born on 23/7/1930 in Philadelphia, PA, United States
died on 22/7/1977 in Los Angeles, CA, United States
Richie Kamuca (July 23, 1930–July 22, 1977), was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Kamuca was born in Philadelphia, and, like many players associated with West Coast jazz, grew up in the East before moving West around the time that bebop changed the prevailing style of jazz. His early playing, in what is generally considered the Lester Young style, was done on tour with the big bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman, where he became a member of the later line-ups of Herman's Four Brothers saxophone section with Al Cohn and Bill Perkins.
Kamuca stayed on the West Coast, playing with the smaller groups of Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, Shorty Rogers, and others. He was one of the Lighthouse All-Stars in 1957 and 1958, and recorded with Perkins, Art Pepper, Jimmy Rowles, Cy Touff and many others in those years, as well as leading recording sessions in his own right.
Kamuca was a member of the group Shelly Manne and His Men from 1959 through 1962, when he returned East and settled in New York. Here he worked with Gerry Mulligan, Gary McFarland, and Roy Eldridge before returning to the West Coast in 1972, where he recorded in the studios and performed with local groups.
Less well known to the general public than saxophonists like Stan Getz, who played in a similar Lester Young-derived style, Kamuca died of cancer, in Los Angeles, just before his 47th birthday.
- The Brothers! (RCA Victor, 1955) with Al Cohn and Bill Perkins
- Cy Touff and Richie Kamuca, Primitive Cats (1955)
- Bill Perkins, Tenors Head-on (1956) (With Kamuca.)
- Maynard Ferguson, Live at Peacock Lane 1956-1957 (Live in Los Angeles, with Kamuca in the band (Fresh Sound CD apparently unreleased on LP in lieu of Birdland recordings of 1957.
- Richie Kamuca Quartet (1957)
- Jazz Erotica (1957), released as West Coast Jazz in Hi-Fi in 1959 (With Bill Holman, Conte Candoli and Frank Rosolino.)
- Shorty Rogers, Swingin' Nutcracker (1960) (Along with Holman, Perkins and Art Pepper, Kamuca was part of the saxophone section on Rogers' big-band jazz version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.)
- Roy Eldridge - Richie Kamuca Quintet, Comin' Home Baby (Recorded 1965-66, released 1978 on Pumpkin Productions)
- richard kamuca/quartet 1976 (Jazzz, 1976 - reissued on Concord Jazz)
With Manny Albam
- The Jazz Greats of Our Time, Vol. 2 (Coral 1957)
- Theme Music from "The James Dean Story" ( Pacific Jazz, 1956)
- The Route (Pacific Jazz 1956)
- Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre (Verve, 1959)
With Terry Gibbs
- The Exciting Terry Gibbs Big Band – reissued as Dream Band, Vol. 4: Main Stem
- Explosion! (Verve 1961, Contemporary 1987 as Dream Band vol 5)
With Woody Herman
- Big New Herd At The Monterey Jazz Festival (Atlantic 1959)
With Stan Kenton
- Popular Favorites by Stan Kenton (Capitol, 1953)
- Sketches on Standards (Capitol, 1953)
- The Kenton Era (Capitol, 1940–54, )
- Kenton with Voices (Capitol, 1957)
- Back to Balboa (Capitol, 1958)
- The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton (Capitol, 1958)
- Kenton Live from the Las Vegas Tropicana (Capitol, 1959 )
With Gary McFarland
- Point of Departure (Impulse!, 1963)
With Herbie Mann
- My Kinda Groove (Atlantic, 1964)
- Our Mann Flute (Atlantic, 1966)
With Shelly Manne
- Son of Gunn!! (Contemporary, 1959)
- At the Black Hawk 1 (Contemporary, 1959)
- At the Black Hawk 2 (Contemporary, 1959)
- At the Black Hawk 3 (Contemporary, 1959)
- At the Black Hawk 4 (Contemporary, 1959)
- At the Black Hawk 5 (Contemporary, 1959 )
- Ruth Price with Shelly Manne & His Men at the Manne-Hole (Contemporary, 1961) with Ruth Price
- Live! Shelly Manne & His Men at the Manne-Hole (Contemporary, 1961)
- Shelly Manne & His Men Play Checkmate (Contemporary, 1961)
With the Modern Jazz Quartet
- Jazz Dialogue (Atlantic, 1965)
- With Anita O'Day
- Cool Heat (Verve, 1959)
With Shorty Rogers
- Portrait of Shorty (RCA Victor, 1957)
- Chances Are It Swings (RCA Victor, 1958)
- The Swingin' Nutcracker (RCA Victor, 1960)
With Frank Rosolino
- Frank Rosolino Quintet (Mode 1957)
- Adventures in Paradise (1961, TV series)
- Kings Go Forth (1958, uncredited)
- Yanow, Scott. "Richie Kamuca Biography by Scott Yanow". Allmusic. allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Richie Kamuca - tenor saxophone - (1930 - 1977)". All About Jazz. musicians.allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 1 April 2016.