Paul Ricci

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The busy recording career of reed player Paul Ricci represented a combination of classic jazz styles with dance band gigs and the demands of studio assignments, including a great deal of easy listening.…
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The busy recording career of reed player Paul Ricci represented a combination of classic jazz styles with dance band gigs and the demands of studio assignments, including a great deal of easy listening. Maestros associated heavily with the latter style such as Andre Kostelanetz were among Ricci's employers. His father was a clarinetist as well and may have put the daunting axe in his son's hands when he was still groping for a bottle. At any rate, the young Ricci was working professionally by the age of 12, beginning in the New York dance halls of the '20s. In the subsequent decade he began working with workaholic studio bandleader Adrian Rollini, among others.

In the mid '30s Ricci grew into status as a regular house musician for the Decca, Brunswick, and Columbia studios. He continued to be in demand for sessions and went on to relationships with Capitol, RCA Victor, and the NBC studios.

During the '50s and '60s Ricci performed on many film soundtracks for studios such as Paramount and Universal. He continued to freelance during the spare moments in his schedule, dabbling in traditional jazz and taking part in a revival of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band for a television special. Eventually he relocated to Miami, continuing to freelance in studios as well as working steadily on the Jackie Gleason television special.