Born: May 12, 1953 Primary Instrument: Piano
It’s been an interesting musical career for Randy. His first job in Los Angeles (after graduating from Boston’s Berklee School Of Music), was as a singing waiter, and he learned about the fine art of busing tables and cleaning ashtrays from Peter Tork of the Monkees. He put together his original New Wave band “Bad Felix” in the 1980’s and performed throughout Los Angeles opening for many of L.A. mainstay acts including “The Motels,” “Oingo Boingo,” and “Tommy Tu-tone.”
In the early 90’s Randy decided to travel the world, and for the next 8 years had long engagements in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, and The Virgin Islands.
In 2000, Randy re-located back to Los Angeles and started writing a new album with saxophonist Jimmy Street that eventually became “L.A. Dialogues.” The CD was released in 2003 and was “the most-added” new CD to many smooth jazz stations that summer. It continues to be a staple on XM and Sirius smooth jazz stations.
Randy (along with re-locating to Santa Fe, NM) then recorded and completed his CD entitled “The Road To Santiago.” It features Chick Corea's saxophonist Eric Marienthal, Ray Charles and Nora Jones’ guitarist Irvin “Magic” Kramer, among many other great L.A. musicians.
In September 2007, Randy was chosen as one of the top four New Mexico’s best new Jazz acts.
Randy's newest CD, Classic Kutz for Contemporary Kats, brings him back to the golden age of swing and the big band era.
As Randy states in his liner notes, Last year I wanted a new grand piano to replace one that I left in Los Angeles. I looked at some beautiful new Yamahas and a variety of others, but none seemed right. The owner of the local Santa Fe music store mentioned that he had a piano on consignment as the owner was going to New York, but it wasn’t right for his clientele as it was almost a hundred years old and his customers wanted new pianos. I was shown a beautiful 97 year old Baldwin grand. The years had taken their toll and it did have scratches and dings, but the moment I sat down I knew this was the piano. We negotiated and I bought it.
I started playing songs of Cole Porter and Gershwin that I hadn’t played in years, and kept thinking this piano had played all these songs when they were brand new, not 70 years old. I was suddenly hearing and playing songs in different ways then I had previously.
I had always said someday I would do an album of standards, and this is that album, and I thank my Baldwin piano for inspiring me to finally create the album.
Awards:Top four new Jazz artists New Mexico Music Commission 2007
L. A. Dialogues - a wonderful concept. The album is full of nice comfortable grooves. Randy and Jimmy's talents really shine! -- Hank Cicalo (George Harrison, Tom Scott,Kenny Rankin
POSITIVELY ENTERTAINMENT. FEB 2007
Randy Heddon’s latest recording is The Road to Santiago. The tunes speak of making journeys and the hope that each path brings to light along the way.
This writer’s overall impression of The Road To Santiago is that of a motion picture score. It’s very interesting to play the “what if” game. If this CD was a motion picture score, you wonder what the story would be? True, it has a pervasive sense of dreaminess, with romantic flashes of obscurity.
The tune The Avatar From The Great Beyond is, however, not dreamy or obscure. It’s a spoof on “self-proclaimed gurus” who will say what you want to hear and they do take checks. (Likely they take credit cards as well.) It’s not hard to write a realistic but gently teasing song about hypocrisy and shallowness in the mainstream of our society, but Heddon does one better: The instruments, rhythms and melodic figures are authentically of eastern origin. He’s not pretending to be from India, but he has more authenticity in his sound than many so-called “enlightened ones.” This tune has a catchy refrain for anyone to sing along on the first listen.
Heddon’s voice is mostly soft and understated in his delivery. He cultivates the dissolving sense of the intellectual in favor of the existential. Beautiful crying violin, soprano sax and splashing waves of piano phrases captivate the listener.
Just as you begin to wonder how far it will take you willingly, the music arrives on the streets near a New Orleans-style blues bar. This sixth cut is a dance tune, with a laughing sing-along refrain. It’s a party because someone finally got convicted of Cheating In The First Degree!
Heddon’s vocalizations, for most of the songs, are soft and even, making a James Taylor tune sound raucous and lilting. This writer notes that, where Heddon really leans on a note, his voice is strong and commanding. There is something in his way of pronouncing the name “Santiago” that hints he knows more than he is saying…or does he? Is Heddon in a romantic fog of his own wishful thinking, or is he preparing to depart for Santiago, on foot, forever?
Musicians listed on this CD include Eric Marienthal on sax (Chick Corea), violinist Harry Scorzo (Celine Dion) and guitarist Irvin Magic Kramer (Ray Charles, Nora Jones). It certainly is a very good addition to anyone’s collection. This writer suspects that its appeal may be enhanced by listening in really hot weather, but the siren call of the cool mists in the sanctuary of the soul are irresistible any time of year.
Classed as “smooth jazz” or “soft rock,” the CD is available at cdbaby online. Heddon could carry all the tunes soloing live with his own piano accompaniment, but the supporting artists on this recording really make the magic happen
author: Liz Marlia-Stein Take time to sit back, enjoy, and contemplate the inspirational messages Randy brings to us. What a gift!!
Classic Kutz For Contemporary Katz
1) Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me.
2) Our Love Is Here To Stay.
3) The Good Life.
4) Santa Fe Special.
5) One For My Baby.
6) May Attorney Bernie.
7) Stella Bt Starlight.
8) Beyond The Sea.
9) At Long Last Love.
10) The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning.
Jimmy Street:Sax:Horn Arrangements.
Jay "Rusty" Crutcher:Sax.
The Road To Santiago
1) Always Do Your Best.
2) Come Away.
3) The Road To Santiago.
4) The Avatar From The Great Beyond.
5) Only Love.
6) Cheating In The 1st Degree.
8) Sanctuary Of My Soul.
9) I'll always Keep You In My Heart
Randy Heddon: Piano.
Eric Marienthal: Sax.
Jimmy Street: Sax.
Marty Buttwinick: Bass.
Rogerio Jardim: Drums.
Rich Arnold: Guitar.
Irv "Magic" Kramer: Guitar.
Harry Scorzo: Violin.
Randy Heddon & Jimmy Street
Advantage Media Records
1) Strollin The Strand.
2) Rodeo Rodeo.
3) Sunset Trip.
4) Midnight In Malibu.
5) Mullholland Drive.
6) 5th and Main.
7) Seeing Is Believing.
8) Street Whys.
9) Sidewalk Of Dreams.
Randy Heddon: Piano;Composer.
Jimmy Street: Sax.
Tony Wallace: Drums.
Paul Slagle: Bass.
Rick Kraushaar: Guitar.
Serge Martin: Guitar.
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