Beginning Jazz Piano Volume One

London-based pianist Tim Richards has been a presence on the UK and international jazz scene since the early 1980s.

"Luminously funky... laced with the blues."

Tim's first encounter with a piano was at the age of 8 in a dentist's waiting room. After classical piano lessons he began to teach himself jazz and blues from the age of 14, when he saw Thelonious Monk and Otis Spann on TV. In 1979 he formed the seminal modern jazz group SPIRIT LEVEL, a band that toured the Britain and Europe extensively in the 1980s and 90s, released seven albums, and was nominated 'Best Small group' in the 1995 British Jazz Awards.

"A highly distinctive solo voice, blues and gospel tinged,
but with a percussive drive betraying his roots in hard bop."

In recent years, Tim has won acclaim as a composer and arranger, developing ideas in the larger instrumental setting of his nine-piece band GREAT SPIRIT, which has featured key players on the British scene such as Pete King, Dick Pearce, Ed Jones, Gilad Atzmon, Denys Baptiste, Tony Kofi, Jason Yarde, Roger Beaujolais, Seb Rochford and many others. The band released their second CD Epistrophy (33Jazz120) in 2005 (5-star online review) and toured the UK for the fourth time in November 2006 with Finnish saxophonist Jari Perkiomaki, with the help of a New Music award from the PRS Foundation.

"Tim Richards' piano playing has the distinction of being both adventurous and immediately attractive."

Tim has a Masters Degree in composition from London's Trinity College of Music, and has also written pieces for a wide variety of non-jazz ensembles, including pieces for solo piano, piano duet, string quartet, recorder quintet, toy pianos and piano trio (with violin and cello). To hear a selection, go to the Composition page.

"A unique mixture formed from his admiration of both the expansive, robust playing of McCoy Tyner
and the luminous delicacy of Abdullah Ibrahim."

Latest Release
Tim Richards HEXTET 'Telegraph Hill'

Tim's latest project is a six-piece band featuring Dick Pearce (trumpet), Ed Jones (tenor sax), Ralph Wyld (vibes), Dominic Howles (double bass), Peter Ibbetson(drums). The 'Telegraph Hill' CD was released in May 2015 (see left) and received excellent reviews:

"It's the energy of his compositions that, as ever, grab the ear and the heart."

"Tim Richards is one of the cornerstones of British jazz... A joy from beginning to end"

The HEXTET toured the UK in 2015 and 2016. Here's a clip of the band in action during one of their sold-out gigs at London's Kings Place in 2012 and 2014.

Here's an interview made at Kings Place at the time of the 2014 Hextet gig:

Tim Richards TRIO

In a more straight-ahead vein, the Tim Richards Trio have been entertaining audiences from Istanbul to Inverness since the mid 1980s. The trio's third CD, Shapeshifting is out now on 33Jazz. Here's the trio playing the title track shortly after their 2011 UK tour:

Here's an earlier clip of The TRIO playing Charlie Parker's 'Au Privave':

Blues Piano

Tim also enjoys playing blues and has toured and recorded with many well-known blues artists including the award-winning Otis Grand, Dana Gillespie, Earl Green, US guitarists Joe Louis Walker and Larry Garner and Muddy Waters' harmonica player Mojo Buford.

"Tim Richards plays bluesy jazz piano with a fiercely contemporary edge
and his compositions are lushly melodic."

He is currently playing wth guitarist Jon 'T-Bone' Taylor in the JT4TET, featuring R'n'B vocalist Nazarene Mighty. Here's a compilation video: