Frank Ricotti

Frank Ricotti (born 13 January 1949 in London) is an English jazz vibraphonist and percussionist.

Frank Ricotti
Born(1949-01-13)13 January 1949
London, England

Early life and educationEdit

Ricotti was born on 31 January 1949, in London, England, into a musical family and took up percussion, following his father who was a drummer. He came to the attention of teacher Bill Ashton who encouraged him to extend his studies. Ashton would embark on a project that eventually became the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Ricotti concentrated on the vibraphone and developed his talents as a composer and arranger, playing in the NYJO while a teenager and then attending Trinity College of Music between 1967 and 1970.[1]


Ricotti worked with Neil Ardley (1968–71), Dave Gelly, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs (1969–72), Stan Tracey (1970), Harry Beckett (1970–72), Norma Winstone (1971), Gordon Beck (1973–74), Hans Zimmer.[2]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Ricotti led his own jazz quartet. A line-up of the band featuring the guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Chris Laurence and drummer Bryan Spring recorded the album Our Point of View, released in July 1969. In 1971, in partnership with bassist Mike de Albuquerque, he released the album First Wind (as 'Ricotti and Albuquerque').[3]

In the 1980s he played with Chris Laurence and John Taylor in the group Paragonne, and played with Beck again in 1984. After this he worked primarily as a studio musician. Ricotti has recorded with artists such as Status Quo, Freddie Mercury, Pet Shop Boys, Swing Out Sister, Art of Noise,[4] The Style Council, Belle and Sebastian, Clannad, Barclay James Harvest, Meat Loaf, Elkie Brooks, Rick Wakeman, Oasis, Tina Turner, Aztec Camera, Thomas Anders, Alphaville and Mark Knopfler.[citation needed]

Between 1984 and 1987 Ricotti wrote the soundtrack music for Yorkshire Television's The Beiderbecke Trilogy, in the style of Bix Beiderbecke. The music was performed by his band, the Frank Ricotti All Stars, and featured Kenny Baker on cornet. A soundtrack album was released in 1988. Later, in June 1993, it peaked at No. 73 in the UK Albums Chart.[5] Ricotti and his band made a cameo appearance in the final series, playing in a jazz club.[citation needed]

In 2007 Ricotti played vibes on Mark Knopfler's album Kill to Get Crimson.[6]

Instruments playedEdit

Ricotti is known to play congas, bongos, vibraphone, tambourine, shaker, tubular bells, marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, snare drum, triangle, timpani, timbales, tabla, sleigh bells, drums, gong and assorted other percussion, including ethnic and Latin.[7]


As leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit

With Thomas Anders

With Madeline Bell

  • This is One Girl (Pyre Records, 1976)
  • Madeline (Four Corners, 1993)

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

With Elkie Brooks

With Emma Bunton

With Paul Carrack

With Charlotte Church

With Rosemary Clooney

With Roger Daltrey

With Terence Trent D'Arby

With Sheena Easton

With Bryan Ferry

With Julia Fordham

  • Swept (Virgin Records, 1991)

With Peter Frampton

With Delta Goodrem

With David Gray

With Josh Groban

  • Awake (Reprise Records, 2006)
  • Bridges (Reprise Records, 2018)

With Geri Halliwell

With Debbie Harry

With Murray Head

With Elton John

With Grace Jones

With Joshua Kadison

With Beverley Knight

With Mark Knopfler

With Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

With Mika

With John Miles

With Joni Mitchell

With Oliver Nelson

With Sally Oldfield

  • Water Bearer (Bronze Records, 1978)
  • Easy (Bronze Records, 1979)
  • Celebration (Bronze Records, 1980)
  • Playing in the Flame (Bronze Records, 1981)
  • Strange Day in Berlin (Bronze, 1983)

With Gerry Rafferty

With Cliff Richard

With Leo Sayer

With Seal

  • Soul 2 (Reprise Records, 2011)

With Status Quo

With Amii Stewart

With Rod Stewart

With Tina Turner

With Rick Wakeman

With Robbie Williams

With Amy Winehouse


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Frank Ricotti | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  3. ^ "Ricotti* & Albuquerque* - First Wind". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  4. ^ "The Art Of Noise - In No Sense? Nonsense!". Discogs. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 463. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ "Kill To Get Crimson". Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  7. ^ "Frank Ricotti - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Frank Ricotti Quartet - Our Point Of View". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Ice on Fire - Elton John | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Leather Jackets - Elton John | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Back to Black - Amy Winehouse | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2020.

Other sourcesEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit