I first listened intently to Ron Odrich when I purchased a Music Minus One recording, Wood on Wood, in the 1970s that had copies of his solos transcribed by Buddy DeFranco. Already infatuated by DeFranco, Goodman, Shaw & Eddie Daniels’ jazz clarinet playing, I quickly became acquainted with the good doctor’s performances and have remained a fan for the past 40 years. He has become a personal friend and neighbor as well over the past decade and I treasure his knowledge and input on musical and worldly issues–even when we disagree! His commitment to seek improvement in his music making continues to inspire all who know him. His deep understanding of the physiological forces that influence air and tone production that he shares with us in this interview are sure to provide many with a new perspective for playing wind instruments. At 85 years old, Ron remains in excellent health, practices clarinet several hours every day, and maintains a regular yoga routine. He continues to record and perform and his latest album, I Remember Buddy, was released in 2015 as a tribute to his dear friend and mentor, Buddy DeFranco. I’ve looked forward to the opportunity to present Ron in the Woodwind Legacy Series and I hope you will find this interview as enjoyable and informative as it was for me. Please check out www.ronodrich.com for more information.
Dr. Ron Odrich is one of the most unique individuals one is likely to meet. His accomplishments across a broad variety of disciplines set him apart from most mortals and serve as an inspiration for all who attempt to achieve a level of excellence in their chosen careers. In addition to ranking as one of the finest jazz clarinetists in the world, he is also a very capable woodwind doubler; a fine composer; an internationally renowned doctor specializing in periodontics and implant surgery; an accomplished painter; author; lecturer; inventor; family man; fluent in Italian and Neapolitan dialects; TV host; and has even acted in a Broadway show! Yes, he is the epitome of the Renaissance man, a modern day Da Vinci. Born in New Haven, CT and raised in New York City, Ron made the choice of going into the medical profession instead of the music industry AGAINST his parent’s wishes. Clearly, it has all worked out in the end. Ron’s musical excellence has enabled him to play with a variety of jazz greats including Marty Napoleon, Clark Terry, Buddy De Franco, Phil Woods, Gene Quill, Zoot Sims, Eddie Daniels, Ted Nash, Vinnie Burke, Chris Connors, Buck Clayton, Bud Freeman, Coleman Hawkins, Chris Potter, Paquito D’Rivera, Sammy Nestico, The Airmen of Note, Lionel Hampton, Roy Eldridge, and many others. He has studied with and/or developed long associations with some of the most important woodwind artists of the 20th Century including Sal Amato, Daniel Bonade, Jimmy Abato, Robert Marcellus, Buddy DeFranco and Eddie Daniels. He blends these unique influences into an entirely individual and recognizable style that can be heard on both his Bb & bass clarinets. Dr. Odrich is also credited with saving countless careers of musicians who have encountered dental problems thanks to his artistry as a periodontal surgeon. He has always been willing to offer his help to those in need. In my mind, Ron Odrich is the ultimate doubler.