Dick Oatts

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Dick Oatts
In Aarhus, Denmark (2012)
In Aarhus, Denmark (2012)
Background information
Birth nameRichard Dennis Oatts
Born (1953-04-02) April 2, 1953 (age 68)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
InstrumentsSaxophone, flute, clarinet, piano
Years active1972–present
LabelsSteeplechase, DMP
Associated actsJerry Bergonzi, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Flim & the BB's, Terell Stafford
Websitedickoattsmusic.com

Richard Dennis Oatts (born April 2, 1953) is an American jazz saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator.

Biography[edit]

While growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Oatts gained an interest in music from his father, Jack Oatts, who was a saxophonist himself and a respected music educator in the Midwest. After high school, Oatts attended Drake University[1] for one year before dropping out and moving to Minneapolis to begin a career in music in 1972. In 1977, he was called by Thad Jones to join The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra,[2] which later became the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.[3] Oatts moved to New York City to join the band, first playing tenor saxophone, and began playing Monday nights with Jones and Lewis at the Village Vanguard, as well as touring in Europe with them. Eventually Oatts switched to playing alto saxophone in the band, and he continues to play with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard every Monday night.

Oatts' work on woodwind instruments (saxophone, clarinet, flute) became more widely known when he led the crossover jazz group Flim & the BB's in the 1980s and '90s[4] with bassist Jimmy "Flim" Johnson, drummer Bill Berg, and keyboardist Billy Barber.

Since the 1970s, Oatts has released more than a dozen albums as a leader and co-leader, and he has appeared on over 100 albums as a sideman with Joe Henderson, Jerry Bergonzi, Eddie Gómez, Bob Brookmeyer, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Joe Lovano and others, working extensively with Steeplechase Records.[5] He has also accompanied Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé, and Ella Fitzgerald.[1]

Oatts has taught at the Manhattan School of Music and has been artist-in-residence at the Amsterdam Conservatory. In 2006, he became a professor and artistic director of the jazz studies department at Temple University in Philadelphia.[2]

Discography[edit]

As a leader or co-leader[edit]

  • 1990: Dial and Oatts (DMP) with Garry Dial
  • 1990: Brassworks (DMP) with Garry Dial
  • 1997: All of Three (Steeplechase)
  • 1999: Standard Issue Vol. 1 (Steeplechase)
  • 2000: Simone's Dance (Steeplechase)
  • 2000: Standard Issue Vol. 2 (Steeplechase)
  • 2000: Meru (Steeplechase) with the Dave Santoro Quartet
  • 2001: South Paw (Steeplechase)
  • 2006: Jam Session, Vol. 18 (Steeplechase) with Billy Drewes & Walt Weiskopf
  • 2008: Gratitude (Steeplechase)
  • 2009: Saxology (Steeplechase) with Jerry Bergonzi
  • 2010: Two Hearts (Steeplechase)
  • 2010: The Clouds Above (Audial) with Soren Moller
  • 2011: Bridging the Gap (Planet Arts) with Terell Stafford
  • 2011: Black Nile (Radiosnj) with Cameron Brown, Lorenzo Lombardo, & Gary Versace
  • 2012: Lookin' Up (Steeplechase)
  • 2014: Sweet Nowhere (Steeplechase) with Harold Danko
  • 2018: Use Your Imagination (Steeplechase)[6]

As a sideman[edit]

With Thad Jones/Mel Lewis

  • 1978: It Only Happens Every Time
  • 1978: One More Time
  • 1979: Naturally
  • 1980: Bob Brookmeyer – Composer & Arranger
  • 1981: Mellifluous (Gatemouth) - Mel Lewis Quintet
  • 1981: Live in Montreux
  • 1982: Make Me Smile & Other New Works by Bob Brookmeyer
  • 1985: 20 Years at the Village Vanguard
  • 1988: Live at the Village Vanguard
  • 1988: Definitive Thad Jones, Vol. 2: Live from the Village Vanguard
  • 1988: Soft Lights and Hot Music
  • 1989: Lost Art
  • 1991: To You: A Tribute to Mel Lewis
  • 1993: Body and Soul
  • 2008: Definitive Thad Jones: Live from the Village Vanguard

With Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

  • 1997: Lickety Split: The Music of Jim McNeely
  • 1999: Thad Jones Legacy
  • 2002: Can I Persuade You
  • 2004: The Way: Music of Slide Hampton
  • 2007: Up From the Skies: Music of Jim McNeely
  • 2008: Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard
  • 2011: Forever Lasting: Live in Tokyo

