Sat, Jan 20, 8:00pm
Rickey Woodard, saxophone Attucks Jazz Club
The West Coast has its own set of jazz legends, from the 1950s cool era to present day, and LA fans are among the most passionate in the world. And for LA jazz fans, the name Rickey Woodard tops the must-hear list.
Now an LA legend, Woodard worked his way to the city that would become his home. Born in Nashville, he grew up listening to Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, and Sonny Stitt—and as a child joined the family band with his brothers and sisters, playing blues and R&B around the Nashville area. After attending Tennessee State University, Woodard left Nashville for California and joined the Ray Charles Band, lending his sax groove to the inimitable Ray Charles sound for eight years. LA was a lucky town for Woodard, so he moved there permanently and recorded, both as a leader and as a sideman, for the legendary Concord record label, the jazz lover’s go-to for recordings of live jazz and works by quintessential jazz artists.
Woodard has performed and recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Smith, the Temptations, and Nancy Wilson, among many others. He’s also a prolific composer, with more than 200 original compositions to his credit in addition to extensive experience as an arranger.
“Listeners feel him. Woodard knows how to swing, how to play those phrases that get across to an audience, that make people do their own foot-tapping. His renditions of jazz classics and pop standards convey a warmth and listenable quality” (Los Angeles Times).