Herman Riley Day

August 31, 1933 – April 14, 2007

Sans Souci

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Saxophonist Herman Riley was born on August 31, 1933 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After serving in the military, Riley moved to LA. While working there, he appeared on record with Count Basie, Benny Carter, Quincy Jones and others.

From the ‘70s onward, Riley was a consistent LA session musician and performer.

Herman Riley went on to work with a long list of jazz artists in the coming decades including Shelly Manne, Count Basie, Benny Carter, Blue Mitchell, Gene Ammons, Etta James, Donald Byrd, and Jimmy Smith.

Known for his tough and resilient tone, the consummate sideman’s only album as a leader was the 1984 Jam Records release “Herman”.

Herman Riley performs live at Giannelli Square in Northridge, California on April 30, 2006.


Herman Riley, tenor sax
John Giannelli, bass
Roy McCurdy, drums
Llew Matthews, piano 


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