Dick Fregulia -
"San Francisco's Greatest Jazz Piano Player" (overheard in a parador restaurant in Santianna del Mar, Spain)*
Dick Fregulia has been playing jazz piano gigs in the San Francisco area for over half a century, as a soloist, sideman, accompanist to jazz vocalists, and leader of his own jazz combos. For 35 years he was featured Thursday nights at Washington Square Bar and Grill in San Francisco's North Beach. His early influences were Ahmad Jamal, George Shearing, and Oscar Peterson, leading to a lifelong admiration for Bill Evans as a trio pianist and Art Tatum as a solo pianist. In recent years he has found much inspiration from the Italian jazz pianist Dado Moroni.
As a "jazz recording artist" Dick created Blue Koala Records in 1978 with the highly acclaimed solo piano LP, Sunday Morning at Washington Square. He has since produced more than 20 recording projects, both as a soloist and in various combinations with vocalists and different groups of musicians. His newest two trio releases feature Bill Moody on drums and Steve Webber on bass. Sail Away presents the music of Tom Harrell played by the Fregulia Trio, while Jazzitalia, features compositions by Italian jazz artists. Previous CD's include Re: Person I Knew (trio tribute to Bill Evans), Art for Sale (the Dick Fregulia Trio), I'll String Along With You (the Dick Fregulia Stringalong Trio with Brandon Robinson on guitar), Live at Kuumbwa (the Good Vibes Quintet), and That's Amore (trio arrangements of 13 songs by Harry Warren).
The Dick Fregulia Trio and his Good Vibes Trio/Quartet/Quintet appeared in recent years in San Francisco at Pier 23, Cafe Claude, and the Cliff House, while Dick performs currently as a soloist at Marin Joe's in Corte Madera and with bassist Steve Webber at the Sand Dollar in Stinson Beach. In the past several years his trio has performed concerts at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay, the Book Passage in Sausalito , JB Piano in San Rafael, and the Back Room in Berkeley.
*Comment by San Francisco restaurant owner Sam DuVall from an adjacent table, circa 1991.