With Flim & the BBs

  • 1978: Flim & the BBs
  • 1982: Tricycle
  • 1984: Tunnel
  • 1985: Big Notes
  • 1987: Neon
  • 1988: The Further Adventures of Flim & the BBs
  • 1990: New Pants
  • 1991: Vintage BBs
  • 1992: This is a Recording

With Red Rodney

  • 1986: No Turn On Red
  • 1988: Red Snapper

With Ray Mantilla

  • 1984: Hands of Fire
  • 1988: Dark Powers
  • 1986: Synergy

With Colors of Jazz

  • 1991: From Hollywood
  • 1991: For Tropical Nights
  • 1991: For Sunday Morning
  • 1991: From Dusk Till Dawn

With Everything but the Girl

  • 1991: Worldwide
  • 1992: Acoustic
  • 2013: The Language of Life

With Armen Donelian

  • 1988: Secrets
  • 1990: Wayfarer

With Susannah McCorkle

  • 1993: From Bessie to Brazil
  • 1994: From Broadway to Bebop
  • 1999: From Broken Hearts to Blue Skies
  • 2000: Hearts and Minds

With Joe Lovano

With Nnenna Freelon

  • 1998: Maiden Voyage
  • 1994: Listen

With Ted Rosenthal

  • 1992: Images of Monk
  • 2003: Expressions

With Eddie Gómez

  • 1988: Power Play
  • 2008: Street Smart

With Gary Smulyan

  • 1993: Saxophone Mosaic
  • 2009: High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine

With others

  • 1981: Through a Looking GlassBob Brookmeyer
  • 1983: Impressions of Charles MingusTeo Macero
  • 1987: Initial Thrill – Kenia
  • 1989: KaleidoscopeBill Mays
  • 1989: Code Red – Code Red
  • 1989: Wilderness – Bob Thompson
  • 1991: So IntenseLisa Fischer
  • 1991: The Road Not Taken – Stefan Karlsson
  • 1991: Ricky Peterson – Smile Blue
  • 1992: Still in Love With YouMeli'sa Morgan
  • 1992: AwakeningBud Shank
  • 1992: The Moment – Yoshio Suzuki
  • 1992: Uh–OhDavid Byrne
  • 1992: Play–cation – Allen Farnham
  • 1992: Dial & Oatts Play Cole Porter – Garry Dial
  • 1993: View From Manhattan – Hendrik Meurkens
  • 1994: Heatin' SystemJack McDuff
  • 1994: Bite of the Apple – Peter Delano
  • 1995: This is ChristmasLuther Vandross
  • 1995: Manhattan MoodsMary Stallings
  • 1995: Annette Lowman – Annette Lowman
  • 1995: I Was Born In Love With YouDenise Jannah
  • 1996: Portraits of CubaPaquito D'Rivera
  • 1996: Big BandJoe Henderson
  • 1997: Ruben GomezRubén Gómez
  • 1997: This Is Living!Tom Talbert Orchestra
  • 1998: Tropic Heat – Dave Valentin
  • 1999: Souvenir – Ricky Peterson
  • 2001: Group TherapyJim McNeely
  • 2002: Leaving HomeDavid Berkman
  • 2002: Pasajes – Jim Brock
  • 2003: New BeginningsTerell Stafford
  • 2004: Start Here... Finish There – David Berkman
  • 2004: Mean What You Say – Temple University Jazz Band
  • 2005: Echoes in the NightEarl MacDonald
  • 2006: Oatts & PerryHarold Danko
  • 2004: Let Yourself GoJudi Silvano
  • 2006: Many Places – Gary Versace
  • 2007: Truth Is – Steve Million
  • 2007: Taking a Chance on Love – Simone Kopmaje
  • 2008: Runnin' in the Meadow – Michael Deacon
  • 2009: Walking on AirLinda Baker
  • 2010: Oatts and Perry, Vol. 2Harold Danko
  • 2010: Homage – Stockholm Jazz Orchestra
  • 2010: Canopus – JazzNord Ensemble
  • 2011: At This Time – Norman David
  • 2011: Don't Look BackJane Stuart
  • 2011: Jazzing Vol. 3 – Sant Andreu Jazz Band
  • 2011: Legacy – Gerald Wilson Orchestra
  • 2014: We See Stars – Jim Olsen Ensemble
  • 2014: Intersecting LinesJerry Bergonzi
  • 2015: Jazzing Vol. 5 – Sant Andreu Jazz Band
  • 2017: Life Changes -- Brian Eisenberg Jazz Orchestra

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dick Oatts". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Dick Oatts". Boyer College of Music and Dance. Temple University. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  3. ^ "The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Film & the BB's". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Dick Oatts". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ Dick Oatts, Use Your Imagination. Review by Alex Henderson, NYCJR, April 2018, Issue 192, page 28. Retrieved January 28, 2019.

External links[edit]