Rice, Charlie

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Rice, Charlie

Rice, Charlie , jazz drummer; b. Philadelphia, Pa., March 1, 1920. A superb and dynamic player, he was a mainstay of the Philadelphia scene in the 1940s and 1950s. Rice had an extended stay with Jimmy Oliver’s house band at the Downbeat opposite visiting stars such as Parker, Gillespie, Bud Powell and Hank Jones during 1945 and probably into 1946 or even 1947. He then led the first house band in Club 421 with Vance Wilson, Red Garland, bassist Bob Bushneil, and trumpeter Johnny Hughes. Around this time, he rehearsed with Jimmy Heath’s big band but he was not available to do gigs with them. He toured the South Pacific with the USO (1951) with J.J. Johnson and Howard McGhee, played with Sonny Stitt and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Leo Parker. Rice toured and recorded with Chet Baker (1964–65), then left full-time performing to teach music in the public schools.


H. McGhee: South Pacific Jazz (1952); Stitt and Jaws at Birdland (1954). L. Parker: Let Me Tell You ’Bout it (1961). C. Baker: Colpix (1964).

—Lewis Porter