Richard’s love of jazz and swing music came from his father. He remembers hearing Count Basie, Dave Brubeck and Ella Fitzgerald filling the house from a young age.
“My absolute favourite was Frank Sinatra” he says. “I remember singing from the ‘My Way;’ album into a drum stick aged 14 and simply understanding the cadence of the music and Sinatra’s lyrical intent”.
Little could he have envisioned he’d grow up to play his hero to great acclaim on stages from London, New York to LA and across the world with illustrious bands, big and small in world famous concert halls and jazz clubs.
Following in Sinatra’s footsteps, Richard’s debut US album, ‘Lost and Found’ was recorded in Capitol ‘Studio B’ in LA accompanied by Sinatra’s living band mates.
Compromising 16 tracks (5 originals, 3 pop classics and 8 standards), the arrangements are scored for big band, small band and orchestral strings. Three of the tracks are deeply biographical including, ‘Lost and Found’, ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ and ‘My Thoughts Return to You’. Sinatra’s classic, ‘One For My Baby’ is recorded with Mike Lang on piano who played for Sinatra’s retirement concert in 1971.
“It’s vital to find your own sound”, explains Richard. “If it comes from the heart, then it literally comes from you. The originals really allow that expression to come out. ‘One for My Baby’ is an-homage to Sinatra who has deeply influenced me, and having Mike play that song, which he played for Sinatra, was a real blast. It sends shivers up my spine thinking about the moment we recorded together in Capitol.”
Richard previously recoded his album ‘Top Cat’ at London’s Abbey Road with a 65-piece orchestra.
“My influences are the greats – Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and recently Diana Krall. These are singers with a jazz style who can influence your mood with a subtle breath. If I can do that, then I’m someway towards telling the truth in a song. I see this as my duty as a singer.”
Performances include an invitation to sing by Royal Command for HRH Prince Charles at Windsor Castle accompanied by a 35-piece orchestra; for Sir Elton John at his ‘White Tie & Tiara Ball’; in concert halls and jazz clubs across the world including The Coliseum and Cadogan Hall in London and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band on ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ for BBC Radio 2. Richard is a regular at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and on stages in Los Angeles, New York, Palm Springs and San Diego.
Richard is a tireless supporter of several charities and has performed for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, The British Red Cross and The Motor Neurone Disease Association (ALS).
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