Music Biography of RICHARD HOWELL
Richard Howell 's early alliance and interchange with saxophone great Don Myrick and Justo Amario has guided many of Richard’s musical adventures: Justo Amario opened the way of understanding the saxophone by instilling both discipline and expression. The late Don ( "play so beautiful!") Myrick was Richard's friend, mentor and teacher. He inspired a consciousness of tonality and the creating of beauty and passion through the saxophone. Both Richard and Don immersed themselves into the saxophone playing of Cannonball Adderly. Don not only shared his experiences, but he generously shared his world-famous horn section, The Phoenix Horns Esq. of Earth, Wind & Fire and Phil Collins, with Richard Howell's productions and introduced Richard to many industry legends.
Learning the trade of music production in Los Angeles, California, Richard Howell supervised lots of productions for many production houses. He would gather the talent of musicians from groups and members of various bands, such as: Alex Acuna, Diane Reeves, Billy Childs , Undisputed Truth, Lakeside Express, The Silvers, LTD, Ricky Larson, Earth,Wind & Fire, Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, The Surf Punks, Beach Boys, Rose Royce and so many more. Productions ranged from demos for solo artists, singer songwriters, sound tracks for theater productions, film shorts to radio commercials. Within these productions Richard´s duties often were to perform as bassist, drummer, keyboardist, guitarist, percussionist, composer and arranger, as well as some engineering responsibilities.
Richard Howell´s roots are deeply imbedded in jazz music, the entire Howell household had no other choice then to listen to the wonderful recordings of Count Basie, and the radio was always tuned to the jazz stations. Richard's father purchased hundreds of jazz records and would expose his children to the proud accomplishments of what his father referred to as "the music of Africans here in North America". Whatever his father wanted to label it, Richard lived and breathed Jazz daily. One day Mr. Howell Sr. came home with the music of John Coltrane and handed it to Richard along with his exclusive permission to use the stereo, triggering a long-time love affair ... Enter the music of Duke Pearson, Dexter Gordan, Stanley Turrentine, Roy Haynes, Jazz Crusaders, Charles Toliver, Jackie McClean, Cannonball Adderley, Sony Stitt, Gene Amonds, Gerald Wilson, Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, Charles Lloyd, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Doug and Jean Carn - all mixed with the God Father of Soul James Brown.
Multi-instrumentalist, saxophonist, vocalist, Richard Howell has explored a vast spectrum of music. His powerful, sensually melodic saxophone playing has been heard with artists as diverse and definitive as blues/jazz/soul legends Etta James, Chaka Khan, Della Reese, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins, Charlie Haden, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Louis Walker to such progressive Latin/Afro/rhythmic pioneers as Willie Bobo, Bill Summers, Pete Escovedo, Mingo Lewis - to name a few.
Richard Howell is one of the premiere saxophonists in the Bay Area, often the first call for recordings, live shows, events and private parties.
Not only according to critics, Richard´s live performances have been well received:
"He embodies the simplicity of elegance..." ( Keith Hines, kcsm- the bay area´s jazz station)
"The charismatic, communicative Jazz saxophonist from San Francisco brings out the role of jazz as a grassroots art form.... Jazz expert or not, you can internalise the emotional effect" (Lionel Haas, Jazzradio 101.9 Berlin)
He is currently active:
- Performing throughout Europe with his own bands made up of European and African musicians.
- Contributing his skills and talents with musical artists like Omar Sosa, Samba Sock, el Houssaine Kili, Embryo and others.
In San Francisco, California:
- Jazz education in the public and private schools and youth correction facilities as a member of the "African Roots of Jazz" founded by E.W.Wainwright.
- Jazz education in public and private school with Oaktown Jazz Workshop founded by Khalil Shaheed.
Founded RC Howell Music, an internet multimedia service of the same name, a music production company that produced the following cds:
- "Terreiro de Sao Francisco" and "Scratch Cooking Vol.1" for Vivendo de Pao.
- "Mountain to Mohammad" for el Houssaine Kili of Tropical Music.
- "March of the Jazz Guerrillas" for Babatunde Lea of Ubiquity Records,
- "All Hands on Deck" and "Chromatology" for Upsurge! Jazz Poetry of Abolition Records.
- "Start at Home" for Howell and Henry of H& H Records.
- "In Harmony" for Peter Barclay.
- "My Father`s House" for Native Son.
- "A Perfect Night in San Francisco" and
- "Outlyer" for Richard Howell of AudioEmissary Records.