Richard Tee (November 24, 1943 - July 21, 1993) was a pianist, studio musician, singer and arranger.


Tee graduated from The High School of Music & Art in New York City and attended the Manhattan School of Music.[1] Though better known as a studio and session musician,[2] Tee led a jazz ensemble, the Richard Tee Committee, and was a founding member of the band Stuff. In 1981 he played the piano and keyboard for Simon and Garfunkel's Concert In Central Park.

Tee played with a diverse range of artists during his career, such as Paul Simon, Carly Simon, The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand,Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Peter Allen, George Harrison, Diana Ross, Duane Allman, Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, Art Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Juice Newton, Billy Joel, Etta James, Grover Washington, Jr., Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins,Patti Austin, David Ruffin, Lou Rawls, Ron Carter, Peter Gabriel, George Benson, Joe Cocker, Chuck Mangione, Tim Finn, Peabo Bryson, Chaka Khan, Phoebe Snow, Doc Severinson, Leo Sayer, Herbie Mann and countless others. He also contributed to numerous gold and platinum albums during his long career and formed a band with famous drummer Steve Gadd called Stuff.

Tee was born and spent most of his life in Brooklyn, New York, living with his mother in a brownstone apartment building. After a 16-year relationship with Eleana Steinberg Tee of Greenwich, Connecticut, the couple was married in Woodstock, New York, by New York State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Wright. The couple moved to the Chelsea Hotel in 1988, and later to Cold Spring, New York.[3]

Tee died of prostate cancer on July 21, 1993 in Cold Spring, New York.[4] He is buried in the Artist Cemetery in Woodstock, New York.[5]


Tee used a diverse range of keyboards during his recording and touring career, notably the Hammond organ, piano, Hohner clavinetand synthesizers. His trademark sound, however, was his unique method of playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano and feeding the signal through a phase shifter.


Richard Tee - solo[edit]

  • Strokin' (Columbia-Tappan Zee 1979)
  • Natural Ingredients (Columbia-Tappan Zee 1980)
  • The Best of Richard Tee (Columbia-Tappan Zee 1981)
  • Contemporary Piano (DCI 1982)
  • The Bottom Line (King Records 1985)
  • Inside You (Columbia 1989)
  • Real Time (One Voice 1992)
  • Bottom Line 2003

with Hank Crawford[edit]

  • Mr. Blues Plays Lady Soul (1969)
  • Help Me make It Through the Night (1972)
  • We Got a Good Thing Goin' (1972)
  • Wildflower (1973)

with George Benson[edit]

with Grover Washington, Jr.[edit]

  • Inner City Blues (1971)
  • All the King's Horses (1972)
  • Soul Box/Vol. 2 (1973)
  • Feels So Good (1975)
  • Winelight (1980)
  • Skylarkin' (1980)
  • Come Morning (1981)
  • The Best Is Yet to Come (1982)
  • In Concert (1982)
  • Inside Moves (1984)

with Cornell Dupree[edit]

  • Teasin' (1974)
  • Coast to Coast (1988)
  • Can't Get Through (1991)
  • Child's Play (1992)
  • Uncle Funky (1992)

with Stuff[edit]

  • Stuff (1976)
  • More Stuff (1977)
  • Stuff It (1978)
  • Live Stuff (1978)
  • Live In New York (1980)
  • East (1981)
  • Best Stuff (1981)
  • Stuff Live In Montreux (2008) DVD/CD
  • Right Stuff (1996) Stuff Collection.

with Steve Gadd/ the Gadd Gang[edit]

  • Gadd About (1984)
  • The Gadd Gang (1986)
  • Here & Now (1988)
  • Live at Bottom Line (1988)
  • Gadd Gang (1991)

with various artists[edit]


Born: November 24, 1943 | Died: July 21, 1993

A highly regarded R&B and funk session keyboardist, who worked on hundreds of sessions by every major name, He led his own recordings and also worked with studio ensembles like Stuff and the Gadd Gang. A top rate session player, from the mid '60s through the early '90s, when you heard a new tune on the radio with a particularly soulful piano, Rhodes, or B-3 part, he probably played it. In the recording industry he was royalty, a first call musician sought out by top producers.

This gifted pianist, composer and arranger was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 24, 1943. He started playing piano at the age of seven, began performing in high school, and attended the Julliard School of Music....

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In 1965, Tee became a Motown session musician and one of New York's busiest studio session musicians. Soon after, he became an accompanist for Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack.

Tee joined Encyclopedia of Soul in 1974. The group, which was led by Gordon Edwards, was comprised of many of Tee's fellow studio musicians. The band continued to develop and eventually, in 1976, became the highly regarded outfit known as Stuff. Meanwhile, Tee's reputation as master pianist kept him in demand in both the studio and on the live concert circuit. He has been credited as a sideman on over 400 album recordings with such music luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Grover Washington Jr. and Peter Gabriel.

In 1983, Stuff disbanded and Tee quickly joined the Gadd Gang, led by Steve Gadd. The band was tremendously successful in Japan. Between 1979 and 1989, he also released four solo albums. They include: “Strokin” (1979), “Natural Ingredients” (1980), “Bottom Line” (1982) and “Inside You” (1989). He also spent a year on tour with Paul Simon in 1990.

Richard Tee passed away on July 21, 1993 in the Bronx at the age of 49. His fifth and final recording as leader, “Real Time”, showcases his immense talent and features a number of seasoned session players, including the late guitarist Eric Gale, longtime associate Steve Gadd on drums and Will Lee on bass, this is a fine album by a performer who had more influence on fellow musicians than most realize.

Richard Tee - Contemporary Piano (1984) with Steve Gadd

Richard Tee - Live at the Bottomline 1990 (with Steve Gadd and others)