we used to run at our homebrew jazz shedding sessions involves playing Cherokee in all keys. The more unconventional the key, the easier the bridge. B is a piece of cake.
 
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