Closely associated with Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond was on most of his sessions from 1955-1978, showing impressive versatility. Richmond and Mingus made for a very potent team, shifting rhythms, tempos, and grooves together, hinting at New Orleans jazz now and then while sometimes playing very freely. Richmond was originally a tenor saxophonist who as a teenager played R&B, touring with Paul Williams.
He took up the drums in 1955, and six months later joined Charles Mingus when he proved that he could play at very fast tempos. During Mingus' off periods, Richmond freelanced with Chet Baker, the group Mark-Almond, Joe Cocker, and even Elton John.
After Mingus' death, Richmond played with Mingus Dynasty and then became a member of the George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet (1980-1985), occasionally leading his own groups.