Rodney Richardson, famed and beloved bassist, passed away this morning (Saturday, October 29, 2005) at the age of 88. From New Orleans and a professional musician in his teens, Rodney has been friends with, and worked with, some of the world's most illustrious musicians...Basie, Ellington, Art Tatum, Erroll Garner, Harlan Leonard, the Kansas City Seven, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Miles, Dizzy, Buddy Rich, Monk, Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Freddy Cole, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Wilkins, Sammy Davis Jr., Earl "Fatha" Hines, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, and many, many more. He was the guy on the radio playing "Jumping With Symphony Sid". The Count Basie years are forever memorialized in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center.
Rodney comes from a very artistic family, including his grandchildren, there are now 5 generations of artists, dancers, and musicians, and vocalists. His cousin, Leontyne Price, is a world-renowned opera diva. His brother, James "Beans" Richardson, bassist, is in Detroit and is also a prolific, highly skilled, A-List musician, and photographer. "Beans" worked with Aretha Franklin during her first years as a professional vocalist, and is recorded on her first 3 albums. She started out with a jazz trio, "Beans" was the bassist.
A couple of years ago, Ed Thigpen told me at dinner with my dad that when they were young Ed's family, James Moody's family, Leontyne Price's family (my dad's cousin), and Rodney's family all lived "across the street and down from each other" in Laurel, Mississippi.
Another jazz angel just joined heaven's jam session.
There will be time for viewing and visitation on Monday, November 7, 2005, from 4:00 - 9:00 pm, at Salas Bros Funeral Chapel, 419 Scenic Dr, Modesto, 95350 - (209) 523-5646. A benefit is being planned. Condolences, photos, "Rodney stories", etc. can be sent directly to the funeral home or, to 1735 Carlton Avenue, Modesto, CA, 95350.
Hugs to you all.
209-872-2105 - cell
209-577-1100 - ofc