Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Film Producer and Drummer Richard Baratta Releases Studio Debut

The album, MUSIC IN FILM: THE REEL DEAL has been released today, and is the drummer's triumphant return to jazz.

Film Producer and Drummer Richard Baratta Releases Studio Debut

Richard Baratta is known around town as a revered film producer - but he is also an accomplished and versatile drummer. Today, he has released his sophomore album Music in Film: The Reel Deal on New York based jazz label Savant Records. This is Baratta's debut for the storied record label, which has released recordings from top names in jazz such as Joey DeFrancesco, Freddy Cole, Wallace Roney, Steve Turre and many, many others.

Music in Film: The Reel Deal is the drummer's triumphant return to the jazz artform after a 30+ year diversion during which time Baratta became a celebrated film producer of Hollywood hits like The Irishman, Joker, and Wolf of Wall Street. This album sees the coalescence of Baratta's two seemingly disparate worlds, a celebration of cinema through the lens of jazz. The project features songs that were notably used in major motion pictures, films such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Midnight Cowboy, Big and The Wizard of Oz. Pianist Bill O'Connell serves as Music Director; Carroll Scott lends his vocal prowess to a rendition of the classic "Seasons of Love" from Rent; saxophone luminary Vincent Herring adorns the albums tracks with alto and soprano saxophone, as well as flute; and guitar virtuoso Paul Bollenback, bassist Michael Goetz, percussionist Paul Rossman round out Baratta's steadfast rhythm section.

Richard Baratta hails from Poughkeepsie, New York where he grew up in a musical household and gravitated toward the drums. He spent his post-collegiate time studying with iconic jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette and playing in the Catskills before arriving in New York City in the mid 1970's where he would strike up fruitful associations with such jazz greats as Saxophonist John Stubblefield, guitarist Vernon Reid and pianist Hal Galper. For the next decade, Baratta embraced the lifestyle of the career musician; gigging consistently to make ends meet. It was the desire for stability that spawned Baratta's farewell to jazz and foray into the film industry.

From 1984, when he took a job scouting locations for Desperately Seeking Susan, to 2019, when filming wrapped on Joker, Baratta, who climbed from the position of location scout all the way to executive producer, was ensconced in movies. His work figured into more than 50 films-Donnie Brasco, 5 Spiderman films, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Irishman included-and he became a known quantity in the business.

A chance encounter with a club owner who was transforming the former commissary basement of Kaufman Astoria Studios which dated back to the silent films of the 1920's into a music club called 'The Astor Room', rekindled Baratta's desire to return to his drumseat and perform live once again. It was there that Baratta began his musical collaboration with guitarist Paul Bollenback and bassist Michael Goetz. Other jazz greats such as Eric Alexander, David Kikoski and Walter Blanding filtered in and out and eventually, Baratta established the working band that is heard here on his seminal work.

Music in Film: The Reel Deal is just what the doctor ordered. Baratta is a force behind the drum kit and shines along with his killer band. Highlights include "Seasons of Love" with the fantastic Carroll Scott, the New Orleans-drenched "Come Together", and the Latin-tinged "Chopsticks". Music in Film: The Reel Deal is available everywhere now.


Related Articles View More Music Stories

NOS Dance

More Hot Stories For You