Red Richards

It's a Wonderful World

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Pianist Red Richards was usually heard with groups, making this solo set a bit unusual. This CD from the French Black & Blue label finds Richards singing in a personable and friendly manner on some of the selections, but, most importantly, taking some strong piano solos. A top notch (if underrated) swing pianist, Richards is in particularly fine form on "Blue Lou," Don Redman's "No One Else But You" and "You Can Depend On Me," although, otherwise, the accent is mostly on ballads including several songs associated with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong (such as "C'est Si Bon"). A tasteful effort.

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