Don Randi

Don Randi (born Donald Schwartz,)[1] (February 25, 1937) is an American keyboard player, bandleader and songwriter. He has performed on numerous recordings, including many as a session musician and member of the Wrecking Crew, as well as releasing his own jazz records.

Don Randi
Birth nameDonald Schwartz
Born (1937-02-25) February 25, 1937 (age 83)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Pop music
Film score
Occupation(s)Pianist, arranger, composer
Years active1956-present
Associated actsQuest
Don Randi Trio


Born in New York City and raised in the Catskill Mountains, he received a training in classical music.[2] 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.[3] Don is Jewish.[4][5]

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".[3] 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.[3] He recorded albums of piano jazz under his own name and as the leader of a trio with Leroy Vinnegar and Mel Lewis.[2] 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).

Randi also wrote film scores during the 1970s, including Bloody Mama (1970), Up in the Cellar (1970), J. W. Coop (1972), Stacey (1973), and Santee (1973).

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.[3]

In 2010 The Baked Potato was named Best Jazz Club in Los Angeles magazine.[6]

In 2008, as a member of the Wrecking Crew, Randi was inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk.[7][8]

His daughter is musician Leah Randi.

Recently Don Randi, along with fellow Wrecking Crew members Don Peake and Chuck Berghofer and in conjunction with Denny Tedesco (producer/director “The Wrecking Crew (2008 film)” movie) have been performing around the Los Angeles area with their “[1]Wrecking Crew farewell to Glen Campbell” live shows.


Don Randi Trio

  • Last Night (Verve Records, 1963)
  • Where Do We Go From Here? (Verve Records, 1962)

With Gerald Wilson

With Jim Sullivan

  • U.F.O. (Monnie, 1969)

With David Axelrod

  • Plays the Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet" (1969)

With Quest

  • Bermuda Triangle (Dobre Records DR1060, 1978)
  • New Baby (Sheffield Records LAB 12, 1979)

As a session musician

  • “The Daily Planet” and “Andmoreagain” , Love (1967)



  1. ^ Don Randi at SecondHandSongs
  2. ^ a b Biography by Scott Yanow at
  3. ^ a b c d "Biography at Baked Potato website". Archived from the original on 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  4. ^ The Secret Jewish History of the Beach Boys – The Forward › culture › the-secret-jewish-history-of-the-beach-boys Aug 26, 2014 - The tousle-haired Beach Boys are an iconic all-American family band. ... Steven Douglas Kreisman) and keyboardist Don Randi (born Don ...
  5. ^ Twin Cities Film Fest Event Features the Jewish Musicians ... › twin-cities-film-fest-kickoff-features-jewish-musicia... Sep 24, 2015 - For years Don Randi and Hal Blaine played alongside the biggest names in ... Randi and Blaine, who were born into Jewish families, were among the Los ... Max Schwartz kept a piano in the back of his restaurant on which Randi played. ... They played for TV, film scores and multiple genres of American ...
  6. ^ "Best Jazz Club". Los Angeles. August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  7. ^ Lynne Margolis, Glen Campbell, Don Randi and Hal Blaine Honored at RockWalk, 5 August 2008 Archived September 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The Wrecking Crew at Hollywood's RockWalk
  9. ^

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