Remembering Richard Wyands

July 2, 1928 – September 25, 2019


A tribute to the veteran pianist

Pianist Richard Wyands passed away on Sept. 25 2019 at the age of 91.

Wyands was born on July 2, 1928 in Oakland, California.

A professional by 1944, Wyands had a countless number of musical associations throughout his long career including being part of the house band of the Blackhawk in San Francisco, touring with Ella Fitzgerald in 1956, accompanying Carmen McRae, and working with Cal Tjader, Roy Haynes, Charles Mingus, Jerome Richardson, Gigi Gryce, Illinois Jacquet, Kenny Burrell, Gene Ammons, Benny Carter, Teddy Edwards, Freddie Hubbard (with whom he recorded First Light), Etta Jones, Houston Person, and Warren Vache among many others.

While Wyands led an occasional album and sometimes performed with a trio, he was best known as a reliable sideman who quietly made every bop-oriented rhythm section swing in a style not that different than that of Red Garland and Wynton Kelly.

Although he remained active into his eighties, very little footage exists of Richard Wynands so here is his 1995 recording of “Get Out Of Town” in a trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington.

-Scott Yanow

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