Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Rich Halley is a saxophonist and composer who has released more than a dozen critically acclaimed recordings. He performs in settings that range from solo to large groups and frequently with the Rich Halley 4 which includes Michael Vlatkovich on trombone, Clyde Reed on bass and Carson Halley on drums. Rich also leads the Outside Music Ensemble, a four horn two percussionist group that performs acoustically in outdoor settings.
For over two decades, Rich was the leader of the Lizard Brothers, a sextet whose performances combined exploration and jazz tradition. He was the leader of Multnomah Rhythm Ensemble, a group that combined new jazz with multi-media.
Rich has performed throughout the US, in Canada and in the Middle East. He has performed with Andrew Hill, Bobby Bradford, Vinny Golia, Tony Malaby, Julius Hemphill, Michael Bisio, Oliver Lake, Obo Addy, Michael Vlatkovich, Rob Blakeslee and Bert Wilson. Rich is a founder of Oregon's Creative Music Guild.
Rich Halley was educated as a field biologist. His lifelong interest in nature and his love of adventure has informed his music and led him on many trips into wilderness regions around the world. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Freewheeling and satisfying. -Eric Fine, DownBeat
No saxophonist out there is playing with more fire, muscle, sheer guts or wild abandon than Halley. But as out there as he can get, there's always a boppish discipline, a thread of containment -Dan McClenaghan, allaboutjazz
Halley triangulates the sprawling tenor tradition and the compositional trajectory begun by Ornette Coleman, a heady proposition... This mark of maturity is also abundantly clear on his solos on “Gray Stones/Shards of Sky” and “The River’s Edge is Ice,” where he effortlessly blends tinges of Hawk and Newk with avantish exhortations... what Halley offers with Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival...is perhaps one of the more profound statements that can be made in these times. -Bill Shoemaker, pointofdeparture.org
Chronicles a fiery, upbeat performance that combines composed and improvised music in an interesting and enjoyable set of tunes... Halley is superb throughout; confident, tight and fluid, whether trading lead lines with Bradford or creating his own dynamic solos. -Bruce Lindsay, allaboutjazz.com