|Birth name||Don Schwartz|
February 25, 1937|
New York City, United States
|Occupation(s)||Pianist, arranger, composer|
Don Randi (born 25 February 1937) is an American keyboard player, bandleader and songwriter. He has performed on innumerable recordings, including many as a session musician and member of the Wrecking Crew, as well as releasing his own jazz records.
Born Don Schwartz in New York City and raised in the Catskill Mountains, he received a training in classical music. After his father's death, he and his mother moved to Los Angeles in 1954, and the following year he started work at a record distribution company where he heard and became influenced by jazz musicians, particularly Horace Silver.
He began his career as a professional pianist and keyboard player in 1956, gradually establishing a reputation as a leading session musician. In the early 1960s, he was a major contributor, as musician and arranger, to record producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. He also played piano on "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", and every album by Nancy Sinatra as well as being a member of her touring band for decades, and the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations". He claims to have played on over three hundred hit records, working with musicians such as Linda Ronstadt, Quincy Jones, Cannonball Adderley, Herb Alpert, Sarah Vaughan, and Frank Zappa. He recorded albums of piano jazz under his own name and as the leader of a trio with Leroy Vinnegar and Mel Lewis. These included Feelin' Like Blues (1960), Where Do We Go From Here (1962), Last Night (1963), Revolver Jazz (1966), and Love Theme From "Romeo And Juliet" (1968).
In 1970 he opened The Baked Potato jazz club in Studio City, California, and formed his own group, Don Randi and Quest, as the house band. The band have subsequently recorded over 15 albums and were nominated for a Grammy in 1980 for the album New Baby.
In 2010 The Baked Potato was named Best Jazz Club in Los Angeles magazine.
In 2008, as a member of the Wrecking Crew, Randi was inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk.
His daughter is musician Leah Randi.
With Gerald Wilson
- Feelin' Kinda Blues (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
- Don Randi at SecondHandSongs
- Biography by Scott Yanow at Allmusic.com
- Biography at Baked Potato website
- "Best Jazz Club". Los Angeles. August 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Lynne Margolis, Glen Campbell, Don Randi and Hal Blaine Honored at RockWalk, 5 August 2008
- The Wrecking Crew at Hollywood's RockWalk
- Official website
- Don Randi at Discogs.com
- Don Randi on ON THE HIT with DEANE OGDEN podcast, March 12, 2014