Dick Katz

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Dick Katz (March 13, 1924[1] – November 10, 2009[2]) was an American jazz pianist, arranger and record producer. He freelanced throughout much of his career, and worked in a number of ensembles. He co-founded Milestone Records in 1966 with Orrin Keepnews.

He studied at the Peabody Institute, the Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard. He also took piano lessons from Teddy Wilson. In the 1950s, he joined the house rhythm section of the Café Bohemia, and worked in the groups of Ben Webster and Kenny Dorham, Oscar Pettiford, and, later, Carmen McRae. From 1954 to 1955, he was part of the J. J. Johnson/Kai Winding Quintet. He also worked in Orchestra USA and participated on Benny Carter's Further Definitions album, and worked on some of Helen Merrill's recordings. In the late 1960s, he played with Roy Eldridge and Lee Konitz. In the 1990s, he worked as a pianist and arranger with the American Jazz Orchestra and Loren Schoenberg's big band.

Will Friedwald called Katz "a keyboardist of uncommon sensitivity and harmonic acumen."[3] He was the favorite pianist of Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins, as well as vocalists Carmen McRae and Helen Merrill.[4]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Benny Carter

With Al Cohn

With Jack DeJohnette

With Kenny Dorham

  • Kenny Dorham And The Jazz Prophets (Chess, 1956)

With Nancy Harrow

  • Secrets (Soul Note, 1991)

With Milt Hinton

  • East Coast Jazz /5 (Rhino, 1955)

With Jimmy Knepper

With Lee Konitz

With Carmen McRae

With Helen Merrill

  • "The feeling is mutual" 1965
  • Chasin' The Bird (Emarcy, 1979)

With James Moody

With Joe Newman

With Oscar Pettiford

With Jimmy Raney

With Sonny Rollins

With Loren Schoenberg

  • ’’That’s The Way It Goes’’ (Aviva, 1984)
  • ’’Time Waits For No One’’ (Music Masters 1987)
  • ’’Solid Ground’’(Music Masters 1988)
  • ’’Just A Settin’ And A-Rockin’ ‘’(Music Masters 1989)
  • Manhattan Work Song (Music Masters 1992)
  • Out Of This World (TBC; 1997)

With Ben Webster

  • Big Ben Time! (Philips, 1963)

With Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson


  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ New York Times obituary
  3. ^ Friedwald, Will (November 2010). A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers. Pantheon. ISBN 0-375-42149-1.
  4. ^ "Octojazzarian profile: Dick Katz". Jazz.com. 2008-12-22. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18.