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Richard Todd

Biography

Country: United States of America  
Not to be confused with the Dublin-born actor of the same name, Richard Todd is a versatile French horn player who can handle straight-ahead acoustic jazz as well as pop, rock and European classical. Todd, who lives in the Los Angeles area, is far from a jazz snob; in addition to playing with classical orchestras (including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Barbara Symphony), he has done countless pop/rock sessions. Nonetheless, the Read more sound that Todd brings to his instrument owes a lot to straight-ahead acoustic jazz; specifically, jazz's cool school.

Known for being extremely lyrical and having a soft, mellow, caressing tone, Todd has been greatly influenced by cool school favorites like Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Gerry Mulligan. In fact, one could easily argue that Todd is to the French horn what Davis and Baker are to the trumpet; Bill Watrous is to the trombone; Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond are to the alto sax; and Lester Young-influenced players like Getz, Zoot Sims, and Paul Quinichette are to the tenor sax. If Watrous is "the Stan Getz of the trombone," Todd is arguably the Stan Getz of the French horn; an instrument that, historically, has not played a prominent role in jazz. Over the years, jazz has had some talented French horn players here and there, and they have ranged from Sweden's Hakan Nyquist to Sharon Freeman, John Graas, Tom Varner, and the great Julius Watkins (who has been called the "Charlie Parker of the French horn"). Nonetheless, the French horn has not been nearly as prominent in jazz as the saxophone or the trumpet; for that matter, it isn't as common a jazz instrument as the often neglected trombone.

Todd has also been heavily influenced by third stream, a style of jazz that incorporates elements of European classical and chamber music. The French horn virtuoso is obviously well aware of third stream heavyweights like the Modern Jazz Quartet and arranger Gunther Schuller, who Todd has collaborated with on more than one occasion. But for someone who can be such an appealing jazz improviser, Todd has devoted a great deal of time to non-jazz pursuits. The L.A. resident became a very in-demand session player in the '80s, when he backed pop stars who ranged from Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and Madonna to Latin icon Julio Iglesias. And in the '90s, the non-jazz artists who employed Todd on their albums included, among others, Bette Midler, Michael Bolton, Sheena Easton, and Barry Manilow. Todd was also employed on albums by various jazz artists in the '90s, including Billy Childs, David Benoit, and Shirley Horn. The early 2000s found Todd signing with RCM, which released his melodic straight-ahead jazz album, With a Twist, in June 2002. Read less
Browse 1-8 of 8 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Walt Disney Records   Catalog: 001405102 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Giacchino
    Performer:  Malcolm McNab,  Gayle Levant,  Mark Le Vang,  Karie Prescott  ... 
    Conductor:  Tim Simonec
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  • 2.
    French Chamber Music - Milhaud, Poulenc, Saint-Saens / Previn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68181 Release Date: 02/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Darius Milhaud,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Richard Todd,  André Previn,  Stephen Taylor,  Dennis Godburn  ... 
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 3.
    Saxophone Alternative / Douglas Masek, Rita Borden
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2823 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oliver Nelson,  Frank Ticheli,  Frank Campo,  Michael Jon Fink  ... 
    Performer:  Douglas Masek,  Rita Borden,  Teri Koide,  James Smith  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Jazz Album / Thomas Quastoff
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000823902 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Chaplin,  Eric Stephen Cunningham,  Frederick Loewe,  Stevie Wonder  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Till Bronner,  Alan Broadbent,  Peter Erskine  ... 
    Conductor:  Nan Schwartz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin members
    CD: $15.99
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  • 5.
    Flags Of Our Fathers [soundtrack]
    Label: Milan Mod Afw   Catalog: 36203 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jule Styne,  Clint Eastwood,  John Philip Sousa,  Artie Shaw  ... 
    Performer:  Dinah Shore,  Marc Sazer,  Justin Hageman,  Dan Greco  ... 
    Conductor:  Lennie Niehaus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artie Shaw Gramercy Five
    CD: $15.99
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  • 6.
    Brahms: Clarinet Quintet;  Dohnányi / Gray, Todd, Thies
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2745 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ernö von Dohnányi
    Performer:  Gary Gray,  Paul Cohen,  Clayton Haslop,  Rafael Rishik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Hollywood String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    American Classics - Russell: Rhapsody, Middle Earth, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559168 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Craig Russell
    Performer:  Richard Todd
    Conductor:  Michael Nowak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Für Wolfgang Amadeus - Crockett, Hartke, Et Al / Los Angeles
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 669 Release Date: 10/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Donald Crockett,  Stephen Hartke,  Rand Steiger,  Libby Larsen
    Performer:  Allan Vogel,  Roland Kato,  Ralph Morrison,  Richard Altenbach  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Crockett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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