Jerome Richardson was always a talented jazz improviser coming out of the bop tradition, displaying individuality on each of his reeds. But because he spent most of his career as a studio musician, he often maintained a low profile in the jazz world.
Born in Oakland, California, on November 15, 1920, Richardson started on alto when he was eight, was playing in public by the time he was 14, and later attended San Francisco State College. The years 1942-1945 were spent in the military, often working in a dance band led by Marshall Royal. He picked up experience playing with the bands of Lionel Hampton (1949-1951) and Earl Hines (1952-1953) before moving to New York.
Richardson freelanced throughout the 1950s, gigging with Lucky Millinder, Cootie Williams, Oscar Pettiford, Chico Hamilton, Gerry Mulligan, and Gerald Wilson, among others. He toured Europe with Quincy Jones' ill-fated Free...