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Richie Kamuca

Richie Kamuca - tenor saxophone - (1930 - 1977)

A superb tenor saxophonist who is another of those jazz musicians who deserved better recognition, Richie Kamuca had a reputation based on his tone, soloing capabilities and solid studio work.

Kamuca though from back east, was strongly associated with the west coast jazz scene, but before his move west he played and was a star soloist with Stan Kenton in 1953 and then Woody Herman from 1954 through ’56. It was with Herman’s outfit during 1955 that he was included in the famed Four Brothers that included Al Cohn and Bill Perkins, they recorded an album for RCA which is a classic.

His move to the west coast found him joining up with Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, the Lighthouse All-Stars (1957-1958), Shorty Rogers, and Shelly Manne, (1959-1961) with whom he appeared on the heralded album “At The Blackhawk” in 1959.

By 1962 he was back in New York, and working with Gerry Mulligan, Gary McFarland, and Roy Eldridge, (1966-1971) but after that he headed back to the west coast to steady studio work.

Richie Kamuca left us a brief but very distinguished recorded legacy whether as a sideman on albums, or on his own as leader. “Richie Kamuca Quartet,” (’57) with pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Stan Levey, is available on cd as a reissue from the VSOP label. His last dates as leader was “Jazz Erotica” (’58 on Hi Fi) then we fast forward to the three excellent sessions he did for Concord in 1977, that are now hard to obtain but really showcase his work with guitar players Mundell Lowe and Herb Ellis.



Shelly Manne and His Men at the Black Hawk 1

Read "Shelly Manne and His Men at the Black Hawk 1" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

For many years, but certainly for most of the '50s and '60s, the top jazz drummer--by public opinion--was Shelly Manne. Although he was typically associated with West Coast Jazz, (a term he disliked), Manne had come West from jny:New York City in the '50s and settled in jny:Los Angeles in the halcyon days of the post-war boom. He was a guy of many parts; he raised horses, had married an ex-Rockette, and become part-owner of what was to become the ...

Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: Concert on the Pacific

Read "Concert on the Pacific" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Stan Kenton Orchestra's Concert on the Pacific is actually a compendium of several concerts recorded between January and March 1958 at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, California—a series that almost emptied Kenton's wallet and caused him to pause and regroup a year or so later. While this was post-Rosolino/Sims/Konitz/Levey, the Kenton Orchestra was never without its share of outstanding soloists, in this case saxophonists Lennie Niehaus, Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca and Bill Robinson; trumpeters Sam Noto, Billy Catalano and ...

Read more articles


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Shelly Manne and His...

Craft Recordings


Concert on the Pacific

Sounds of Yesteryear


Richis Kamuca Quartet

VSOP Records


Jazz Erotica








Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Zoot Sims
saxophone, tenor
Coleman Hawkins
saxophone, tenor
Paul Desmond
saxophone, alto
Gerry Mulligan
saxophone, baritone
Phil Woods
saxophone, alto
Al Cohn
saxophone, tenor
Lennie Niehaus
saxophone, alto
Bob Mover
Bob Cooper
Buddy Collette
saxophone, tenor
Leroy Vinnegar
bass, acoustic

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