RICHARD TABNIK, ~ jazz alto saxophone~

Richard Tabnik, jazz alto saxophonist, was born in New York City on April 6th, 1952 at 1:16 a.m. He still loves being awake at that hour, especially for gigs and jam sessions. He has currently been living in NYC since 1979.

From 1975-'79, he lived in Buffalo, N.Y., where he appeared on radio, television, and in various gigs and concerts with his own groups as well as in the groups of other leaders such as bassist/guitarist/composer Gerry Eastman and the Big Band of Elvin Sheppard, who was the main teacher of Grover Washington, Jr.

Richard played alto saxophone in Frank Foster's Big Band at the State University of New York at Buffalo {SUNYAB} for one year, and became a featured soloist at the historic Colored Musicians Club in big bands, small groups and jam sessions. The apex of his time in Buffalo was 2-1/2 years with the Federally-funded {CETA} Buffalo Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of jazz pianist Allen Tinney, with whom Charlie Parker played early in his career at Monroe's Uptown House in Harlem.

From 1972 to 1975, Tabnik performed in and wrote for various musical contexts in:

Richard Tabnik studied with the innovative jazz alto saxophonist Lee Konitz from 1970 to 1972.

Prior to this, Richard was mostly self-taught and played keyboards and saxophone in rock and blues bands. He would later go on to study saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, theory, and voice with 12 different teachers over a 25 year period, including 4 years with the professor of saxophone and clarinet to so many jazz and classical players, Joe Allard; yet he walked out of 4 music schools:

Richard's most important musical experience in life, undoubtedly, was studying Jazz Improvising on alto saxophone {and on piano for a few years as well} with the outstanding, unparalleled, and overwhelmingly sought-after teacher, pianist, singer, composer, band leader, President of New Artists Records, recording engineer, jazz historian and lecturer, etc., etc., Ms. Connie Crothers.

Richard first heard Ms. Crothers perform live on piano as well as vocals at the Village Vanguard with the legendary Warne Marsh on tenor saxophone , Eddie Gomez on bass, and Peter Scattaretico on drums on January 1, 1980 and began studies with her that month. This almost unbroken period of study continued for 20 years until early 2000 A.D. Early on, Connie presented Richard in concert in her studio in duos with Peter Scattaretico on drums and Ms. Crothers on piano. Currently, Connie Crothers and Richard Tabnik may be heard on:

Currently, Connie Crothers and Richard Tabnik may be heard on DUO DIMENSION (NA1003-CD&LP) on New Artists Records.

"...I was very impressed...The quality of composition, instrumentation, concept, recording, and engineering was excellent. The music is beautiful...really get[s] into exploring a lot of textures and atmospheres...far beyond the typical...The ambiance created is exotic, peaceful, and stimulating at the same time.... refreshingly original music..." [Ben Kettlewell, WOMR-FM 8/89].

"...The music is linear, with great attention to contrapuntal detail...exploring uncharted territories.." [R. Iannapollo, OPTION MAGAZINE, 1987]

"...an inspired blend of strength, fire and lines drawn with a fine edge...Tabnik follows a different path in terms of both harmonic conception and energy....individualistic..substantial and refreshing...adventurous, fresh and rewarding..." Lois Moody, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1987) .

"...well beyond a need to copy particular instrumental stylists..." [Kevin Whitehead, CADENCE MAGAZINE, 1987]

See the complete text of reviews for DUO DIMENSION...

He and Ms Crothers have performed in duo and in quartet. They appeared with Carol Tristano on drums and Calvin Hill on bass at Greenwich House in NYC on April 6, 1990. Mr. Tabnik appeared with Ms. Tristano and Mr. Hill at Greenwich House on January 11, 1990.

He appeared as a solo artist in concert at Greenwich House on February 9, 1991 and released the solo alto saxophone recording, SOLO JOURNEY (NA1011CD).

"...the poeticism of the melodic line... melodies that express their inner voices...rewards the attention necessary to begin to appreciate the subtle turnings of Tabniks melodies...striking...not easy listening...well worth the attention..." [David Dupont, CADENCE Magazine (February, 1993) in a review of Richard Tabnik, SOLO JOURNEY, New Artists Records, NA1011CD]

"...a great musician with a unique approach that's not a household name, but still deserves world class attention via concerts, gigs, and the national press. His solos are models of melodic improvisation...I wonder why Richard Tabnik isn't more well known...his conception is as vivid as it is unique...a saxophonist of unquestionable ability..." [Tim Price, SAXOPHONE JOURNAL (Nov./Dec. 1993) in a review of SOLO JOURNEY ]

See the complete text of reviews for SOLO JOURNEY...

Recently released is a trio recording with Carol Tristano on drums and Cameron Brown on bass. It is on New Artists Records and is entitled IN THE MOMENT (NA-1015CD).

"...aptly titled...music shaped by the moments inspiration...they can pursue uncharted paths with confidence and musical vocabulary rooted in past moments of the jazz experience..."[Lois Moody, Marge Hofacres JAZZ NEWS, SEPT./OCT. 94]

See the complete text of reviews for IN THE MOMENT...

A quartet record with Andy Fite on guitar, Calvin Hill on bass, and Roger Mancuso on drums entitled LIFE AT THE CORE (NA-1016CD) has just been released. The quartet, with bassist Sean Smith, gigged around NYC during 1993-4 in various clubs.

"...a gem...With a feathery tone that never quite sounds the way altos are expected to, Tabnik plays delightfully off Fites spare, stark strums and the irresistible shove of Roger Mancuso and Calvin Hills rhythms...unequivocally recommended..."{Andy Bartlett, CADENCE}

See the complete text of reviews for LIFE at the CORE...

In addition to the settings he has recorded with, Richard is currently performing in "CCQt," a quartet with Connie Crothers, Roger Mancuso, and bassist Ratso Harris or Sean Smith.

CCQt is planning a European-Scandinavian tour Spring 2000 They have just released:

Richard's "other band" is The Richard Tabnik Trio with Roger Mancuso or Jon McCutcheon on drums, and Ratso Harris, Sean Smith, or Ed Broderick on bass. In addition to many gigs in the tri-state area, the trio has recently completed its first live webcast from the Internet Cafe in Red Bank, NJ.

Richard Tabnik has gigged at Birdland, Cleopatra's Needle, La Belle Epocque, The Internet Cafe in NYC, and other clubs in the tri-state area. He is also heard at jam sessions around New York City. Currently listed in the Penguin Book of Jazz on CD, Records, and Cassette and in the All Music Guide to Jazz, Richard Tabnik also has a web site at www.inch.com/~rctabnik

Richard Tabnik teaches jazz improvising at his studio in NYC.


Return to "Recordings".
Return to "Web Page Index".
Return to home page.