I met Tom 15 years ago when he was the pianist in a group that accompanied Eddie Daniels on a weeklong gig in NYC. We became fast friends and have remained so to this day. Tom is not only one of the finest musicians in the business today, but also one of the most self-effacing and elegant people. He is a total team player, which explains some of the reason for his success and why so many top singers and music directors have requested him. In addition to his prodigious instrumental talents, he is a superb arranger. During an early visit with him in NY years ago, Tom needed to write 15 minutes of music for Dancing With the Stars on a Saturday for the following week’s show. He needed to send it to L.A. that day in order for it to be copied on Sunday in time for Monday’s run-through with the band. (Tom was the pianist and arranger on that show for its first 15 years.) We were to meet for dinner at 5:30pm prior to his performance with Eddie Daniels that evening at 8pm. When I met Tom at Kinko’s (the store that would fax the music in those days), he had written all of the music that day in his hotel room—without a keyboard! Fifteen minutes of music represents a lot of measures and I was naturally blown away. Having met and become friends with Billy Byers late in his lifetime, I immediately recognized the similarity with these artists—both could write effortlessly, quickly, with great artistry and humility. Throughout our friendship, Tom has continued to impress me not only with his musical abilities but also with his decency and concern for his family, friends and colleagues. I was honored to have him be a part of my CD where he played piano, clarinet and arranged several compositions. I hope everyone watching the video and reading this will check out Tom’s website: www.Tomranier.com and look for his new album coming out in April, 2020 titled: Tom Ranier—This Way. The recording will be available on Spotify, CD Baby and Amazon. It features Tom on piano/synthesizers/clarinet/saxes with Trey Henry, Ralph Humphrey and Thom Rotella. Music from the new album is heard on the audio clips at the very beginning and end of this video interview.
About the Artist: Tom Ranier has been a mainstay in the Los Angeles recording and jazz scenes for 50 years. A complete musician who is a masterful pianist, reed player, composer and arranger, Tom has worked with a Who’s Who of artists throughout his career. The jazz luminaries he has worked with include Dave Pike, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, George Coleman, Frank Rosolino, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Eddie Daniels, Lew Tabackin, Gary Foster, Pete Christlieb, Ken Peplowski, Joe Pass, Lanny Morgan, among many others. He has also been the pianist for such notable singers as Barbra Streisand, Carmen McRae, Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey, Michael Feinstein, Natalie Cole, Seth MacFarlane, and most recently, Tony Bennett. His television work includes the shows “Moonlighting,” Beauty and the Beast,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “American Dad.” Some of the more notable films he has recorded soundtracks for are “Forest Gump,” “Ted,” “Frozen,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Tom has also been a frequent member of the Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards Orchestras as a pianist and arranger. He has four albums out as a leader in addition to hundreds as a sideman.