Richard S. Ginell

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Richard S. Ginell is an avid believer in the idea that there is something worthwhile in virtually every idiom of music, so he chooses not to limit himself to any one category. That unfortunate tendency…
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Artist Biography by

Richard S. Ginell is an avid believer in the idea that there is something worthwhile in virtually every idiom of music, so he chooses not to limit himself to any one category. That unfortunate tendency is severely tested by the limited number of hours in a day, but it also makes him a formidable player in the music version of Trivial Pursuit.

Born in Glen Cove, NY and relocated to the Los Angeles area at age five, Ginell has been a terminal music addict -- no cure, no hope -- from as far back as he can remember. Two years after graduating from UCLA, he became the music critic of The Los Angeles Daily News for 12 years, establishing classical music coverage at the newspaper and also writing about jazz, rock, folk, and other idioms. Since leaving The Daily News, he has been a busy freelance music writer; his articles have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Musical America, Performing Arts, Stagebill, and numerous other publications. Currently he writes about jazz for Daily Variety and classical music for American Record Guide as its Los Angeles correspondent. In addition, Ginell has contributed several sets of program notes to the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and L.A. Opera, as well as liner notes for releases on the Telarc, Verve, Concord Jazz, Naxos Jazz, Nonesuch, Koch International, and RCA Victor labels. He also wrote the biography of the '60s folk group the Limeliters. Ginell also plays acoustic and electric keyboards in various jazz and rock bands, and devotes plenty of time to the care and feeding of his grand piano and ever-expanding record collection.

Specialties: Jazz, Classical (20th century in particular), Folk Revival, `60s Rock, Skiffle, Brazilian Jazz.

Desert Island Picks

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol)

Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Columbia)

Paul Simon: Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros.)

John McLaughlin/Carlos Santana: Love Devotion Surrender (Columbia)

Miles Davis: The Complete Miles Davis/Gil Evans Columbia Studio Recordings

Miles Davis: In a Silent Way (Columbia)

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass: Sounds Like (A&M)

Wes Montgomery: Bumpin' (Verve)

Antonio Carlos Jobim: Wave (A&M)

Joe Zawinul: Dialects (Columbia)

Harris: Symphony No. 3, Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)

Mahler: Symphony No. 7, Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (complete), Georg Solti (London)

Walton: Symphony No. 1, André Previn, London Symphony Orchestra (RCA Victor)

Stravinsky: Pulcinella, Igor Stravinsky, Columbia Symphony (Columbia)

Steve Reich: Drumming (Deutsche Grammophon)

Sondheim: Company, Original Broadway Cast (Columbia)

Red Foley/Ernest Tubb: Red and Ernie (Decca)

The Limeliters: Sing Out! (RCA Victor)

Rodgers: Victory at Sea (all three volumes) (RCA Victor)

Les Paul: The Legend and the Legacy (Capitol)